Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Perry to High Springs, Florida (76 miles) Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This morning we set out for High Springs, Florida, 76 miles.  After breakfast in the hotel, we loaded our packs up with snacks that we will eat throughout the day.

We had another easy day as we rode out.  We crossed the Suwannee River of the "Old Folks at Home" fame, which is the Florida state song.

Today when we stopped for our Sag stop, we talked to a man who lived near our stop.  He was surprised and amazed at our ride!  There were three groups that met at that sag stop, and when we left there were nine of us!  Perhaps we are feeling the loss of our friends already as our ride comes to an end on Thursday.

On our route today was a bike path.  It was shady and we enjoyed being able to ride side by side.

Another point of interest was the Ichetucknee Springs State Park.  We took the opportunity to go in and explore.  We were amazed at the turquoise color of the water at the head waters of the Ichetucknee Spring.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wakulla Springs to Perry, Florida (51 miles)

The ride from Wakulla Springs to Perry was a delight!  The conditions were ideal, and I think it would have been easy to go another 20 or 30 miles!

I was sent this photo by my friend, Jean English.  We can all appreciate this one!

We are at the Perry, Florida Hampton Inn tonight.  There were some nice surprises there tonight!

The dish washers tonight!

Tomorrow we will ride 76 miles to High Springs, Florida.  Here is a sample of our "cue sheets" that we follow each day.

Quincy, FL to Wakukla Springs, FL (39 miles) Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday, 4/24/10

We have Cue sheets that tell us when to turn and how far to travel, but on the route today we missed a turn!  Sometimes the roads are not well marked, and other times the mileage on our cue sheets can be a little off.  Fortunately, a half mile out we ran out of town, and it was obvious we missed "Main Street."  (The sign for Main Street was after the turn.)  When that happened, we called our ride leader, Carol, and she was able to get us back on track!

The distance from Quincy to Wakulla Springs, FL was a short hop, only 39 miles.   We arrived before noon, so we felt like Saturday was a free day.  Sunday at Wakulla Springs State Park is our last rest day of the trip, and we were happy to be able to get there early.

We arrived at Wakulla Springs State Park at 11:30 AM, which was too early for them to have our rooms ready.  We had plenty of time to look around and to have lunch.

Wakulla Springs State Park is like traveling back in time.  There are no televisions in the rooms, no Internet, and few of us could get cell phone service.  However, there was time for us to bond; diving off the high dive platform, swimming in the spring, playing games, hiking and taking boat tours.  Amy, Mary and Kathy were our brave ones.  They were the ones who jumped off the high dive platform!
(Diving platform photos courtesy of Karen Cooper)

We had been keeping tabs on the weather which predicted rain in the evening and the next day, so as soon as we could shower and change, many of our group took the boat tour.   I have many more photos of the animals and birds we saw.

Lynn cooked her last meal that night.  She was with us only a short time...like a student teacher...so she could see how things are done out of the back of a trailer.  She already knew how to do the cooking, but cooking out of the back of a trailer has special challenges and tricks.  Now she can "sub" for the chef if there is an emergency.  Linda and Carol will take her to the airport tomorrow.

 After meals, many of us help with dishes.  Amy Derwinski and others bring out their ipods with some fun music during that time, and last night we were dancing, too!

Sunday, 4/25/10  REST DAY

We did wake up to a thunderstorm.  I have not seen a thunderstorm since last summer in Minnesota!  Our ride has been very fortunate with weather over the past two months.  We have had only one day of real rain, and one day of mist/drizzle.  We have had to dress warmly for very cold mornings, but we all agree that cold/cool rides are much better than hot!!  The highest temps have been in the 80's, and only in the afternoons.

The rangers use the one TV in the common room for DVD's that explain the history of Wakulla Springs.  They set it up for a tour group and we all watched it.  It was very interesting!

By noon, the skies cleared, and the sun emerged. Some went swimming/diving, or back onto the boat tour. This has been a really nice place to have our rest day(s).

Tomorrow we head out to Perry, Florida, 51 miles.