As we are getting closer to the half marathon, our scheduled training distances are getting father and farther. This means I need to brainstorm areas that I can go walrunning that are comfortable, have some shade or early morning access, and aren’t boring. Jonathan Dickinson is a good option because it’s right by home, there are long hiking loops, and a good variety of landscapes to explore. My foot is is starting to bother me a little, so I have to do more cross training. This is a nice park to take my bicycle. If I cycle from home to the river at the end of the drive-able road, it covers about 15-16 miles there and back again. I had a nice bike ride in the morning to see the sun rising over the park last weekend.
I took a short detour from the main road to look out from the Hobe Mountain Observation tower. It’s so peaceful up here. I’m usually the only one up here, and all of the traffic noises muffle into a quiet buzz with the breeze in my ears. On a high-surf day, you can even hear the ocean from all the way up here.
Deeper in the park, I saw a couple of gators. One was a small guy that I sometimes see in the water trickling under the culvert. The other was a larger baby (at least 6 feet long) just a couple of feet off the bike bath. I didn’t get too close and made sure I was ready to speed away if the turned around quickly.
I got to the river end of the park just in time for the end of the 5k fun run. I guess it must have been more lively an hour earlier, but now there were only a few people lingering behind with bananas and water.
On the way home I saw 5 snakes! A 6-8 foot long xx and 4 black racers along the bike path. I also saw some shy gopher tortoises that ran into their burrows whenever I would lean in to take a picture.
This week, I got out of work early one day when the sun was still going to be out long enough for a good walk. Jeff was at a double-feature new movie release, so I took this opportunity to get in a sunset walk in the park.
After the controlled burns, you can see the Hwy 1 from the path – usually you feel like you’re in a different world despite the traffic 200m away. It won’t be long before this is lush green scrub again.
It was dark by the time I got back to the parking lot. Fortunately no snakes, gators, or bobcats were encountered on the way.