The morning greeted us with cool weather after the rain last night. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood, perhaps because we only had 50 miles to ride. Well, at least some of us only had 50. At last night’s cue sheet meeting, Michelle informed us that our reservations for Quincy had been deleted at the hotel by accident. And, there are three college graduations in Tallahassee this weekend. No rooms anywhere. The hotel staff was able to book most of the folks, but the closest rooms after that were in Midway, 11 miles away. I was assigned to Midway, but requested a change, when asked. As luck would have it, one of the women wanted the extra miles. So, she took my place. For that I am so grateful, because I had things planned for Quincy. Stay tuned for the rest of that story.
After most other folks had left, Hille, Ramsey, Barb, Ellen and I pedaled off from the not exactly 5-stary Ramada Inn.
After a few miles getting out of town and negotiating a bit of traffic, we turned onto Blue Springs Road. As we passed the entrance to Jackson Blue Springs, I realized that I had been there on the North Florida ride one year. It is strange how the memory works when jogged by something like the entrance to a park. For information and a picture of this park, see http://www.floridacaves.com/jackson.htm. Then, we turned down 164A. Most often when there is a letter attached to a road number, it means less traffic. And that is what we found. The canopy of trees with sunlight filtering through made for an ideal cycling experience.
At Sneads, FL the SAG awaited us with the usual assortment of goodies. Kay told us that a number of folks had missed turns on the cue sheet and had to turn around. So they got in extra miles today.
We crossed the Apalachicola River at Chattahoochee Florida on US 90 via the Victory Bridge. The old Victory Bridge is in the foreground of this picture.
The river is formed here by the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers, the actual confluence being submerged in the Lake Seminole Reservoir formed by the Jim Woodruff Dam. Georgia is on the other side.
I would like to have explored this area, but had miles yet to go. And, the time changed to Eastern Daylight Time as we crossed the river.
Chattahoochee is also home to the Florida State Hospital. Originally a Federal Arsenal, it then served as the state’s first penitentiary. Two of the original buildings still remain on the premises. It was Florida’s only state mental institution until 1947 and remains as a treatment center for people with mental and physical disabilities. We wound our way through Chattahoochee, leaving on a seldom-traveled road headed toward Quincy. At the second SAG, a man and wife traveling cross-country had stopped to visit. They had gone as far as Navasota last year and were finishing the route this year, self-contained.
I rode by myself the last 15 or so miles to Quincy. Once there, I made my way to the town square.
Lunch was at Treasures, a restaurant recommended by a couple of local folks. It so happened that the town was having an ice cream social on the courthouse lawn sponsored by local government employees. By the time I finished lunch, several riders had found the ice cream.
We were greeted by the city manager, who told us he was originally from Trinidad.
The librarian was excited to share ice cream with Pasha.
Now back to the reason I wanted to stay in Quincy. Since I wear cycling sandals in the summer and we are nearing St. Augustine, it was imperative that I find a place to get a pedicure! A Metter Magnolia would not dream of arriving without having red toenails! While we were eating our ice cream, one of the riders told me where I could get the pedicure. Barb was already there getting a haircut.
The women at The Mane Attraction (http://maneattraction.myarbonne.com/ were most accommodating in working us in on a busy Friday. Vonda made my toenails look great! Now I can arrive in style!
Finally it was time to make my way to the hotel. When we arrived, I found that we were assigned to a new Holiday Inn Express. It may be one of the most comfortable places yet! When we met at the trailer for dinner, I saw Pasha sitting on the table. Rebecca had found her sitting on the hood of a hotel employee’s car. I can’t imagine when she hopped off the bicycle. But I would have been devastated if she had gotten lost. So, she may have to ride inside my bike bag until she learns how to stay on my bicycle.
Tomorrow we only have 38 miles to ride, stopping off at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park (http://www.floridastateparks.org/wakullasprings/), then staying at the Inn at Wildwood http://www.innatwildwood.com/). It has been a great day.