MILE 358: Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus – Day 6 Recap
I might be changing my name to “Wrong-way George.” But I am not too worried because every time we go the wrong way, it turns into something good. Our biking plan was to take the Spirit of America Ride another 70 miles down the road today but it wasn’t in the cards. The day started great. While we were packing up the campsite, a huge deer dropped in but he scampered off before I could get a good picture.
We started out biking in the wrong direction…again. But like before, it was good thing. We finally ran across a convenience store to discover our error but had we set out in the right direction, it would have been 30 miles before we found any breakfast. So after munching on a convenience store food we started out in the right direction again, riding along the Florida gulf coast. The scenery was beautiful. It was a great ride.
Since I seem to be prone to a misguided sense of direction lately, we came across a small hotel and decided to double check our direction. We struck up a conversation with the owner and were delighted to discover that a British couple staying there have been biking the world for two and half years! Two and half years! Rog and Dee have biked across Asia and Australia, then landed in San Francisco. They have biked across the U.S., and are heading for St Augustine where they will catch a flight to New York and then return to England. I keep talking about meeting the Spirit of America face to face. Perhaps Spirit of the World is a more apt name. Thanks again Rog and Dee! It was fascinating and inspiring to talk with you and for a great hour of friendship. We didn’t get as far as we planned but the day could not have gone better and, if we had followed the plan, we would have missed making great new friends.
Sprint is driving me crazy. I know that we are in some pretty secluded places but I am not too happy using my *2 only to discover I am on roam with roaming charges and Verizon answering the phone. That is just wrong. The travails of travel in the digital age, I suppose.
We were planning to camp at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Learning my lesson from last night, I called ahead as we knew we would be late getting in but they turned out not to be nearly as helpful or friendly as the rangers we have met so far. No dice. They close at dusk and you have to have 24-hours notice to camp. If your biking plan involves camping near Panama City, Florida, be warned: plan ahead, and don’t be late! Not great for a spontaneous trip.
We found a great little seafood restaurant, the Apalachicola Seafood Grill on Ave B (about 30 miles southwest of Tallahassee, FL). The seafood was fresh and the atmosphere rustic. But I must be a flat tire magnet as I had a flat tire when we came out. I pumped it up but we decided to go ahead and rough it hotel style in Apalachicola at the Great Western Hotel. Thank you Ajay & Sejal Patel for the family plan discount and roomy digs.
I will need to patch the tire before we start out in the morning. This means we will have to make up the 20 miles in our biking plan tomorrow but we are not complaining. The Best Western in Apalachicola gave us the family rate which was quite a savings and the room is clean and roomy. I am not sure if appreciate most the soft, comfortable bed or having a clean, tiled bathroom and shower. These are great luxuries when you’ve gone without them for even a little while. We love the camping and nature but we have gained a true appreciation for simple things we used to take for granted. All things considered, we’re having a wonderful time and being on the road meeting such wonderful people, inspired by our goal to support hydrocephalus, this has already been such an amazing experience. We’re also encouraged by the great comments and tweets from everyone following our journey so keep the kind words coming! We appreciate your support and the Hydrocephalus Association really does as well.