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You’re Not in Minnesnowta, Terri; A Unique Landbridge; A Horse by Any Other Name; SPOT, Where is Ty?

After a day of much-needed rain, Suzanne and I got to take our good friend Terri of the Frozen North for a hike on the Cross-Florida Greenway. We started at the Landbridge Trailhead on a cool, sunny day typical of central Florida in January. It was a Saturday, and there were actually more people out enjoying Nature than we had seen in all of our previous visits combined, about a dozen other hikers on the orange-blazed Florida Trail and a whole herd of horses and riders on nearby equestrian trails. I convinced Terri that she didn’t need her snowshoes, ice axe and Arctic parka, as the day promised temperatures in the low 70s, rather than the 70 below she was used to back in Minnesnowta. We found an accommodating tree branch on which to balance (somewhat precariously) my camera, and the self-timer took this slightly un-level image of the Three Musketeers… 

We crossed I-75, which was just a tad noisy. We apologized for the change from the silence of the forest, but Terri said, “All I hear is a rushing river and maybe a waterfall…” (Now that’s positive attitude!) The trail goes over the Interstate on a concrete overpass landscaped with saw palmetto, Chickasaw plum, rusty lyonia and yellow hawthorn, and at one end are two infra-red cameras that monitor deer, bear and even panther activity; large mammals often use the overpass to get from bed-downs to feeding areas. 

After an hour of hiking, we took a snack break (Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix bars, My Lovely Bride’s favorite) on the luxuriously comfortable Tyvek sheets Your Humble Correspondent had thoughtfully packed in. (At least we didn’t get our shorts full of dirt…) Then it was another hour and change along a side loop (blue-blazed trail) back to the trailhead, for a quite respectable five miler. 

The access road to the trailhead, County Road 475A, runs past several horse farms, some huge and ritzy, others more modest. According to the Ocala Star-Banner, one of the former, Good Chance Farm, is a thoroughbred training facility owned by the owner of the Hialeah Park Race Track. I thought about asking for a tour, but when I saw the sign for “Service Entrance”, I thought better of it…

Just down the road is a more homey-looking place, the Fat Chance Farm, whose propietors raise jumpers… that means, I think, horses that jump, rather than just run… as you can see, I am not very knowledgeable about horses, other than knowing (from personal experience) that one does not give a mean horse a second opportunity to kick you in the knee… (yes, Clifford, I’m talking about you). Even hippophiles could expiscate taking a scunner on a horse like Clifford. (I am cock-a-hoop to Beth and Mike Pasakarnis for their caritative gift of The Thinker’s Thesaurus, Sophisticated Alternatives to Common Words, which vouchsafed me trenchant afflatus for the prevenient verbomania. Regular readers may be less appreciative of Mike and Beth’s generosity…)

Finally, I have to relate the following sad, but true, story. Suzanne had seconded the recommendation of My Lovely Daughter Elisabeth to have me procure a SPOT emergency locator beacon for my upcoming trip into the wilderness. I fought the idea, saying that I had done perfectly well this far in my life without an electronic “Help Me” device. Being reminded that I am getting longer in the tooth didn’t set well, and “Dad, we have to know where to look for the body if you don’t come out after a week” was even less well received. But after ordering a SPOT beacon to get the two women in my life off my back, I was reminded by My Lovely Bride that, “And oh by the way, it has a feature that can let us track you while you are hiking… and if it shows you in the Mesa, Arizona, ‘Hooters’, instead of on a mountain, you’re in deep trouble!” 


  • Anonymous
    Posted January 20, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Ty, take your "Help Me" and attach it to a Desert Big Horn Sheep (Ovis Canadenis Nelson) and let them track you. Wow!!! Look at Ty climb those mountains.


  • Ty and Suzanne Giesemann
    Posted January 20, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Dale, I love it! Suzanne was somewhat less enthusiastic. 😉 Cheers, Ty


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