Today was a bit of an adventure. I went biking at River Bend Park in Jupiter, FL. I was a bit disappointed at first – having driven 40+ minutes to arrive, I found the whole bike trail was going to take me less than 20 minutes to circumnavigate. That’s a bummer! Well, I got off my bike over two hours later. Had a bit of an off-road experience where I hoofed it, sans horse, on the horse-trail. I felt a little nervous out there and was going to turn around from what felt to be very isolated. I was scared of reptile encounters too. I’d heard a rattler and a gator. That was enough. Just as I had the thought to turn around and find my way out of there, a zippy, huge, red-piliated wood pecker flew by me ever so fast, as if to summon me onward. Okay. I’ll follow you.
Those were my first favorite birds here. Still are, I guess. I took it as a go, and did not turn back. Onward I went, pedaling and praying, convincing myself Jesus was with me and I’d likely not die or nothing bad was going to happen, I was alright, realizing simultaneously that I am not a fan of the fear factor as adventures go. Wondered too about the pictures of the horseshoes I took, calling them “my lucky trail!” Hmmmm.
The mud eventually got too thick to ride through at one point, and I was feeling panicky, but positive. There was some higher ground above me. Not wanting to deal with the mud, nor of the vision I was having of trying to beat off a gator with my bike, I was seeking higher ground. I trekked through a very slim forest of pines hoping not to hit a rattler, and hit the high road, luckily snake free. Gators were less likely to be there too! I saw some pretty butterflies there, and another red-piliated woodie, this time, smaller. It flew away before I could get a photo.
I found myself on the back side of some housing area. I pressed on, hopeful, despite realizing I was way east of my starting point. At least I knew that much. I hoped too, and figured, that, as I’d seen previously on that crappy little trail, there were paths for horses that veered off. I was just hoping to encounter another one of those close to my starting point.
Well, I got to the end of my high road, and it only veered off down to the low road to eventually come to a closing of the whole path. Crap! Well, this didn’t make sense. What about my little birds and butterflies summoning me forward? I got some water and contemplated my ride. Guess I’d just have to go back. I was nervous a little. I began to proceed and something with my back happened delaying me. Making me question my path forward is what it did – I turned around and considered that I must be perhaps still on the park property. The sign rang in my head, trail closed. Well, then there must be a connection point somewhere, I just couldn’t see it from where I was – it looked like all housing development and water.
I turned around and went through the narrow area where the chain was off, and just around the corner was a huge stretch of water and a very large, open, stretch of path. Yah! I’d made it…somewhere. I had to be able to connect to the park. I saw people eventually and as I rode further, and saw up to my right the opening to the park where the bike trails were back in the park, proper.
I went in there for just a moment, just to confirm that yes, that was the park. I turned around and went to see where the other open paths took me, also intrigued by the matting on which all these white and grey herons were chillin together next to this neat old, rusty bridge. I checked them out awhile, took some photos and rode on over the bridge and along the water way east then west. I turned around, rested a moment and got some inspiration for student work from the information I’d read up about where I was, finished my water, and headed back, deciding to stop and take some photographs which I would use in my class. While watching the birds, I saw this peculiar creature from the water popping up and down like a dolphin, but small, and with dual fins – it was very weird. Also, I saw some turtles too. It was good. I finally rode off and headed back for the bike trails!
Finally, I was back on the right path, but still had no idea where I was, but I knew I’d get back with no problem – all paths were marked with trails and exit signs, so I was all set. I didn’t want to leave just yet so pedaled around some more. I wasn’t pedaling but for a few minutes, if that, and then got wowed. I saw just up beyond me a couple of deer. I stopped about 8 – 10 feet from them. We stared at each other intently. My intention was to merely take it there beauty while I could and be awed by their presence. Me and one of the deer had a great moment together – long eye contact. Their eyes are like smooth, big, diamonds, sparkley, pure. Uninterested in holding my gaze, it twitched it’s ear and moved on to graze on some more vegetation. Everything about deer is smooth and soft. I love them. Behind that deer was another. Then, a mama came out. Then, the best of all, and unexpected, a buck followed from behind. I was so wowed there! It was so beautiful.
Fortunate me, yes, on the lucky trail, I came across a whole family of four deer! I was so pleased!! I took what shots I could as my camera was full and they’d moved away eventually, but I got some good shots. I will always remember that visually!!
What a finale for me!! They were all so beautiful. I loved that they were a family all together, grazing and enjoying there day together. So sweet!!
I rode on from there very grateful. I explored the different trails for another 20 – 30 minutes. Turns out there were a lot of trails – I was on the wrong path originally having been diverted by the construction I was just riding around the canoe and picnic area at first. Guess I just needed to get on the wrong path to find the right one, abating my disappointment of the trails in the park, too. They were great it turned out, and the visuals!!
Well, that was it, my day at the park. I got off my bike over two hours later – legs feeling the ride. I was pleased to be so sore and…dirty – I’ve never been so dirty from riding a bike before! I guess that’s what off-roading does. That’s okay. I will happily take that adventure again, but no horse trails next time, just bikes. Just me and my bike, my best date I have these days!