Friday, April 30, 2010

There is a lightning bug caught between the tent and the rain flap. I am being flashed!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Greenfield, Fla

The hometown of Ray Charles

Touring Tallahassee

While taking a bike tour of Tallahassee, we stopped off at Litchgate to see the 500 year old Live Oak tree. Amazingly HUGE.

Those are branches of the tree in the foreground. The last picture shows us in the center of the labyrinth garden. we are seeking inner peace for our soles.

2798.81 miles. So I stopped for ice cream; outside a toothless old guy asked where I was riding. When told, he said: "Oh, you'll never make it on that bike!"

Monticello, Fla. Maybe not a destination, but a cute place to visit. I recommend Tupelo's.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Noon, EDT

Entering the Eastern Time zone en route to Tallahassee.

The swirling pattern of the foam in the Chattahoochee river was prettier than the river itself.

Editor's note: The town on the bank of this river is Chattahoochee. The river itself is the Apalachicola.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

De Funiak Springs to Marianna, Fla.

Leaving the campground in De Funiak Springs we toured Circle Drive in town. A historic area with mostly Victorian Era homes. Very impressive. This building was a local government office.

We can call it a tour now. We have officially seen everything that the south has to offer:

Marianna Fla: 2673.44 miles. Tomorrow, Tallahasse.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Only a half day of riding today so I made Monday into laundry day. I did all my t-shirts so that I'd be allowed to come home.

Jon, The Duke, Wayne at an ice cream stop.
U.S. 90 east to DeFuniak Springs. 3 of us sucking up miles @ 24 mph. At this rate we'll be there for early brunch.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sitting at Tastee-Freeze: no lie. There is a pregnant woman at the drive up ordering a pickle milk shake!

From Dauphin, AL to Milton, FL.

We all gathered and got on the first ferry. Not to worry. At 7:30 A.M. there's not much traffic leaving the island. We had the whole craft to ourselves.

Saying good-bye to Dauphin Island.

We had some entertaining ascents today, up the Gulf Bluffs out of Pensacola (amazing) and then a few bridges like this one.

These last two I took from the bridge over the Escambia River. The water here is always so beautiful. I Love Florida!

An 88 mile day. Stunningly beautiful.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tomorrow we ride into Florida. Staying at a KOA in Milton. Only a week to go. There were a few moist eyes at tonight's rider meeting.
Laptop hard drive decided to die last night. The bad news is all of my pictures are stored there. Anyone have an XP disk?

Friday, April 23, 2010

3 coolers of beverages, 2 tvs in the same room showing "Legally Blond" and "Most Dangerous Catch". 15 restless riders. I am going to bed.
2465.87 miles from San Diego to Dauphin Island, AL.
Dauphin Island: thunderstorms
70 miles today from Van Cleave, MS to Dauphin Island, AL. Layover day, last one, tomorrow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catching up

If you are ever biking in the Jackson, LA. area, plan on stopping and staying with Lep and Perry. They bike and they love cyclists. Their campground is amazing. When you stop, tell them I said "Hi!"

I didn't know that the Republic of West Florida, which included Louisiana, was a separate republic long before Texas was a republic of its own. For only 78 days, and then it was annexed into the U.S. in 1810.

Finally, we arrived in Mississippi. We have traveled some 2280 miles since leaving San Diego. Can you see the happy faces? They are not sitting on their bikes at the moment.

(L-R) Jan, Phil, Jon, Diane, Mickey.

Unless you are the lead rider, the view doesn't change.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mississippi, finally. 2282.5 miles since leaving San Diego. Only 9 more riding days to go.

Monday, April 19, 2010

4/19/10 Layover Day

One of our day-off excursions. The Oakley Plantation was a frequent stay of John James Audubon before he was a famous naturalist and merely a $60/month tutor who also dabbled in painting pictures of flora and fauna. It is now a faithful reconstruction of a pre- and antebellum plantation. Very interesting, and if you want to know more about it, email me.

This is "Gus". He greets every visitor to the Oakley Plantation with a strut, a ruffle of his feathers, and a pose.

Two Turkeys get to know one another.

Part of the history of slavery exhibition

The Oakley Mansion

April 18, 2010 - Crossing the Mississippi river

In jerseys, Jon on the center-left, Phil in the center, my riding partners today, aboard the "New Roads" ferry just before crossing the river. This is one of only two times we will make progress toward Florida without having to pedal.

St. Francisville, LA. side of the river.

On the east side of the river, the topography immediately changes from flat to "rollers". Still beautiful in its own way.

Roads like this could make a guy homesick.

Sign in a Jackson, LA. convenience store window.

Cycling Across Louisiana

This is an about to be crawfish ranch. The ranchers here rotate crops between rice one year, and then crawdaddies the next. The crawfish help clean up the remains of the previous crop, and also help prepare the field for the next year.

The funny thing was watching the ranchers herd their "cattle" on those tiny sea horses with names like "Ol' Carp" and "Sea Bicuit".

A "MUST STOP" for those in the know. Every Saturday, but only on Saturday, and only from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, this place opens for zydeco music, dancing, and adult beverages. The place gets packed!!!

A fun time was had by all

New Hampshire's own Doug and Sue in the back in cycling jerseys.
See the guy in the green t-shirt? He was a long time member of this zydeco band but was in a bad accident that left him somewhat (a lot) challenged. The band still lets him "play" with them, but he plays the triangle with his clapper taped so that it doesn't actually ring.

This stuff is served in huge quantities from the bar. Every bottle purchased is first opened and ummm, "Quality Checked" by the bar maid before being handed to the customer.

After music and drinks and dancing, we hit the restaurant, "Frenchie's", across the street. I had a crawfish Po-Boy. And those are fried pickles as a side. This place will make you FAT!

Around here you are either lunch, or you are something else's lunch!
For future reference: Gator's are very fast in a straight line, but they cannot zig-zag. If one is after you, run away in a zig-zag pattern. Oh, and good luck. Remember, if we are together when an alligator attacks, I do not have to outrun the gator. I only have to outrun YOU!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Correction: Right city, wrong state.

Leaving LA for Jackson, MS tomorrow. I have a lot to tell you about LA but it will have to wait until I get a good wireless connection (cliff hanger!)

OK, so I may be suffering from a bit of "Git-Home-Itis". I jumped ahead a state a couple days too soon. We are in Jackson, Louisiana, not Jackson, Mississippi. Today is a layover day. We're camped at the home of some of Bubba's friends. Very nice people and a nice huge open area for us to spread out.

We wont be in MS. until Wednesday. And the weather continues to be beautiful. I did hear a few raindrops hit the tent flaps early this morning, but we are all dry, happy and healthy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Adios, Tejas. Bon jour Louisianne. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last full day in Texas

Alligator tamales at 10:00 am. Can mud bugs and turtle soup be far behind?

We're enjoying a pretty nice camp ground in Silsbee, TX. Tomorrow we take hwy 96 North, turn onto hwy 363 then hwy 190 and after 47.3 miles we say "See Y'all Later" to Texas and hope Louisiana welcomes us as well as have the previous four states. Tomorrow night we stay in De Ridder, LA. Only about 17 more days before this is over.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cue sheet said 78.9 miles but it was just too nice a day to stop. One large figure 8 north of town & bingo-bango, one more century complete.

ABCD - April 14, 2010

ABCD - Another Beautiful Cycling Day. An anniversary present to the remaining 12 who began this trip March 14.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We enjoyed one of our few remaining Texas skies tonight. A helicopter practicing approaches, countless stars, spinning yarns and war stories. Gonna miss this.

A local artist and historian came to visit us and had us spellbound with stories of early Texas settlers and the native Americans they met. One story was the early 1620's myth (?) of the Blue Nun, for whom the Blue Nun wine is named. Briefly, although she never left her homeland or convent in Spain, she dreamed visions of ministering to native Americans, even to the point of "knowing" their names, the names of places they lived and their names for items they used. Years later, when conquistadors and settlers arrived in the area, they were startled to find that the people, places and things named actually existed. Legend has it that where ever the blue nun's dress touched the ground in the New Land, Blue Bonnet flowers sprang up.

Go ahead, you can look it up.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Layover day tomorrow. The bike gets some well-deserved TLC, there is a rumored "Snowflakes Donuts" and a DQ in town, and I may go visit the FBO at the airport.

Camp in Navasota

Navasota camping on the side of the airport runway. I feel oddly at home.

4/12/10 - on to Navasota

Moving on from LaGrange to Navasoto on an absolutely perfect biking morning.

This could easily be mistaken for a road around Lake Bloomington if it weren't for the Texas County road signs every so often. We're in a pretty part of the state.

With apologies to Joe Egan and Jerry Rafferty: Traffic to the left of me, cattle to the right, here I am, back in the saddle again.

This is Etienne, our newest friend. He is from France but traveling the country alone and self-supported. He shared our dinner and adult beverages last night, stayed in our camping area, and had breakfast with us this morning before hitting the road. We crossed paths again several times today.

Awesome countryside.

And yet another great ranch gate

I stopped and ate my lunch under a huge oak tree in front of this church. I got to meet the Rev. Lordy Randle's son, Eddie, when he came by to cut the grass.

Pretty by comparison?

Maybe in comparison to these? The poor old bull on the right looked like he'd lost a fight with those horns.