Airstream Travels

There’s just so much out there…..

Santos Campground

This was a weekend for just ‘da boys’. Shiloh, Pepper and I spent a day and a night at the Santos campground. This is also a part of the Florida Greenway, a large swath of land that was to be a barge canal across Florida back in the day. Refer to my post on Rodman Dam to get more background. Essentially someone along the line decided that since the canal idea was kaput it would be a good idea to just leave the land the way it was. It would create a large undeveloped area for future generations. Yeah, like who would want to do that; didn’t they realize how many strip malls we could fit in there? Actually, as Wikipedia so aptly puts it; “Opponents subsequently campaigned against the canal on environmental grounds, and the project stopped again in January 1971. It was officially cancelled in 1991. The right of way was turned over to the state and became the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, named in honor of the woman who led opposition to the canal. Carr had died the prior year, age 82.”

Okay, now that your cut and paste history lesson is through let me get back to talking about me….. The Santos section is just South of Ocala, less than 20 minutes from home. They have developed a mountain bike complex here that isn’t to be believed. It’s the best kept secret there is. Well, maybe not a total secret. People come from all over the Southeast to bike the 30 miles of trail through the woods. There was a large event going on here this weekend but when I got here they were all clearing out so I had the place almost to myself.

Now as most people know Florida is flat. Even if you don’t live here you know we are short a mountain range but here at Santos you can actually MOUNTAIN bike. Like this guy.

Good thing he has a helmet.

That isn’t me and I didn’t take the picture but kudos to the blog I snagged it from. Santos was developed around a rock quarry so you get to jump your bike off cliffs and careen down hills that would make any Colorado biker jealous. The trails through the woods are labeled by color, choose your poison and make sure your health insurance is up to date if you choose the red trails. As the signs says, two way traffic. You can see by the trails that policy can be problematic at times. Some of the turns are very sharp and you just can’t see around until you get there. Everyone wears bright colored clothes and helmets so it’s all good. These are the yellow trails that I rode. No red for me.

Hmmm....

Practice (show off) area.

Did I say it was muddy?

The campground is fantastic. Small and cozy, quiet and new. We checked in Sunday afternoon, set up, then started listening to the rain bounce off the roof. It was supposed to be clear by the afternoon but didn’t really clear until after 5:00 PM. Since I have ridden here may times before I decided I’d rather just watch the race on TV instead of cover myself with 62 degree mud on the trail. I cranked up the antennae and cracked open a beer.

Rabbit ears up, watching the race on a rainy day.

These sites are HUGE.

No barking dogs heard from here.

Bathhouse.

As you can see we were tucked into the woods, site 18. It’s at the very end of the line next to the woods. Far away from everyone else – by design. When I was checking in, Shiloh and Pepper were how shall I say….. vocal. Yeah, REALLY vocal and could be heard clearly from the truck even with the windows up. They’ve figured out that when LuLu takes to the road it means new places to sniff and explore so they go nuts. Can’t blame them though. What more does a dog really want. They calmed down when we got parked and set up and I had the best spot in the house so thanks guys.

The next morning I hit the trails but made sure not to be the first out. Let someone else clear the cobwebs across the trail. I stuck to the yellow and took it easy. The rain had stopped but the mud remained. I ran into a few other people but not many. All and all it was a good ride and Ill definitely be back for a day trip soon. By Monday afternoon LuLu was back in the driveway but stay tuned. Things are progressing. Big yard sales are coming. Property is being shed, loads lightened.

Oh, did I mention the whole trip cost me all of $22.00 (for the campsite.)   The bike trails are free.

Til next time.

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March 12, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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