I was thinking of my friend Rob this morning when I decided to jump on my bike for a nice long ride. During last night’s photo tour of Palm Coast, I passed a few canals off of Belle Terre Parkway. I remembered them this morning, along with the fact that Rob is in love with alligators. I thought that, perhaps, today would be the day I actually got to see one of them. If they’re anywhere, the canals would be the first or second place people around here would look.
My bike is ancient. It’s an old Mongoose mountain bike I bought back in college. Through the years, I’ve made some modifications to it, like a new Cloud 9 seat, some extra handlebar grips and a new set of on/off road tires. When I bought the bike, it came with knobby tires that were really annoying to ride on the road with. Once I discovered some plump multi-use tires on Amazon, I had them shipped. This was a while back, when we used to ride on the rail trail in Connecticut.
The story behind the seat is…well, you try riding a bike for any length of time on one of those skinny seats. Nuff said?
The first place I headed was out of our neighborhood and onto Whiteview Parkway. This is a fairly straight and uneventful road. If there’s anything that shouts out, “PLANNED COMMUNITY,” this would be the road.
It has a few benches and garbage cans for those who may be waiting for the bus or something like that. Otherwise, it’s the most boring road you’ve ever seen.
I made a left onto Belle Terre Parkway, rode a bit and stopped to take a few pictures of the first canal I came across. This is the one between Pine Grove Drive and Ponce Deleon Drive. I was hopeful that I would see some gators right off the bat, but all I found was some gross brown slime and a pretty nice walking bridge. These bridges are all over the place around here, which makes for some really good bike riding. And FYI, it seems as though Palm Coast is a real bike riding town. I’ve never seen so many people on bikes in my life (not that I saw more than three today though).
After I stopped at the canal, I pretty much rode with my camera in my hand. I’m sure the cars passing by were wondering what I was doing. I took some pictures of a street corner, an empty lot that is being prepared for house construction, a neighborhood sign and another intersection.
I’ll be honest with you. I almost turned around and headed back after the first canal, but I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t because the coolest and most unexpected part of my little bike ride this morning was right past the second canal. The one that runs alongside Royal Palms Parkway.
I found a place called “Lehigh Trail” that runs for miles parallel to Royal Palms Parkway. It goes both east and west from Belle Terre. I’ve seen this in the past while driving, but I wasn’t aware of how expansive it was. I did a little digging today after I got back and found out that I can ride from our house all the way to the intercoastal by using this trail system. It’s pretty awesome.
I took some photos and a video of my ride. Of course, nothing looks as good in pictures as it does in person, but I do want to express my pleasure with the trail this morning. Now that I know these types of things exist around here, I’m going to start taking more advantage of them.
When I was finished with the trail (I rode a mile or two), I decided to head back. I had already taken way too many photos and was beginning to think I had done too much. I like to handle this blog with baby steps.
On my way back to the house, I cut through a neighborhood that I’ve been through before. There were a couple of houses that I like, so I figured I would get some shots of them. No other reason than that. Well, I guess you can get an idea of what some typical Palm Coast homes look like as well.
Oh Yeah, and in case you were wondering, I never found any gators to take pictures of, so my hunt continues.
Lehigh Trail in Palm Coast, Florida