The Big Bend

The temperature for the first time in a few days had gone above 50 degrees before 9:00am; the motorcycle called. The ride to the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge paralleled our previous bike rides for about 15 miles. Before we veered left into the Refuge, we came across some rocks for sale. 

   
The vegetation typically changes when approaching a coast; the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge does this but it has a different feel than a seashore. The tall pines are rooted in water with no visible ground, as the road takes a few more curves the trees have longer trunks, appearing less dense. There are low tidal pools filled with brackish water surrounded by sea grass, low bushes and brush. 

  There are also many types of interesting birds about along with birders with binoculars watching them. Across the parking lot from hiking paths, the Gulf and the lighthouse was a warning sign.  

 The St. Marks Lighthouse is magestic against this backdrop. 

Bike approach
  

   This part of Florida is referred to by the locals as The Big Bend.  If you stand and extend your left arm straight out from your shoulder, it is possible to use yourself as a human map of Florida. Your arm is the pan handle, your body the west or gulf coast. The arc from your chest to your elbow is the big bend. Tallahassee is about 30 miles inland from your armpit.  

 We had lunch near the bike trail head facing out over Apalachee Bay looking towards the Gulf at Riverside Cafe.  

  
Fort San Marcos de Apalache was near by and once again we were alone on a beach in January, this time by Shell Island.  

        

 We are anticipating our journey to the sugary beaches and gem colored waters of The Big Bend and The Emerald Coast over the next few days. 

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