Well yeah, it's just me this week. Sadly, Joy wasn't able to hike this week. Disappointing of course, but I get it. Life happens. Heck I have had to cancel before too. But I decided that rather than skip the photo safari altogether, I would head out on my own this week. And just for a change I thought I would just wander around the island to what's happening. Why not?
And if I was going to entitle the theme of this hike it would be, "Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Boats, Golf Carts, Trucks, Bicycles and a lot of other stuff." Almost like the movie but not really. Well Sort of. Oh I'll just show you:
Planes. There were a lot of them flying but I only thought to get a photo of one of them. Venice Island is small, but apparently it's big enough for a small airport. It was built here in the early 1940's by the US Government to train Pilots for World War II.
Trains. It's not technically on the island but it's just on the other side of the Venice Avenue Bridge. So up and over I went. There are not one, not two, but three drawbridges to access Venice Island. I do love a drawbridge. Yes, they slow down traffic a bit now and again, but they are so darned charming. And on the North East side of this particular drawbridge is the old Venice Train Station. Built in 1927, it was the last stop of the Seaboard Air Line Railway that went south from Tampa, through Sarasota and ended in Venice. In 2003 it became a bus station! But the refurbished building and the surrounding park are all about trains.
Automobiles. Well we are know they are everywhere. And parking is at a premium during High Season on the island so the town as gotten very creative with providing parking spaces. Many of them under the bridges. Well that's dang clever!
Boats. It's a beach town. Of course there are boats. Lots and lots of boats. Boats in the water, boats out of the water, boats at piers at the marina. Boats of all sizes, shapes and colours. Something I enjoy is walking through marinas reading the names of boats. I know, I'm very strange.
Golf Carts. Yes that's what I said. There are street legal golf carts here. Most of them only come out during season but they are legion. While I was walking, I saw so many of them, but I only thought to take a picture of one. But that's fine. It can represent all of them.
Trucks. Most of the trucks here are either delivering something or business trucks. Lots of business trucks. Landscapers, plumbers, construction etc. LOTS of them. It seems as if there is always a lot of construction going on here. Either building a new house (where an old house used to be) or remodeling. Loads of remodeling. Driving down an typical road here on the island is like slalom skiing. But it's just part of the charm. But there are also the trucks that haul boats behind them. And right now, we probably have almost as many of those as the other sorts of trucks. You know what trucks looks like, but here's a few anyway:
Bicycles. One of the things about this adorable little beach town that we have chosen is that they have bike lines and bike trails and bike repair stations all over the place. I love that this is such a bicycle friendly place. Most bicyclers and most automobile drivers are very thoughtful and considerate of one another. But every once in awhile there is a jerk, so you need to keep your eyes and ears peeled at all times. Cars that don't keep their proper distance from the bikes or bicyclers who don't obey the rules of the road. But mostly, it's all good ;)
A Lot of Other Stuff. This is already kind of a long post so I'll just give you a little taste of some of the other things I saw on what turned out to be a Very Long Walk. By the time I was done, it was more than 7 miles. And the day warmed up so I ended up tying the sweater 'round my waist and did various strange things with the scarf to get it out of my way. Still, it was a great day, a great walk and I hope you enjoyed coming along. Next time, Joy and I will be back at it together in a forest preserve taking more nature photos. But this was a nice change of pace. For me anyway.
And just to round this out with a nice circle, beginning to end, here's me toward the end of the hike
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.