So glad we didn't leave Ocala yet! The transition to Vacation mode is complete, plans are still flexible, and I'm in no hurry to go anywhere.
Today's new schedule was to head south. The map didn't have as much variety shown, but there were some specific spots to check out. First on the list was Emeralda Island Road. We were headed south and missed the first turn. But we peeled off CR 452 onto Felkins roads and wound our way back over. What a neat little area!
I had to turn around to get this picture. Those are cows grazing in the background. One of the most beautiful pastures I've seen, looked like someones front lawn.
And then, just back around the corner from there, we find these alpaca's. At least I think they're alpaca's... Seemed small for llama's.
My family worked cattle long ago - and these certainly weren't cattle!
After our experiences trying to get pictures of the horses, I was worried about spooking them with the bikes. But when the wife pulled up along side the road they just started heading right over! Much more friendly than the horses have been.
This is the view from the north end of Emeralda Island Rd. Being able to see a "hill" in Florida is a fairly rare thing and I had to get a picture of this.
This should be just outside of Eustis, I believe along 452 and fairly sure it's Marsh Memorial Park.
Many folks have things they always get pictures of, something they keep an eye out for. Libraries have always attracted me, the smaller the better. This library in Umatilla is the first one I've seen with a railroad car out front! I thought that was pretty cool.
We also filled up the Maggies with gas in Umatilla. I have a lot of pictures of the bikes at gas stations, just not very good ones and have left them out of the report. While filling up, the clouds drifting by made this an interesting picture to me.
The next set of pictures were all taken at the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce.
We had asked a local about a park to have lunch at and were referred to the new county park built just outside of town. You've seen these new parks, they are all built using the same formula. Step 1 - bulldoze every tree within 2 miles. Step 2 - add 14 soccer fields, 17 baseball diamonds, 1 small kids playground, 0 picnic tables!!
If there was a picnic table there, I missed it. It just felt so sterile and unwelcoming that I was glad to get out of there.
I remembered that the Chamber had some picnic tables out front though, so we headed back there to have lunch.
Our only black bear sighting during the week.
A colorful flower.
Some decorations hanging over the skatepark area. Kids...
Wish I'd have had a board, the place was completely empty and it looked like some fun could be had.
The top of the water fountain.
This was a great stop. A little noisier than some, being right on the main road, but much prettier and cozier than the other "new" park.
The view from the parking lot toward the picnic table.
After enjoying taking the pictures, we headed on back to home. You may have noticed in the pictures from Wednesday, heavy dew on the wife's gas tank as we were loading up the trash bags. I kept the bikes covered at night, that dew formed in just the time it took us to tie the bags down and get going.
Being that the covers were so wet, I'd taken to hanging them on the fence each morning. The gates were locked up and I was a little concerned about them blowing over to the other side. Some clothespins would have been handy. Sure enough, when we got back the cover had slipped over to the other side of the fence! I wrapped some tape around the strap hook, with the sticky side facing out, and went fishing. Success!
We settled in for another restful evening and the wife cooked up some chicken/corn chili. It was fantastic! A little extra sharp white cheddar to mix in, some lime tortilla chips and Blue Sky root beer.
So wonderfully tasty...
Well, we reviewed the schedule and plans one more time. Should we head home on Friday? No, way! I usually like to be home for a day or so before going back into work. Not this time. We were going to drag this out...
Friday's route then? Back to the west coast and find 494 that the neighbor recommended when we first got here.