I gave in to temptation yesterday…
I hadn’t planned to ride yesterday because I was supposed to make up my leg workout (which I skipped on Monday to go riding). When I woke up yesterday morning and went out back with Loki the cool air instantly made me crave the trails. I tried to put it out of my mind, but before I knew it was packing my Camelbak and loading my bike into the truck. I just couldn’t help myself. 😮
I guess I’m not working my legs this week. Well, at least not in the gym…
I decided to go to Wekiwa, but I was in the mood to explore instead of riding my usual trails. I started from a different trailhead than usual, and I went on some trails I’d not been on before. Some of them were basically sandy fireroads, but I enjoyed the cardio workout and the challenge of keeping my bike under control as it slid around underneath of me.
I found a narrow trail designated for equestrian use, and I decided to check it out. I could tell no one had used the trail that day because I caught a few spider webs that were built across the trail. I think my ride at Rock Springs Run State Preserve a couple of weeks ago completely desensitized me to Golden Silk Orb Weavers crawling on me, because I didn’t make any effort to remove them from my body.
The horse trail was actually pretty cool. There were some rooty sections, a bridge, a small lake, some mud and large area in which a controlled burn had recently been done. It’s always fun to check out new sights and new trails!
At one point I found my way all the way over at my usual trails, so I did a fast blast around those, too. That was fun, and a great workout!
I’d never explored the area around the Sand Lake trailhead in detail, so yesterday I decided to venture out off the main trail. One of the things I really wanted to see was Sand Lake, and I’m glad I did–it was beautiful! There was a sign warning of alligators and, while I didn’t actually see an alligator, I’m pretty sure I startled one as I approached on my bike because there was a huge splash in the water as I pulled up to the shore.
I made my way around the entire lake, stopping frequently to look for wildlife and check out the view. At one point I came across another pit viper, this one even more deadly than the Dusky Pygmy rattlesnakes I encountered at Rock Springs Run a couple of weeks ago. When I saw the snake it was just a foot or two in front of me, and I instantly knew what it was: a Water Moccasin (also known as a Cottonmouth).
Living most of my life in the south I’ve certainly seen Cottonmouths in the wild before. This is one snake you definitely do not want to mess with. They are not as aggressive as lore has it, but they will attack without hesitation if they feel threatened. This one was in no hurry to move away from me. He sat and looked at me as I prepared to take a photograph, and then slowly moved away. If I’d attempted to come any closer he certainly would have raised up to show his intimidating fangs and “cotton” mouth; such a pose would have made an impressive photograph, but I’m not willing to risk a deadly bite to get that shot.
I wound up doing 22.2 miles yesterday, which brings my two day total miles (all off-road) to 48.4 miles. I don’t think I’ve ever done 100+ dirt trail miles in one week before. Maybe that will be the second record I break this week…
Thanks for reading–have a great day! 🙂