Another visit to the Seminole State Forest. Not to kayak, need to rest the arms after 4 consecutive paddling days, but a bike ride. Since I have a Forest Permit, I unlocked the gate and began the ride from the kayak launch. Unlike two weeks ago when I parked in the Bear Pond lot and biked through the narrow opening in the gate for hikers and bikers. Today, Tuesday, July 6, 2010, there were no pay envelopes in the pay station. How this can be, I don't know, there were plenty yesterday and the Forest does not get a lot of visitors. Which could change as the world wide Dave's Yak Tales audience learns about it. I was about to hang one of the passes I had on the front seat from the mirror when I spotted a pay envelope on the ground. So, I left the area cleaner than when I arrived and paid the $2 entry fee.
The deer is one of two I saw shortly I began pedaling at 6:40 pm. I was going to refer you to the link in the Tale from two weeks ago for a map, but that link isn't working. So, I'll just write I road north on Sand Road, then Pine Road to Palatka Road, to Atula Road, turning back after two miles. I wasn't to far from the northern entrance to the Forest, off State Road 44. I entered from the south, State Road 46. I had not noticed how rolling, hilly, for Florida, the road is the one time I drove through the Forest in my car. I did not observate anything from the blind, which I made a slight detour to on the way back. It overlooks a cleared area, where, I assume, deer come out of the trees to feed on the grass.
Biked back to where Pine Road meets Sand Road and Grade Road. Went west on Grade to the second intersection with Loop Road.
Gopher tortoise burrow. How do I know? Because one ran, yes ran, into it in the time it tool me to stop the bike and lift the camera
The Forest has "more than 13 different natural communities", according to a brochure.
This is the Oaks Camp site. Pretty fancy. An outhouse.
It is marked as a "Group Site" but I may see if I can get it for myself come fall. Of course, being on the Creek at the Moccasin Spring site has its advantages. I stopped by that campsite as well.
Unable to photo a tortoise, here is a rabbit. Aesop never visited Florida.
I returned to the intersection of Sand, Pine and Grade Roads. Biked up Pine for half a mile so I would get 10 miles in, and, maybe see a deer. Saw a deer, it ran off. I biked to where it entered the woods. It went into the open area near the Observation Blind. I got off the bike, walked to an opening, and there was the deer at the far edge of the clearing. It saw me and ran into the pines.
I returned to my car at the kayak launch about 8:10. 10.12 miles.