Thursday, September 27, 2012

Green Springs

Green Springs
Green Springs is a natural spring in a park on the north shore of Lake Monroe in Volusia County.  Its light green waters are beautiful to see and it is a peaceful and quiet place to relax.  It is also a hop-skip-jump from the Orlando area and being adjacent to a rail trail, makes for a nice walk in cool weather.  Not that it is too cool yet, but it was 72 degrees an early Sunday morning in late September.  You could smell the sulfur spring when you first got on the trail, just a few yards away from the water.  That was the smell of money before the Civil War when Cornelius Taylor built the first hotel on top of a shell midden on the spring outflow.  The  hotel attracted riverboat tourists in the mid-1800's who were looking for recuperation along Lake Monroe.  Many years earlier the Mayaca and Seminole Indians considered the land sacred because they believed the sulfur water was healing.  Here's the link to the park.  The midden, or shell mound, like many others in Florida was hauled away for road construction and fertilizer production early in the 1900's.
This is my first post-summer (short) hike and I promised a weighed packing list for my day pack.  All weights are ounces except the total.

REI Flash 18 Pack 9.7
Bladder (empty) 5.5
Back Pad 1
First aid kit 3.5
Headlamp 1.5
Hand sanitizer 0.9
Carabiner 0.7
Bug spray 0.8
Pocket knife 0.8
Compass 0.5
Bandanna 0.8
Stuff bag 1.2
Book & pen 3.5
Marmot rain jacket 12.5
Hand Towel 1.4
Wet ones lg 3.3
Water/1 liter  35.2
Breakfast bars x2 2.4
Nuts 0.8

Weight oz/lbs 82.55.25

This is my REI Flash 18 with the reduced item list from a few months ago at a comfortable 5.25 pounds, a lightweight rig for day hikes with lots of room to spare!
It would be hot with an afternoon temperature of 93 degrees forecast this day, but Walt and I were starting the bike trail at 8:30 AM, when it was cool and finished a couple hours later when it was just 86 degrees.  Walt showed up with a smile and we began walking along the East Central Regional Rail Trail (click the name/link) adjacent to the Green Springs park.  The blue sky was framed with a few puffy white clouds.  We paused along the way to check out an Eagle's nest in a tree beside the trail.  The trail is well designed and is setup like the other rail trails in the area with occasional benches, painted traffic lines and lots of signage at road crossings. There was a cool breeze blowing through in a low spot and we took full advantage of it while we caught up on our lives.  We saw a woodpecker flitting from tree to tree.  There was a good amount of bicycle and walker traffic on the trail, and we struck up a good conversation about feeling healthy with a lady who passed us.  The walk back seemed much quicker, probably because we were going downhill.
East Central Regional Rail Trail
The rail trail has a lot of great possibilities where in the future it will reach across the state to both Cocoa in the south and Edgewater to the north, near Daytona Beach when it is finished.
I tried a couple of Walt's "health bars" when we got back to the car.  The pumpkin one was quite good for something made out of desperation.  Walt had made the mistake of reading the label on an energy bar a few weeks back and decided he could make something as good tasting but with no fat and way fewer calories.  Walt is good about stuff like that, he built my road bike (and several others) from tubes and can make just about anything with his hands.  He has made a great start with these "Walt's Bars"!  I brought my breakfast bars home to eat another day.
I'll be back to walk and bicycle this trail and the nearby Springs to Springs trail later this fall.

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