San Felasco Park and Ocala National Forest

Saturday found us driving with a bunch of friends from Bryan’s squadron down to the San Felasco Hammock Park just north of Gainesville, FL. There are miles of great mountain bike trails; some easy and some pretty technical. Zoe enjoyed riding her little foot bike on the trails for a while with a new friend. When she was tired we plopped her into the bike seat on the back of the ‘old steel frame’ mountain bike and I pedaled around on the easy trails. Bryan came along, too. It was so nice to be out biking together again. We saw lots of tame deer as the trails are through a refuge. Bryan went on with the guys to try some of the tougher stuff while Zoe and I took a nap out on our Korean mat. It was in the high 70’s and sunny! In the evening, we ventured off on our own south to the Ocala National Forest. After much driving in the dark we finally found a place to disperse camp, built a little fire for a few marshmallows, and fell asleep. It was a nice night to camp out, and we all slept well. Zoe seems to really love camping and just playing out in the woods. She doesn’t bring toys other than her doggy and a few ponies for in the car; it’s great to see that she is not reliant on her toys for entertainment. A good stick and some mushrooms to smash can occupy her for an hour. In the morning we explored the forest and got really excited about all the kayak and camping potential. It’s about 2.5 hours from Valdosta, which sucks compared to going up Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, but we’ll take what we can get down here. After a quick visit to the Gander Mountain store we drove back toward Gainesville and hiked the Devils Millhouse Sinkhole. It’s, not surprisingly, a giant sinkhole that you can hike down and back up. Zoe enjoyed all the sticks and the stairs; she’s faster hiking up than down. The two of us fell asleep in the car while Bryan drove back home. Arlo spent the weekend at “Canine Clubhouse” and seemed to have a blast with the other dogs.

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