At the risk of repeated what I have said earlier, here is our morning ritual. After arising, packing our clothes eating breakfast in the hotel or from the trailer and putting air in tires, we load our bags in the trailer and fix snacks for the ride. Here are a few photos of the morning ritual.
It was about 8:00 AM when we pulled out of Pensacola, headed for Crestview. Leaving the city was as difficult as arriving yesterday. Our hotel was located beside an I-10 exit, so traffic was bumper to bumper on the exit ramp. We had to walk to a traffic light just to cross the street. Then, there was a narrow shoulder for 4-5 miles on US 90, with cars in a hurry to get somewhere. Finally, the shoulder broadened and the traffic thinned out, for a while. At about mile 8 we arrived in the small town of Pace and found an increase in traffic and construction.
It was somewhere between Pace and Milton that we had our most serious accident of the trip. While watching traffic behind me, debris on the road, and the shoulder in front of me, I spotted several riders stopped in the middle of some construction, with road barrels extending onto the shoulder. As I passed by them, I realized that Elizabeth was on the ground, surrounded by riders. I stopped just past the group, pulled out my phone and ran back to the group. I offered the use of the phone, but they had already called for help. Realizing that they had the situation under control and not wanting to create more confusion, several of us moved on down the road. A few minutes later an ambulance met us headed in the direction of the accident. We all wondered if it was for Elizabeth. It turned out to be the case. When we met Kay at the first SAG stop, she told us what she knew at that time. As Elizabeth and two other riders when by the construction barrels, there was loose yellow tape lying on the ground. Elizabeth rode over it as it got tangled in her spokes, chain or derailleur. No one knows for sure. At the hospital, doctors diagnosed a fractured pelvis. She will need bed rest for several weeks. Later in the day, Maggie, who had gone with her to the hospital, reported that Elizabeth’s husband was already on his way from Fayetteville, NC. It was a somber evening as thoughts of Elizabeth were on all of our minds. While we are so grateful that it was nothing more serious, we will miss her as we complete the ride and celebrate in St. Augustine.
In Milton, we stopped at the Truly Spokin Bicycle Shop, as the owner opened his door for the day’s business.
After spending some time and money there, we pedaled onto the Blackwater Heritage State Trail, one of Florida’s many rails to trails bicycle paths.
Along the way, I spotted the White Top Pitcher plant, with its red bloom. I had never seen one of these before.
The 6 miles on the trail and subsequent 30+ miles on rural roads were a welcomed change from US 90. Then, we tuned onto that road again. To our delight, it was much smoother, had a wide shoulder and much less traffic for the next 15 miles to Crestview. Several of us stopped at Julia’s in town for a sandwich. Then, Anne, Barb and I stopped at Sonic, with Barb enjoying a sundae.
For dinner we enjoyed Michelle’s gourmet cooking again with teriyaki chicken and green beans with yellow squash and pecans. Debbie and I watched American Idol, a favorite show of some of this group, before turning in for the night around 9:30 PM.