About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ocala National Forest - September ATV Trip

In a prior post I talked about our visit to Ocala National Forest and the ATV trails. We had such a good time, we decided to go back for our vacation in September. I was able to find a mobile home close to the trailheads that was available for rental for much less than a hotel would have cost us. Since it had a full kitchen, it made for a very practical and inexpensive vacation since we were able to buy groceries and make most of our meals instead of eating out (although we did splurge on Outback for dinner the first night and Bob Evan's for breakfast the last day...yummy!). The biggest plus about this rental, though, had to be that it was pet friendly, so Doom got to go on vacation with us! The first picture was taken the first day after we had been on the trail for all of 5 minutes. That black thing on the opposite side of the mud hole is a black bear (keep in mind, most Florida wildlife is much smaller in size as compared to other areas of the country...the only things that are larger in Florida are the mosquitoes!). The bear was already in the middle of the trail as we came around a bend so we were quite surprised (we hadn't seen any wildlife our previous trip). We expected the bear to take off into the woods when he saw us, but he actually got quite comfortable and laid down! Just as Dave and I were ready to put the ATVs in reverse and head down another trail, the bear got up and headed into the woods. These tracks in the mud were about 30 miles from where we saw the bear. This trip, we saw lots of tracks...mostly bear and deer.

It was much drier this trip and the trails were very dusty. What made the matter even worse was I had applied sunscreen that morning so the dust was really sticking to me. I knew I wasn't going to be able to ride like this all week, so we made a trip to Walmart so I could buy some T-shirts and bandanas.This is how I dressed for the remainder of the trip when we were riding. The bandana actually worked out really well (I could finally breathe!) because it also covered the bottom of my sunglasses and helped to keep the dirt out of my eyes. Notice the half grin on Dave's face... he called me the "masked marauder" for the rest of the trip. He did, however, give me credit for being such a trooper and finding a way to deal with the situation.

Even with the bandana, this is how I looked after a day on the trails. Dave wouldn't let me look at myself in the mirror before he took this picture. Funny guy! The really funny thing is I believe I made a comment like, "Wow...I didn't really get very dirty"!

A shot of one of the trails while we were taking a break in the shade.

See all the dust behind me? Dave's ATV throws up twice as much 'cause he's got these gnarly new tires that really dig in. Some may ask why I didn't ever get to lead...well, it was by choice. For one, lots of these trails (we covered about 130 miles during the trip) hadn't been ridden in quite some time so there was lots of overgrowth (low hanging branches, bushes, etc) and lots of banana spider webs. I decided I'd rather put up with the dust and dirt than getting smacked in the face with branches and spider webs!

The three of us on our way home!

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