Getting to know the greenway in Georgia and Florida

by Dennis Markatos-Soriano

After biking and hiking along our East Coast Greenway route in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, DC, and North Carolina – I’m glad to now be getting down to explore far southern sections in Florida. Over the next several days, I will be biking with over 15 East Coast Greenway Alliance volunteers and donors along the St. Johns River to Sea Loop from Palatka to St. Augustine’s to Titusville then back up.

I’m excited to see the natural beauty of the area, and am delighted to enjoy the warmer weather while frosts and crisp days begin to hit my home base in Manhattan. Here at the hotel, I’m looking out across the St. Johns River this evening at the palm trees – dressed in my shorts and a t-shirt.

After an energizing weekend in Savannah where our organization designated 41 new miles of trail, I’m excited to enjoy a well-developed stretch along our route that is becoming a tourist destination and a boon to the local economy here in northern Florida.

My old college car (a 1990 Toyota Camry with 233,000 miles) was gracious enough to cooperate with the trip from Savannah to Palatka. It brought ECGA board member Beth Brody, her sister Bea Rago, and myself to the beginning of a 260-mile bike ride throughout this region. We enjoyed some delicious southern seafood this evening – fuel for the 20-50 mile bicycle rides in the days to come. I’m still reachable on email and the phone in the evenings but not as much during the day.

One potential complication in our week is the path of Hurricane Ida. As long as it weakens to a Tropical Depression as predicted, our trip shouldn’t be too derailed mid-week. I’m just glad to get the opportunity to meet more great partners on the East Coast Greenway team, rain or shine.

For updates on this trip and the other great ECGA progress to report, come back to the blog again soon.

Onwards to greenway progress,

Dennis

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