Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wekiwa Part Deux: Swimming, Otis, and Biking

We had so many pictures and adventures at Wekiwa Springs that we have to follow-up with one more post. Wekiwa Springs is so named because of the natural spring there that gives birth to the Wekiwa River. The spring itself has a semi-circular swimming area a couple of hundred feet in diameter. I am guessing at the exact dimensions because I am too lazy to look up the exact figure right at this moment. Luckily on Sunday the high temperature was in the mid-70s (F) and, since the spring water stays a constant 72 (F) year round, we figured we'd take a dip. We rode our bikes down to the spring (it was only a couple of miles from our campsite) in our bathing suits. There were not many people in the water, just two kids and a pair of adult snorkelers. The water is crystal clear and, even at 72 (F), rather bracing. But it was still warmer than the water in Wendy's dad's pool. The bottom is mostly sandy with a few moss covered boulders strewn about. You can easily see your feet, even at a depth of 5-6 feet. There are schools of small fish and there was a sign warning of alligators but we did not see any of those.

Here's a bathing beauty utilizing the entrance stairs.
Hubba Hubba!

There was a short boardwalk trail near the spring that was designed to show the difference in vegetation as the ground rose from wetlands to drylands. It was only about .5 miles long.

This next section covers Otis and the set-up we're using to keep him safe and happy. We have a small pet carrier that is his primary domicile and a puppy pen that we set on an 8'x8' piece of indoor-outdoor carpet when we keep him outside. He does not like being under the open sky (probably an instinctual fear of hawks), so we put half the pen under the edge of a picnic table and cover it with this dragon tapestry sheet to give him a classy hideout. Sometimes he just hangs out on top of his crate but he also takes occasional opportunities to run around the pen and get some exercise. We, of course, don't leave him outside unless we're right there.

Otis with his carrier, litter box, and toy ball.

Did someone say Snacky-Snack?

Otis took quite well to the local foliage. He's
always been a voracious leaf-muncher.

Speaking of snacky-snacks, here's a raptor on the prowl.
Take cover little Otis, take cover. This is not a drill!

There's also a bike trail at Wekiwa which is only about 10 miles but it travels through some really beautiful areas. It's mostly single track and mostly pretty well packed but there are also some wider sections comprised of soft sand which makes the 10 miles seem a little longer than it actually is.

All of the trails at Wekiwa are well marked with
color-coded blazes and are designated for specific
use (hiking, biking, equestrian), although a few trails
are multi-use in sections. The day we rode we did not see
any other bikers or people on horseback.

Wendy was over-joyed to find a giant
pine cone. We're going to use it for our
Xmas tree this year.

A good part of the trail was riding on pine needles.

About half-way along the trail, we came across this
giant sinkhole. That's Wendy standing on the other side.

That's me on the other side of the sinkhole.

I, of course, had to climb down into the sinkhole,
despite Wendy's entreaties to the contrary.

Here's two nice shots of the single-track.

-Wendy (most photos) and Gerry (text)


  1. The foliage is so different that it doesn't seem like the United States.

    I'm so glad you guys seem to be having a blast.

    Give Otis a kiss from Betty!

  2. @erica: yes, it's very different. we're having fun. will do on the kiss. thanks for the deposit. check cleared. appreciate it.

  3. Wow! You weren't kidding. Dropping out. Wish to hell I could. Maybe someday. *sigh*

  4. @WandW: Why would I kid? We going for it until we run out of jack or steam or whatever. Who knows? No real plans except to check out some nature.

  5. I've never had a rabbit companion before but after reading about Otis I'm going to look into the possibility.
    Was it difficult riding on the pine needles? I think it would be slippery.

  6. Fun! Thanks for the tale - nice to get out vicariously a bit. The trail-blaze reminded me of a long ago day, riding trails in the (truly excellent) trail complex at Hartford Road Landfill in Victoria (it's actually a really nice bit o' forest) - we chose the trail marked with a skull-and-crossbones spray-painted on a rock, which rock was jammed through a mangled bike helmet. A great, great descent - I can't do six-foot or even one-foot dropoffs any more, so I'm glad I did them then. Thanks for sharing your fun! Memories and pleasant smells and good to see you out there - woods and bicycles, natural combo. One day we will fully integrate our machine nature with our bio-heritage - hah! so i deam. Take care - and thanks for the enjoyable post, you guys!


  7. @Tree: I am sure Wendy will want to comment on Otis too but I can say he's very little trouble, often very amusing, and has an ornery but lovable disposition. The pine needles were not as slippery as you might imagine although we were not doing any high-speed cornering, in which case, I think they would be. Also, it was a thin layer over sand.

    @Old 333: Thanks old. I'm glad the post gave you some pleasure. Check back. We'll be tracking the adventure for another year or so if all continues to go well. We'll be heading west in another two or three weeks.

  8. Oh Tree, bunny rabbits are great pets. They litter train and I can clean up his little night-time hutch in less than 5 minutes. They loved to be petted and will return affection with the sweetest little licks known as bunny kisses. They need to be loved and handled frequently as they are known to die of loneliness if they are just left in a cage all the time. One drawback is their fragility if they are dropped or handled roughly so I would not recommend them for people with children under the age of 10. Our Otis brings us such joy in his own little way and I can't imagine life without him. With good care a dutch dwarf raibbt will live for 12 years!

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