Friday, April 30, 2010

Alpharetta Greenway


"A greenway is a linear park. A greenway is about people and the land they love. It is about conservation. It is about recreation and alternative transportation. It is about environmental education. It is about connecting the quality of life Alpharetta now has with the future plan that will help maintain that quality of life. Our greenway is an investment in the future of Alpharetta that is green, with open spaces for people as well as natural areas for plants and animals."

"The Big Creek Greenway is primarily a 12-foot wide concrete path that meanders through the deciduous woods along Big Creek. The greenway offers an ideal setting for walking, jogging, inline roller blading, and biking. Dirt mountain bike trails are located on the east side of the creek 2/5 mile south of Webb Bridge Road."

From The Big Creek Greenway Trail System on the web

Ventured onto the Greenway this morning and found it to be delightful.  With all the shade and those huge trees giving off oxygen (isn't that what we learned in science class?  Don't trees suck up the carbon dioxide and give off oxygen?) I can see how the Georgia natives cope with hot, humid summers.....that and the abundance of neighborhood pools.

Clocked 18 miles on the Giant this morning.  Hillier than I like or usually ride, but for the most part, not too difficult.  And the creek runs parallel to the path, with a miniwaterfall now and then.  Two small deer crossed the path in front of me, too fast for me to stop and grab the camera, and I'm sorry to say, a black snake a little further on.

(Click photos to enlarge)

Most of the greenway is dappled shade, with a few sunny lengths.

There are bridges to go under....

and over.

A fork or two in the path to choose direction....

And some paths only for those on foot...

And guidelines to follow to preserve the greenway for years to come.

All in all, quite a nice find for someone like me who was afraid all of northeast Atlanta was going to be too hilly to make biking pleasant.  I'm happily surprised!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goodbye, Florida

It's my last night in Sandestin and I'm all packed.  I leave tomorrow morning.  I've taken a hot shower to ease my aching back from lifting all my stuff and smashing it into every conceivable space in my car and trunk, and just popped three Advil to boot.

When I awake, I'll just shower and dress and make a little breakfast with some leftover food I still have.  Then I'll put the few remaining things into the car, bungee the bike onto the bike rack, start the dishwasher for the rental agency and put the trash on the curb and go. 

But I don't want to.

This last month has been perfect weather...sunny 70's...only two days of humidity.  I'll miss the biking around here;  I'll miss sitting at the pool reading and people-watching;  I'll miss the beach and sand and free Wednesday night music concerts and the Village.  I'll miss the natural beauty and peacefulness of Sandestin and the beaches and nature trails;  I'll miss all the water, water, water everywhere.

(click photos to enlarge)

So goodbye beautiful sand and Gulf, stay soft and white and emerald....

Goodbye morning sun out my front door...


Goodbye Rum Runners and Baytowne Wharf....

Goodbye, boats and marina at the Village....

Goodbye friendly gate guards....

Goodbye AJ's, keep the bands playin'....

Goodbye, Pompano Joe's....

Goodbye, Donut Hole....

And goodbye everything I've come to love about this area.  I can't wait to get back next season.

Last Day in Paradise

It was my last day to bike my 20 miles, last breakfast at Another Broken Egg, last drive through the resort and down Scenic 98 along the Gulf, and last day to sit at the pool and read and people-watch.  It was just me and "the guys" (whoever they were) this afternoon.

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My little shaded corner.

Pond behind my pool.

One of the neighborhood pools in Sandestin...with golf course and bay beyond.

One of the four golf courses in Sandestin and the bay beyond it.

The fountain sends me a rainbow as goodbye!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Twenty Mile Trek

My first 20 mile round trip trek took me along Scenic 98 which runs by the Gulf and all the beaches.  Seasoned cyclists may scoff at my starting sojourns (bear with me, I'm in an alliteration mood) but I'm pretty proud of my progress.  At 60, I'm working my way up and hope to someday join one of those biking tour vacations, during which the group cycles 35+ miles a day (forget the 60, I'll never get there!)

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Path after leaving Scenic 98

Entering Henderson Beach State Park

The End of a Beautiful Day

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Sunsets have shifted since I first arrived in they are behind this condo building on the bay behind my rental.

Have Bike, Will Boogie

My time here is almost at its end and I still haven't checked out all there is in the area.  But that's okay.  More new stuff to discover when I return next season.

I did find a few more places to bike this past week, though.  And the weather has been gorgeous -- sunny 70's and only two days of humidity for a month!

I even got up to 20 miles on my rides finally, although most days I bike between 10-15.  Here are some new routes I found:

(Click photos to enlarge)

Entrance to Topsail Preserve

Start of the bike trail

The lake at the end of one bike path...with dunes and Gulf in distance.

Rest stops along the path every so often.

Unlocked bikes everywhere...a refreshing sight!

This Chicago girl's bike...note the heavy-duty lock.

Bike path on left, birding path on right.

Boating on the Gulf beyond the dunes.

Topsail has won awards for its pristine condition.

Stopping at the beach

Love the lineup of shoes!

The fluffiest, sugar-white sand and emerald-green/azure blue waters anywhere!

Easy to find private spots here.

Looking back toward bike/walking path.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weekend Wonderful

Ok, I'm back to post photos of the weekend with my son and granddaughter. 

I won't do any "narrating," as it is so annoying when friends go through a stack of photos with you, slowing your viewing pace down by having to comment on every single one, what day of the trip it was, who is in the shot, where they are, what they ate, why they ate it, how they ate it, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

Most of the photos are self-explanatory or you don't really give a hoot about how they met the couple from Idaho or what they bought shopping or where they ended up eating the best buffet ever.  If you were curious about something in the picture, you'd ask!  You would happily view the photos if they'd let you just view them.  And shut up.

So I'm shutting up.

(Click to enlarge)

At Miramar Beach

At Baytowne Wharf (Sandestin's Village)

Pools and Spas

Tree houses, nature trail, and playgrounds

(Daddies like them, too!)


Baby Alligators