Monday, January 14, 2013


Check out this fashionable look...
On our way down to Miami, we stopped off in St. Cloud at Forever Florida (a nature preserve) for an EcoSafari.  They offer lots of different activities, from horseback riding, to zip lines, to the Cypress Canopy Cycle.  M's not an equestrian type and I'm not a 'throw caution to the wind and jump off a platform 4 stories up in order to hurtle down a piece of wire held only by a caribiner clip and flimsy harness' type.  So we met in the middle and chose the Cypress Canopy Cycle.

Wicked awesome.

I'm usually a bit freaked of heights, but I felt really secure in my harness and bike apparatus. Here's my man doing his best 'pedal-pedal-pedal' rendition.  The bikes are pretty comfy and it's not a strenuous workout, although some parts are a little tough as you pedal uphill.  It was interesting to see the view like birds and squirrels.

Here's a pic of the snazzy pink lichen.  Our guide told us that this lichen only grows in very pure air; it's very sensitive to chemicals, pollution, etc.  So, she told us to breathe deeply whenever we saw it - you know you're getting clean, fresh air!


Can't get that kind of fresh air at home, unfortunately.

We saw some birds, and several mosquitoes... but no alligators!  They have a few on the preserve, but it was pretty warm out, so I wasn't too surprised that we didn't see any.

Something else we thought was interesting... this was our sweet ride out to the 'cycle barn' (the place where we got our fashionable headgear and harnesses).

Nothing says conservation like this re-purposed truck.  It was a pretty decent ride over the bumpy roads.  Except I kept imagining I was in Africa.  I kept waiting for a guide in an Australian accent to mention something about lions.

Back to reality... the guide was saying something about lunch.  Ah yes, lunch...

Back at the lodge where we checked in, they have a lunch counter.  The burgers were REALLY, really good. All grass fed beef raised at the Crescent J ranch, which is part of the nature preserve. Yum.

And deals... Like Florida EcoSafaris on facebook.  They sometimes run special offers or have coupons.  Keep in mind, reservations are required, so call ahead!

Verdict?  Possibly the best $80 we spent this vacation. We appreciated the effort Forever Florida has put into preserving this chunk of the "real" Florida and giving us the chance to see it up close and personal.

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