Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, March 09, 2013

It was the first day in a long time that I was sleeping like a log. The phone rings and I miss the call thinking that it was the alarm, then remembering it was Saturday. I was suppose to go over Jason's and work, when I called him back he asked if I would like to go on a bike ride instead. Always put off today what you can do tomorrow! We have been taking more bike rides lately, I am certain it is for exercise, but this is the kind of exercise that you don't notice because you are busy taking in the great outdoors.

The weather was just perfect, a little chilly, perfect for a ride. I got my things together and headed to Homestead for a new adventure.

We headed directly from Jason's house and headed toward the Homestead Speedway, the bike paths are fantastic along the way. Jeff and Jason discovered an FPL access road near the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. It was a very long road and would definitely give us a work out. Even though it was not paved, the ride wasn't too bad. All I can say is, I am glad I have a gel seat, oh my ass! We laughed and looked for things along the way.

The gang has concealed weapon permits and they always carry when we are off the beaten path. It is a little protection and insurance. Monica took the opportunity to shoot her new Christmas present for the first time.

We spotted a baby raccoon, forage through the muck, I assume looking for snails. We heard gators splash when we approached, and finally did get to see one. The vultures playing in the wind currents above us, occasionally swooping down. The best part had to be the manatee family. They were swimming along the crystal clear canal, stopping from time to time to munch on the underwater foliage. Mothers and their babies, lots of babies, very beautiful sight to see. Some had scars on their backs, they survived their injuries to swim another day.

Time flew by and hunger stepped in, Jason brought some oranges which was the perfect refreshing snack. I don't think we had the stamina to continue, after all the further we went down this dirt road the further we would have to petal back. As I looked down the road it just didn't appear to have an end to it, I imagine we would be in the Keys before it ended. Each time we go on an adventure we go longer and farther. It is a great time to spend with family and sneak in some exercise that doesn't have a negative impact on my knees. My ass, yes, but my knees are good. The guys are always looking for more trails and adventure for the next ride. I am surprised how many long lonely roads are in our state. This is definitely the way to see South Florida in its natural habitat. Series of canals and landscape as far as the eye can see.

The pedaling almost over we decide to take a break at Monica and Jeff's place, to say hello to the kids, which don't seem to want to ride with us. I remember when I was young, my whole family would take bike rides all over Miami, of course, it was much easier to find the wilderness back in the 60's and 70's. Yet, there is still plenty of places to get away from the traffic and civilization.

It feels so good to power yourself on an adventure, perhaps it is like stepping back and enjoying much more of the world around us. Our weekdays are full of work and the same routine, this seems like the perfect way to clear your head and burn some calories. I might be a little sore tomorrow, but it was well worth the small struggle to immerse ourselves in the primitive landscape that really is South Florida's premier attraction.

I have to thank my kids for inviting me, even though I slow them down, they will never understand how much I enjoy being able to immerse myself  in the environment. I don't think about anything but the ride and what I might see. The day was finished and we logged nearly 17 miles.

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