A Fitting End to the Year 2011

: : Park sign.
Image via Wikipedia

2011 has been a great year for outdoor and physical activity for me and Keith. I’ve biked, hiked, walked, and tread-milled over 700 miles this year. Keith has lost 30+ pounds and has lowered his heart rate significantly. We try to get outdoors as much as possible to enjoy our workouts. So, it was only fitting that we spent the last day of 2011 exploring a new (to us) wilderness area by bicycles and on foot – the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, about 25 miles north of Okeechobee, FL.

This 54,000-acre park is in the south central part of Florida, is home to many rare and endangered plants and animals, and has over 100 miles of multi-use trails for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and campers. During our five hours there, we biked some and hiked some and found the absolute absence of human sounds to be the most amazing part of the trip. No car sounds, no plane sounds, no voices… just the wind and a few animals as they scurried through the prairie and woods or splashed into water as we approached.

I expect we’ll go back, and maybe do an overnight camping trip to take advantage of the darkest skies we’ll probably ever see in South Florida, far from any city lights…

In the meantime, here’s a peek at our day as we trekked the quiet trails of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve…and Happy New Year, everyone! May it be a year of good health and physical fitness for each of you (I think I’ll set my activity goal for 1000 miles in 2012).

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