Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Timucuan Preserve at Fort Caroline

Willie Browne Trail to Timucuan Trail to Spanish Pond Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 30 ft.
Distance: 2.73 mi. (my Forerunner 230)
Elevation Gain: 67 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 11:05am
End Time: 12:18pm

Trip Report:
The State of Florida is certainly not known for its hiking trails. Before our recent family trip, I'm not sure I would have known of anything in the Jacksonville area. Nonetheless, I did my usual research looking for a great option for a family hike and found a gem here in Jacksonville. The Theodore Roosevelt Area of the Timucuan Preserve appears to be well known to locals as an area of beautiful trails and easy access for a morning's workout. We encounter 20-30 people out for their day's walk enjoying the beautiful landscapes and weather.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Inconvenient Thing

If you are among those lucky folks whose family lives close by, consider yourself very blessed.  Our family isn’t so fortunate. My parents live 1300 miles away. My brother lives 800 miles away.  My wife’s folks are 450 miles away. When we want to celebrate the Christmas holiday with family it is a most inconvenient activity.  In fact, all my life this has pretty much been the story. As a child my grandparents were all four hours away from us and we always spent our Christmas breaks on the road.  Now-a-days I’m at least home for Christmas, being a pastor and all. But we’ve had many a Christmas afternoon where we’re hitting the road travelling to see our loved ones. Inconvenient, yes?  But worth it? You bet.

So much of our lives today are rich with activities helping us to fight inconvenience.  Modern plumbing is probably one of the first amenities that comes to mind. The automobile, trains and planes have also come along to help.  We even now have growing amounts of businesses trying to ship you everything known to man, even food, straight to your homes at your quick convenience, soon you won’t have to lift a finger.

Newfound Gap

Trailhead Elevation: 5,045 ft.
Distance: 1.11 mi. (my Forerunner 230)
Elevation Gain: 305 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 8:42am
End Time: 9:09am

Trip Report:
A simple hike today. We're in the midst of a long drive from Michigan down to Florida to visit family over the Christmas holiday. When I was planning out the driving route I saw the option to drive through the Great Smoky mountains was only slightly further. This seemed like a good choice for the way down. I then began to look for hiking options that we could make a quick strike with. Newfound Gap was the obvious choice. We could start up from the road and not leave our primary route for very long. The fact that the Appalachian Trail passed through here also helped.

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