I’m not going to sugar coat this. We only finished about 34 miles of our planned 38 mile ride from Brooksville to (almost) Tarpon Springs.
But in our defense, we are old and enfeebled.
See? I’d say we were lucky to get out of the damned parking lot!
No, seriously, it was the Suncoast Trail, the actual sun and a brutal headwind that did us in. And although we did encounter the occasional tree lined groves on our trek….
Mostly we were riding on this…
And this. (In FDOT’s defense, they put up some really high and unclimbable barriers to keep sun-crazed cyclists from hurling themselves in front of innocent cars and ending it all.)
But never mind the heat and the wind. The truth is that the Suncoast Trail is rather like the Suncoast Parkway that it parallels. Very utilitarian. A convenient way to get from Point A to Point B. But not much to write home about.
Still, being a faithful blogger, I did stumble upon some diversions along the way. Like this still timely message to E.T. Call home!
And then there was the wind chime oak tree. I lingered there for a while. Basically hundreds of wind chimes and ornaments left to honor lost loved ones.
It was both sobering and enchanting.
A feast for the eyes and for the ears.
A place for remembrances writ large.
Oh, and I also found indisputable architectural evidence that Noah landed in Pasco County and not Mt. Ararat. Also, it turns out that Noah was a Bud man.
I dunno. Was it something I said, do you think?
The good news is that the scenery changed for the better once we turned off onto the Starkey Wilderness Park Trail.
But only in Florida would we call a pine plantation a “wilderness.” Unless we’re talking about the wilderness they had to destroy so they could plant row upon row upon row of pine trees.
In which we called it quits in the heat of the afternoon sun, packed up our bikes and headed for greener pastures as it were.
This is some really cool street art in Dunedin, which is itself a very cool trail town that we will be riding through on the morrow.
This is a really cool brewery in the really cool trail town of Dunedin that we will be riding through on the morrow.
This is us in the really cool Dunedin Brewery seeking shelter from the Sun. And, yes, succor and nourishment after our brutal day in Suncoast Trail purgatory.
That is all. Tomorrow: We fight the Pinellas Trail and this time we will win!