This morning in Crawfordville was one of the most casual starts we have had on the trip. Since we only had 52 miles to ride, some folks had plans for side trips. About half of the group decided to go kayaking on the Wakulla River. Since I have never tried it, I didn’t want this to be my maiden voyage, then ride 40 miles. Some folks wanted to see St. Marks. A few wanted to ride straight to the hotel in Perry. I wanted to detour north about three miles on the St. Marks Trail for a second breakfast at Savannah’s. So, Lorraine, Rebecca Stultz, and I were in no hurry to leave the hotel and get to the restaurant too early. When we arrived at the river, the sailors were getting ready to launch. We decided to stick around to see them start upstream. The T n T Hide-a-Way folks were very helpful to our group.
Annie looks like a real pro as she poses for the camera.
Anne looks like she is ready for a cruise.
From the bridge I was able to bid adieu to most of the group as they set sail.
Our little group of three rode to the St. Marks Trail and headed north about three miles to Savannah’s. What a beautiful ride through the canopy of trees, smelling the honey suckle early in the morning as we listened to the swish of our tires! At Savannah’s I enjoyed homemade French toast, while the others had fried egg sandwiches, with hearty bacon. As we were leaving, the staff was setting out a lunch buffet. It looked so good that we were tempted to ride and few miles and return for lunch. But, common sense prevailed. However, I hope to be back for lunch some day!
We returned to US 98 via the bike trail, having ridden an extra 6 miles. Lorraine opted to continue on the trail to see the fort at St. Marks. Rebecca and I headed on down 98 toward Perry. While the road had a large shoulder, the truck traffic was disconcerting. Between the log trucks and dump trucks, it was not our best road. At a service station, we learned that there were three rock quarries on this road, taking loads of sand, rock and dolomite to Thomasville and returning for another load. One of the drivers told us that they had been passing the word on their radios to be cautious of the cyclists. At the same service station, there was a taxidermy display of local animals. I had never seen a display quite like this one.
Team Roadkill on BRAG should have an armadillo like this for their trailer.
Leaving that service station, there was nothing to see but pine trees, bayonet plants, and live oaks for 24+ miles. Kay, the SAG driver stopped to give us water once. Then we stopped a couple of times in the 90-degree heat to rest a bit when we found shade. It is amazing how cool a bit of shade feels when you ride in the hot sun for miles. After we passed the quarries, the endless procession of dump trucks disappeared, but not the log trucks. They just kept on rolling, in both directions! At least, they were very courteous and swung out around us as they passed. We noticed that many of the ditches had dried up due to the drought in North Florida. And, there was smoke from the wild fires near Waycross in Georgia.
After what seemed like forever, Rebecca and I arrived in Perry. It was so comforting to have ridden with her. Having someone along when riding forever on such an isolated road makes the situation seem so much better.
The Hampton Inn is a very nice place. In addition to having comfortable rooms, they had an evening reception for their guests. We enjoyed this treat of wine, beer and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
As we were enjoying the reception, a special guest arrived as a surprise to me.
What a treat it was to see Barbara. She is on her way down the Gulf Coast after having bought herself an RV several weeks ago.
I introduced her (and Tootsie and Taco, her dogs) to the group at dinner. Seems like the dogs were a big hit in our group.
I read the story, There Was An Old Cajun (a take-off on There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly) to the group. I had purchased it in St. Francisville. Afterward, I said goodbye to Barbara, as she returned to a KOA campground just down the road. Tomorrow we have a 74-mile day to High Springs. With the anticipated heat, we plan to leave the hotel by 7:00 AM. This was another good day! Only three more days of riding.