Tour de country club - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

March 3, 2022

Tour de country club

Naples bike ride #3

There was much less wind, lots of sun and warmth this morning - perfect for our last ride in Naples! We were out rolling by 9 am on a convoluted route that Don had put together. I had a notes of all of the turns we needed to make. (yes, we use paper notes, not a phone or gps to navigate our rides).

Don had worked hard to figure out a route and he had put together a good one that would take us onto to a mix of trails, quiet residential roads and a couple of busy roads that had bike lanes.

For the first part of the ride after the KOA, we headed for a park that was directly across Highway 41 from our area. It was quite a large park with a pool along with several lakes and wetlands that were ringed with paved trails. 

What a nice area! I wish I had known about this earlier this week as it would have been perfect for me to ride by myself. With all of the trails, I could have done multiple loops and got in a decent ride. 

We enjoyed looking at all of the birds on the water and I saw one alligator as it dipped below the surface. Lots of other people were out biking or walking. It was a pleasant ride, the pavement was smooth, lots of things to look at. But they could have used a couple of signs as we did get turned around at one intersection where we made a right when we should have made a left. 

No worries, we just circled back around and then got on the correct trail that took us out of the park and into an adjoining neighborhood. Well, I think we finally found out where the "normal" people live! 

We first passed many small bungalows, then moved into another neighborhood with nicer homes surrounding a golf course. This would be the first of ELEVEN golf course/country club developments we went by today. Most were gated to keep out the riff raff like us! 

After several miles of quiet roads, we had to get onto the first of 2 busy highways, both of which had bike lanes so they weren't to bad. This one took us to Collier Rd. 

As we were near an access point to the I-75, traffic was very heavy so we rode on the sidewalk for a couple of blocks until we reached a cross over point to reach the bike trail that ran along the opposite side. This was part of the trail we rode on the other day but we hadn't come this far so it was all new.

As before, it was nice riding on the trail next to a canal away from the noise of the vehicles speeding by us. We spotted egrets, wood storks and herons by the water.

Before we went home, we did have one stop to make on the ride. That was to the citrus farm market that we had ridden by the other day. It was open today and filled with all sorts of citrus and local produce. Prices were a little high, but we did buy a few things,including a small bag of honeybell oranges that an employee said were sweet tasting. (we tried one later and found it to be a bit tart, not the sweet flavor we had expected)

Our panniers full, we turned back to the trail where we soon crossed Collier back into a fancy neighborhood that ringed one more golf course. That took us back into the park we started in and ultimately the road to the KOA. 

We were happy to be finished with the ride as it was quite hot out now in the mid-80's. It had been an interesting ride and I was surprised when Don said we had done 25 miles. Not bad for an area that has few bike routes!

This evening we went to one more place on our seafood tasting sojourn - Mr. Big's Fish Restaurant in North Naples. We got a reservation at 4:30 so as to have a choice of outside tables where it was less busy. 

For our culinary adventure tonight, we tried octopus (!), yellow tailed snapper and swordfish. I've actually been quite surprised how well my finicky stomach has handled all of this different food. 

We started with a charred octopus appetizer followed by parm-crusted snapper and blackened swordfish. The food was quite good but both agreed that our neither of our fish was as good as the mahi and grouper we ate in the Keys. 

With the salads and sides there was way too much food so we ended up taking half of it home. Except for the octopus, which was EXCELLENT !! That plate was cleaned up. 

Back at camp, we watched a little TV and did some internet surfing before heading off to bed. A totally satisfying day!

Poor little Tango is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the behemoth parked next door! 2 bathrooms, a side balcony, toy hauler back end (probably fixed with bunk beds for the kids) and 3 slideouts!
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One part of the KOA was set aside for long term residents like this trailer that probably won't move again. Very tropical color, don't you think?
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Unique advertising seen today.
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Hey! Haven't you guys ever heard of "social distancing"?
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Palm trees waiting to be sold at a local nursery.
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Antique tractors at the citrus farm market.
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No, we didn't buy one of those big bags of fruit! We settled for a much smaller one that fit in our pannier.
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My meal selection tonight was parm-crusted yellow tailed snapper. Good tasting but it still didn't live up to the mahi I had in the Keys.
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Don had blackened swordfish. Also good, but not like the grouper he ate the other day. We did prefer the texture of this fish as it was much denser than the snapper.
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Aahhhh - the star of our meal was the charred octopus appetizer!! It was excellent and with so much meat that one of us could have made a meal of it! Tender and slightly buttery tasting.
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Today's ride: 25 miles (40 km)
Total: 487 miles (784 km)

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