Friday, April 29, 2011 – Fantastic Ride Day at General Coffee State Park

Wow! What a fabulous day! It started out cool after a night of perfect sleeping weather, and the morning was absolutely gorgeous (what I like to call a Tai Chi morning, because it just screams for a group of people performing Tai Chi exercises in the sun!), although we didn’t crawl out of bed until almost 10:00. After a hearty (diet) breakfast of two eggs, toast and bacon, we saddled up and got on the trail about 12:45. What a great trail! Well marked, followed the map (although the Pink trail is new, so the woman at the ranger station just penciled it in for us), wandering through absolutely spectacular Southern forest. It was a mix of deciduous trees like sassafras, sub-tropical scrub palms, an occasional cacti, and pine trees so tall they were well above 100-150 feet over our heads. Saw a deer or two, and a turtle crossed the trail in front of us at one point as well. The footing was perfect, hard sand, some with a layer of pine needles, no rocks of any kind. At a walk we enjoyed the utter beauty of the trail, at trots we enjoyed the great footing, and at canters (and yes, even a gallop at one point), the horses seemed to enjoy the ride as much as we did. A fantastic ride all around! We took the orange River trail all the way to the end and back, about 10 miles round trip, and were gone a bit less than three hours. Wonderful day, exactly the kind of day we live for!

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