Hello from Art and
My name is Nancy Cullinan (Nancy@RVLifestyle.net) and my hubby is Art Knapp (Art@RVLifestyle.net). I’ll
be trying to do as good a job as your previous newsletter editor, Suzan Horovitch, has done for these last five years; and
Art will be trying to measure up to Wayne’s skills as Treasurer/Membership. We’ll do our best!
Please feel free to contact us with any and all comments and suggestions. Please, please, please;
send in your articles (of any length) about any biking, hiking, or paddling event you have experienced or “wanna do”.
Also, we welcome any tidbits about where you are or where you’re going or anything else you would like to share
for the “News from Members” section.
Welcome To New Members!!!!!!
Sherrie & Jack DeArmond
Janet & Don Scott
Jan & Ken Herman
Melinda & Tom Humphrey
We met Sherrie and Jack DeArmond and Melinda and Tom Humphrey at the 2008 Escapade in Gillette, Wyoming.
Welcome aboard. We hope to meet all of you on the road in the near future.
Nancy & Art
Come Visit our Website @ www.rvlifestyle.net
Nancy Cullinan, Editor
Cycling the West in 2007
By Neil Dunmire
Mosquito Pass/ Ptarmigan Pass
in the summer, while in Leadville, CO, I repeated my bike/hike ascent to Mosquito Pass. At 13,185 ft it
also has been claimed as the highest pass in Colorado. The former wagon, now four-wheel-drive, road climbs
peaks to the East of Leadville, an old, famous and still-operating mining town, with the village of Alma and South Park.
It was traveled by Father Dyer, author of “Snow Shoe Itinerant”, whose headstone, dated 1868, is located
at the summit. He visited the numerous mining camps throughout the mountains there.
The route offers outstanding views of Leadville,
Turquoise Lake, Mt Massive, Mt Elbert and the surrounding ranges. It is easily reached from the Mineral
Belt bike trail which circles the town connecting the ruins of the historic gold and silver mines in the area.
When in Leadville, one of my favorite towns in the west, I often stay at the friendly Leadville RV Corral and reward
myself with a meal at Quincy’s Steak & Spirits Restaurant on Main Street after each “ordeal,” er, I
As to which pass is
higher, I am unsure. The argument is probably somewhat like the argument between Leadville and Alma, both
over 10,000 ft, as to which city is the higher of the two. To be safe, I climbed to both passes.
At Camp Hale, WW2 training camp for the Tenth Mountain Division, I mountain-biked
to the top of 12,143 ft Ptarmigan Pass. It is located on Highway 24 north of Leadville on Tennessee Pass.
The road is another four-wheel route that winds its way up beneath Machine Gun and Ptarmigan Ridge. Dry
camping is permitted there and, unfortunately, there is an ORV outfitter that rents the vehicles close by. Amid
clouds of dust, an unending number of them go roaring around the landscape.
- Neil Dunmire
St. Marks Trail, FL
By Suzan Horovitch
We headed for the Tallahassee to St. Marks trail head. We had parked here about 4 years ago and biked
this trail. At that time it was an empty field in a power line right of way. The field is now paved bike parking lot (no trailers
allowed) with new condos/apartments on the side. (N 30'22.313 W 084'16.123). We got going at 2 pm and the trail itself
is great... paved, smooth, away from traffic with clean washrooms at both ends and in the middle. The first section takes
you through a very depressed area of dilapidated homes and trailer parks. Further south there are nicer homes, horse farms
and woods. We rode 9 miles in 45 minutes to a mid-point park just north of Wakulla highway before stopping for a rest. We
decided to turn around at this point and return to the truck. I was feeling tired but glad that my knees were not hurting.
Our average speed for the ride was one of the fastest we have done at 11.1 mph. over an hour and a half.
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
By Suzan Horovitch
Located on the bend in Florida, the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to hike, bike, paddle
and see wildlife. The visitor centre is located 3 miles south of US hwy 98 at Newport on Lighthouse Rd
(Co Rd 59). (http://saintmarks.fws.gov) There are 75 miles of marked trails to enjoy, winding through diverse habitats of
For road biking, the lighthouse
road provides many excellent stopping points and is an easy bike ride from the visitor’s centre parking lot down to
the lighthouse on the Gulf. The dirt roads throughout the refuge are open to mountain bikes for off road experiences.
Hiking trails on the St. Marks Unit include:
Florida National Scenic Trail which crosses into the unit from east and west. The entire segment of the trail
on the refuge is 49.5 miles. Camping permits for through hikers are available at the Visitor Center. It is open to foot and
bicycle traffic only.
Creek trail is 12 miles and Stoney Bayou is 6.5 miles. Both start 1.5 miles south of the visitor center on Lighthouse Rd.
Trails follow old logging roads and levees around the Refuge pools. They are great for seeing shy wildlife and migratory birds.
These trails are open to foot, bicycle & horseback riding traffic.
3. The headquarters Pond Trail is 1.4 milis and is located across from the Mounds
trailhead. It is open to foot and bicycle traffic only.
4. Levee Trails which is located at the end of Lighthouse Rd at the right of the parking lot is ½
mi long and has interpretive signs on the coastal plants. There is a leaflet at the trailhead. It is open to foot, bikes and
horseback riding traffic.
5. The tower ponds trail is located 5 miles south of the visitor centre with parking next to the restrooms. The trail
has a leaflet at the trailhead and winds for one mile through slash pine forests, oak hammocks and salt marsh. Tower Pond
is being managed as a saltwater lagoon for migratory songbirds, ducks and wading birds. This trail is open to foot and bike
You are also invited to create
your own trail as all levees and woodland roads are open to hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Canoes and kayaks can be rented at Lighthouse Center (bridge on US Hwy 98 on the
St. Marks River at Newport); TNT Hideaway (7 miles west on US Hwy 98 and the Wakulla River) and Wilderness Way (18 miles north
on State Hwy 363/Woodville Hwy).
ago we did the Tower Ponds trail and greatly enjoyed it. This day we decided to bike from the Visitor’s
centre to the Lighthouse and stop on the way back to hike part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
- Suzan Horovitch
Withlacoochie State Trail, FL
By Suzan Horovitch
After loading our bikes onto the truck, we were off to Inverness. We parked behind
the Dodge dealer and unloaded them, then brought the truck into the service area. As he would be open until 7... we had all
day to bike on the Withlacoochie State Trail. Marty, the service manager at Dodge, suggested we go north to connect with the
trail where it crossed Independence Street rather than in the centre of Inverness.
It was about a half mile along the sidewalk of Hwy 44 to Independence but then 2½ miles along
Independence, which was not nearly as quiet a street as Marty said. I was happy when we reached the trail
after numerous cars, trucks and even an ambulance passed us. Art had lagged behind on the last hill and I waited for him at
the trail. It turned out he stopped to talk to a man selling cold drinks, brats and hot dogs.
(Art) That's the fun of driving down country roads... you never know who you're
going to meet. This guy had served on the aircraft carrier Enterprise during the Vietnam war, so we talked about his experiences
on the ship for a few minutes. He sells Sauerbrats which he said are big hot dogs which have a casing on them and snap when
you bite into one. I passed on trying one... they are probably loaded with sodium.
We began around mile marker 35 and biked to Floral City, mile marker 23. Within a couple of miles we
passed beneath the US 41/44 overpass where paintings of boats and palm trees decorate the concrete supports. There is also
a sign here for access back to Hwy 44.
further we stopped at Sun Coast Bicycles to buy a part for our Mirrycle Mirrors. They didn't have it, but we used the
picnic table for lunch, amazed at the high price of the recumbent bikes for sale and the low price on their Trek touring bikes.
Here they also have a mural which we took pictures of. A few miles further the trail squeezes between Cooter Pond on the left
and Big Lake Henderson on the right. Wallace Brooks Park has walking paths on the shore that looked interesting but we didn't
Another mile and we were in the centre
of Inverness whose origins go back to 1868 but the name, Gaelic for "at the foot of the ness", comes from a Scotman
who purchased the community in 1889. The town is wrapped around several lakes that reminded the Scot of Loch Ness. Inverness
expanded with phosphate mining boom and became the county seat of Citrus County in 1891.
At mile marker 28 there is a sign describing the route taken through this part of Florida by Hernando
de Soto in 1539; and a mile further, Fort Cooper State Park is on the right. We biked in past the iron ranger to the 710 acre
park named for Major Mark Anthony Cooper who built a crude fort near Lake Holathlikaha in 1836 during the Second Seminole
War. Cooper and 380 men withstood attacks by the Seminoles at the fort before being rescued by General Winfield Scott. When
we hit soft sand road, we chained the bikes to a tree and walked in. Though there are hiking trails in the park, we only walked
the short loop. The lake was beautiful and calm. Nothing remains of the original fort, but it looked like someone was trying
to reconstruct at least one wall.
At mile marker
23 we turned into Floral City where the mural on the side of a store portrays the town's old train depot which once stood
where there is now a bike path gazebo. Originally a steam boat town, Floral City switched to trains in the 1890's and
ballooned at the peak of the phosphate mining era. We stopped in at the bagel shop for drinks and a chat with the owner. He
had come from Ohio with his wife and kids a few years ago, and worked for a big software company near Tampa. He said he was
living near Floral City and commuted over a hundred miles a day. He recently decided to get out of the rat race and set up
the bagel place only 5 weeks ago. He's happy with the volume of business. Floral City is a small town, but he gets professionals,
shopkeepers and bikers into his little café. The bagels were good, New York style, but nothing compares to Montreal
We headed back to the Dodge dealer after
a half hour's rest but cut through downtown Inverness to get there... cutting out about 3 miles of the return trip. With
just a short stop for an orange at Cooter Pond, we got back at 4:30.
Marty was just writing up the paperwork on our truck. They had put in the new power steering pump (which
as we expected was fully covered by warranty), did a 27 point inspection of fluids, belts and various adjustments etc. (found
nothing that needed attention) and pulled a wire for our CB antenna through a grommet in the side wall. All
this and there was no charge! Can't get better service than that!
We were tired after our 23 mile bike ride which took us 2 hours and 27 minutes of biking, and we came
straight back to the trailer for showers and
- Suzan Horovitch
Escapade in Gillette, Wyoming!
Art and I volunteered on June 17th to take over Wayne and Suzan’s
duties. When we arrived in Gillette at the end of June for the ESCAPADE, we put a notice on the BOF board
for a Monday evening gathering in Room 3 for all those interested in “Bikes, Boot, ‘n Paddles”.
As you can see from the photo, we had a nice group.
We talked about a lot of things and got to know each other a little.
Art said he would post a notice about a group bike ride, and we called it a night.
The group ride was scheduled
for 5:30 pm on July 4, and Jeanne and Larry Gifford showed up to ride with Art. In this photo, Art
is in the lead,
followed by Jeanne and then Larry.
The ESCAPADE was loads of fun, and we hope to see you in Missouri in May, 2009!
CYCLING THE TASTY OREGON COAST