Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Legacy Trail

Thursday January 26, 2012
Oscar Scherer State Park Site #95

Another Fine Morning begins.

I want to get outside first thing and go for a walk. 
Not a “power walk”, did that yesterday.   Just a walk walk.

So I walk around the campground looking at possible sites
I might want to sign up for next year.

I walk up to the Nature Center to see
if the Vegetable man is there.

Nope, Not Yet.

I see the pancake breakfast has just started.
Pancakes and sausage and coffee.  $2.00


The Friends of Oscar Scherer do this every
week on Thursday morning from 8 to 10am.
They also man the Nature Center from 10 to 3:00
every day and have many other activities and events.
It is quite a big group of dedicated volunteers
who also help out the park in many
other maintenance type ways as well.

All righty, vegetables I can walk or bike to.

The Vegetable man arrives and we buy
strawberries and oranges and tangerines and tomatoes
and beets and bread and I can’t remember what else.
It’s great to have him come right to the park and
sell the local Amish community’s things.
Saves us the time and gas of going out to find them.
And I hate to drive so this is really Terrific.


We set off to pedal the Legacy Trail

After the big  shopping trip we decide to pack a lunch
and take the bikes out  for a spin on the Legacy Trial
which runs beside the park. 

It is a Rails to Trails bike path totaling more than 10 miles in length.
The trail runs from just south of the city of Sarasota
to Venice following the former CSX railroad corridor.

We set out to  do the section from the park to the
historic Venice train depot, have lunch, and come back.

We ride through the scrub forest on both sides
of the trail.  Neither of us thinks to get a
picture of the other riding along.

In a few miles we come to the first well marked
street crossing.  Across we go and back into the trees.


There’s a Mountain to Climb in Osprey Florida.

Up ahead we see the  mountain bridge over a serious
highway.   WOW!  You can go around but
we take the challenge and both go over in a
LOW gear.


It’s totally enclosed at the top. 


We arrive!

On the other side of the bridge is the town of Venice
and shortly the train station.

We notice the modern AC attached to the
caboose office.


The station is beautiful.

We learn all about it from the
historic sign just outside.

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A Mediterranean design, it  was built in 1927,
and was the last stop on the Seaboard Air Line Railway
which ran from Richmond Virginia to Sarasota and then Venice.
Until passenger trains quit running, in 1971,
the train station was the arrival point for people
interested in buying property in the new town
being developed by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers;
and later, the cadets of the Kentucky Military Institute,
arriving around Christmas to stay until nearly Easter.
The last train to use the station, belonged to Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus,
which made its winter home in Venice from 1960
until the train tracks were no longer usable in 1992.

The sun is warm the skies are blue.

We look the station and surrounds over carefully.
No place calls out as a lunch spot.
So we hop on the bikes and turn back to
the trail.



Along the way we see this gopher tortoise

also looking for lunch.


After we’ve ridden about half way back we
remember there was a park just off to the right.
In short order we see it and pull it to check it out.
It not only has a nice bench overlooking the pond
for our lunch, but also a community compost
and garden.
Just look at all the vegetables growing in January!


You can see the bikers on the trail in the distance
behind our picnic bench.

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After lunch we watch this group of what
I think are hooded mergansers.  Hope
Judy will let me know if I’m incorrect. 



And this fellow skulking in the grasses


Back on the trail we soon come to the bike trail/park intersection

There must be some mighty hefty bikers here.

As we cross the bridge just before the
side trail into the park, David notices this weight limit sign.



I see it's only 3:00 when get back.

I decide it’s time to get out on the water.

But that story will have to wait for another blog on another day.

Beach Entertainment

Wednesday January 25, 2012
Oscar Scherer State Park Site #95

It’s moving day again!

One of the unfortunate parts of not making
reservations or not making them early enough
is that you often can’t stay as long as you’d like
in Florida State Parks.

I want to stay a week at Oscar Scherer but
the folks at the entrance don’t do any
reservations at all.  Everything is done at
Reserve America.   So all they can say is
”check on line”.

Therefore, I end up with two days in site 24
and 2 days in site 95 and despite checking
every single day for openings for Friday and
Saturday, no luck.  
Guess it will be 4 days only until next year.

So this morning we move around the corner
to a site on the water.
Hoo Ray!!!

We pull Winnona nose in to give her a good view
of the water not the road.

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Can you see David’s red kayak beyond the picnic table?

It’s  our own private South Creek kayak put in!

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Because we only have to move from site A to Site B, we can
just ride the bikes down and tow the kayaks.
But because we have to wait for the folks in site 95
to leave their site (check out 1:00), we aren’t
completely moved until almost 2:00.

But that is in time to grab some lunch and
head off to Venice Beach!

Winnona is just down the road from the beach!

Remember this is Venice Beach Florida not California.
And lucky for me.
Here there are no parking meters, all public parking
and the beach is lovely and not too crowded.


I can see the shells making the sand.
I’ve never walked on a shell beach before.
It seems sacrilegious.  I want to watch my step.
But I can’t.  There is no where else to step.

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So I just sit down,
for a little bit.


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But soon I can’t resist.
I HAVE to put my feet in that Gulf water in JANUARY!!


I walk back wondering, is David looking at Dolphins??  

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Such glorious days make my heart sing.

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We are entertained for a while by the 4 Marx Brothers.


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Zeppo & Harpo
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They were joined by their
clown friend -  the black skimmer.


And then we hear the drum.
Just one, just faintly.
But soon, more, and louder.

We turn around to see who it is and
find a circle of people and drums.
How did they all slip in behind us?
I go up to take a look.


There are drummers of all kinds

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Take note golfers, if the game gets too expensive…..

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and show offs doing I’m not sure what

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and belly dancers


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They are drumming down the sun!


They drum an dance for well over an hour
and then A big cheer and lots of clapping start as it
slips beneath the horizon.

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Wonder what they do on the Solstices and Equinoxes?
I guess I’ll just have to come back and find out.
But next time I’ll make a LONG reservation so I don’t have
to move first.


Moving on to Oscar Scherer

Monday January 23, 2012
Oscar Scherer State Park   Site 24


This is definitely my kind of move.

We take our time preparing for our big move today.

I go out power walking this morning
to the strains of Nancy Mills’
4.0 miles an hour walking music.  
Thanks Nancy.

Check out time is 1:00.  We leave at 12:30
for our 30 mile drive from Myakka State Park
Southeast to Oscar Scherer State Park.  


Those who read this blog, even 
occasionally, have probably heard me lament
over having to drive more than about 125 miles a
day.  So you know I am thrilled with this trip.


A hop, skip and a jump and here we are!

Oscar Scherer is a wonderful oasis in
the midst of a rapidly developing south Florida
gulf coast.

It has my kind of sites.



After getting minimally set up in site 24
(read that water, electric, level)
we set out to
take a walk on the South Creek Trail.


On the way to the trail head ,
we pass the “swimming hole”


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Alligator sign


But I don’t see even one of either species swimming.


The South Creek Trail is a lovely, leisurely
afternoon stroll.

Just what you want after a LONG drive.
The winding path goes through the scrub forest
and along the river.  There are bridges and overlooks.

There are benches with beautiful views for quiet listening






There are huggable pines.


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We come across the boat dock and interesting
kayak storage  racks.   I wonder if the state had
some left over materials and was looking for
a new use for them.  David is looking too.

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The canoe rack is easier to figure out.
An Eagle Scout (and friends no doubt) had taken
a piece of abandoned railroad track and set it up.
No small job me thinks.

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This is the only guy we see all afternoon
and he makes not a sound.
Maybe tomorrow
we’ll see the scrub jay for which the park is noted.


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I do so love the quiet of Nature’s forests and streams.

The walk is a wonderful introduction to this park.
I think I’m going to like it here.