Open Road Press

A Simpler Existence July 11

Our journey inland today brought with it a marked change to the senses, but not new weather patterns. We enjoyed little-traveled roads though rural areas. Gone was the traffic speeding its way to locations too far away. Instead, we were treated to a multitude of orange groves, cattle grazing in the hot weather, a bizarre looking beast of burden (buffalo or ox?),

Please identify this animal!

white-tailed deer bouncing into some brush, and spindly-legged egrets navigating through broad fields. We even saw many trees that weren’t palm trees. Buzzards congregated for a meal dished up on the centerline: a dead armadillo in the roadkill diner. As we cycled, the constant sounds of locusts filled the air. Scratching a green peel of an unripened orange revealed that unforgetable smell.

Orange grove

Debbie and I considered the contrast from yesterday to today. Tourists and second-home owners were left behind. We were struck by how calm and peaceful–in fact nearly abandoned–the beautiful countryside has become. There is value in serenity, despite what our fast-paced society and bustling cities tell us. We thought people might enjoy and benefit from a simpler existence working the land.

A man stopped roadside today and offered up two bottles of cold water and fresh conversation. We learned about his bicycle tours across Florida, “coast to coast” as he called them. He also provided a primer on Florida weather.

An earlier start to the day suggested more mileage, but we ended the day early after enduring wet riding conditions for several miles. These rain clouds come with a silver lining, however, because they cool down the hot weather. Tipping the balance of ending early was the prospect of thundershowers during what would have been a forty-mile ride to the next motel down the road. We thought better of it and chose to rest up for an even earlier start tomorrow.


7 thoughts on “A Simpler Existence July 11

  1. Terri Henry

    Beautiful country! I wish you both well and safe travels. I will vicariously live through you both for awhile. 🙂

    God bless,

  2. Chris Brown

    Those Florida thunderstorms can be quite ominous – to say the least. They come quick and usually leave quick too. I’m sorry you got stuck in a long one! Some people would call that meeting with a girl from Framingham a coincidence. We know better!
    Thanks for sending pictures with the words – beautiful country.
    God Bless you both with good health and safe travel. I’ll continue to follow along.

  3. Dave Trapp

    Off the beaten path, looks nice! Let us know your route if you can so we can map it online and take lots of pics—they are worth a thousand words! Good pedaling!

  4. Melinda Shults

    I think that strange animal is a water buffalo! Either that, or a figment …
    Happy trails, Tim & Deb! We’re rooting for you!

  5. Chuck Shults

    Zee bull ees Brahma or Brahman from India!

    The Brahman or Brahma is a breed of Zebu cattle, later exported from India to the rest of the world. The main breeds used were Kankrej, Gujarat, Nelore or Ongole and the Gir or Gyr cattle. It is named for the sacred cow of Hinduism.

    1. Jenn Aasland

      wow dad, did you learn that from Christian? 🙂 hahaha
      KUDOS to you Tim and Debbie, I am catching up here in Oslo Norway as we head to Iceland tomorrow. We are using boring old aircraft transportation…

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