Last month, I traveled to Florida for work and we were able to bike a 15 mile loop around the Everglades called the Shark Valley Trail. We also kayaked on the Orange river, but didn’t see any Manatees. I’ll save the old Army airfield for another post- that it seems I may never get a chance to write about. I have done so many cool things in the last year, but rarely have a chance to blog about them. I work. A lot. I just got a promotion, which means I’ll probably be working more.

Like I am now fond of saying, “Work hard, play harder.” I try not to live life to the fullest and not waste any spare time. If I should die tomorrow, I know I have no regrets and that I have been blessed to LIVE an amazing life. God has been good to me. In the last several months, I have worked and traveled in South Carolina and Florida. I went to Charleston, SC for the first time in my life and was able to ride the Jacksonville, FL rail trail again. I kayaked and camped during the winter months and generally have had a blast on my time off from work.

Picture from the viewing platform at the middle of the trail.

I finally bought a used crossover kayak so that I can get into a little more whitewater paddling, too. What an adventure I had this weekend– the third time in my new to me Liquidlogic XP9. I was proud of myself that I didn’t panic. I’ll spare you the details, but my boat flipped and I was upside down with my boat on top of me. I had my skirt on and got out safely, swam up to my paddle, then back to my boat, got the water out of my boat and got back in. Good times. Oh, I lost my cell phone for the first time in over 20 years since I’ve had one. It happens.

Back to the Everglades. Such an amazingly beautiful place! As we rode our bikes along the 15 mile trail, there were alligators everywhere. They just stare at the passersby. <laughter> Lots and lots of herons, white ibis and egrets– a few days later I saw the coolest Great Blue Heron when we rode 25 miles on Sanibel Island—. Marty noticed a water turkey swimming under water, boy was THAT cool! It’s tail feathers look just like turkey feathers! I really, really wanted to see a Roseate Spoonbill, but never did.

After this adventure, I’m hoping that we can plan a week long paddling trip to the Everglades next year. I bought a book a the National Park that goes into detail about places to paddle in the Everglades and I am hoping my dream becomes a reality. If you ever get to the Everglades, the 15 mile loop trail at Shark Valley can be walked, biked or one can take the tram.

I’m so glad that I brought my little red bike and that we took the time to make the ride around the loop while I was working down there. It is such a beautiful ecosystem!

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