Most productive day so far!
Published 10:23 am Friday, September 3, 2021
By David Freeze
At least it felt that way. I wanted a bigger mileage day to offset some of the hurricane delays. It is quite enjoyable for me to follow one road for several days and we’ll continue on US 90 East for at least most of tomorrow.
I left the Crestview Inn after an especially good sleep while a big series of thunderstorms rolled through. The room was perfect and I got the right price. Best WiFi yet!
Rolling early, I got a quick start because there was no reason to stop in the first 30 miles and the terrain wasn’t bad. I did stop at Defuniak Springs and get some fresh cookies and a couple of small tacos, nothing like the ones in New Mexico.
The early towns were Argyle, Ponce De Leon, Westville and Caryville, which just happens to be the Worm Fiddling Capital of the World. Who knew?
The next set were Benifay , Chipley and Cottondale. All of these early towns were easy but then I had to roll through Mariana with about 10,000 people. All of them seemed to be out driving at the same time on US 90, which didn’t have a bike lane through town. That was tough.
Then the final set of towns included just a small stop in Grand Ridge, where 3 friends had hassles with their lottery tickets in the store. It took forever to get them out of the way, before I could roll into Sneads. This is a great little town, on Lake Seminole which I will see in the morning. It is apparently is huge and the funny thing is that Georgia is just right over the trees from my motel window. I am still in the northern part of the panhandle.
I am in the Seminole Inn, one of the few motels I have used from the Adventure Cycling suggestions. The Seminole Inn is perfect, very roomy, clean and has a Piggly Wiggly close by. Since I am almost sure that the ice cream sponsorship with the Y Service Club is good as long as the ride goes on, I let them pay tonight for Blue Bunny Premium Double Strawberry Whirl, a quart and a half size. Great stuff and already eaten. I also got four of the remaining 10 bananas. Still can’t find cut up watermelon in stores.
Worth visiting again will be Defuniak Springs where the whole town is historic and many of the buildings are placed right along Lake Defuniak which is the center of town. Marianna might be fun to see what everyone was rushing too.
Today was my first century ride on this trip at 107.6 miles and easier than some big mountains and super hot areas out west. Tomorrow, I am headed for Tallahassee, the State Capital of Florida. Afterwards, only Gainesville remains as a large city. I certainly like the small towns best.
Earlier I mentioned USBR, the United States Bicycle Routes. Both those of Adventure Cycling and the USBR are posted through this area and I am staying on US 90 E as long as I can, which the USBR likes best coming up.
I met James Dempsey tonight here at the motel. His wife is a traveling nurse, so they are staying here while she works. James loved the idea of my trip cross country and says he will follow it the rest of the way. The bike draws attention!
Time for a shower after a hard day. Let’s keep going and finish this thing our strong! See you back here tomorrow!