Did the Pony run take a different route this year ? Usually goes up I-75 to 326 then out through horse farm country. Just curious.
We've eliminated I-75 because it was getting too dangerous with the line of cars extending up the off-ramp waiting to turn onto CR326.
Now we turn west on SR40, and zig-zag our way via 225A to CR326, and then take the old route.
I don't change that route, because it can't be beat.
Back in the early years, we tried other destinations going in all directions. For lack of a more accurate descriptor, they all sucked big-time. Going to Daytona via SR40 is a nightmare (too much traffic). Going to Homasassa is a non-scenic rather-ugly drive, and once there, same problem with where do you go and where do you eat.
South of Ocala has developed into contiguous urban sprawl, no good routes that are 100% "back-road". The year that we attempted to circle down through Belleview and around Lake Weir we only had 40 cars, and it was still impossible to hang together, nothing but shrub to see, and nowhere neat to go.
Cedar Key simply "works", so I gave up doing messy, frustrating, impossible to stay-together routes/destinations, and hung my hat on Cedar Key via 326, which is arguably one of the prettiest and least-travelled roads in central FL.