Day 53 – “Everyday is a winding road” Sheryl Crow

Perry to High Springs, Fl

76 miles

Total: 2956!!!

Humidity.  Have I mentioned how thick the moisture is here?  I feel as though I am having a breathing treatment every morning.   Yuck.

At mile 8 this morning, my head was talking smack.  My knees hurt, my butt was sore, and the thought of having to ride another 65+ miles made me cranky.  I just kept turning the pedals over. One mile at a time.  I visualized my legs connected to strings, and like a marionette, I kept thinking pull the leg up, put the leg down, pull the leg up, put the leg down.  Eventually I pulled into our first 20 mil stop.   I ate my 800th banana of the trip, refilled my water and within 10 minutes was back on the bike heading for the next 20.  The good news was that my crankiness lifted, and I settled in.

The scenery was uneventful – rural landscape, dairy and chicken farms, a couple of gas stations.  Not much new.  The highlight of the day was at mile 56 when we arrived at the entrance to the Ichetucknee Springs State Park.  I was going to blow by it and get to the hotel, but I was encouraged to stop in and check out the spring pool.  I am so glad that I did. It was beautiful.  I met up with several of the other riders, many who had jumped into the pool in their bike garb.  I was not as eager to ride the remaining 20 miles with soaking wet clothes so I waded in and poured water on my head and shirt.  Ahhhhh it was wonderful. imageimageimage

We road along a bike path for about 7.5 miles, which is always welcomed- no cars, trucks or road kill to avoid!  We crossed the Suwannee River (sing along…) which like many local rivers has flooded.

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Made it to the diner across from our motel just in time to avoid a major thunderstorm.

Tonight I am happy to say that we are at our last motel — i will not say more than that,….

Tomorrow is a 74 mile day, – only 2 more days to go!

Lots of discussion about re-entry and what everyone is going to do.  Many of the women are retired, so they are looking for their next adventure, or to keep busy.   Me? I will be at my desk in my loftice on Monday morning connecting with and thanking my boss and colleagues at W.Capra who have been handling my work and giving me time and peace to enjoy my sabbatical.   Oh what the price will be?   hmmmmm?

My sisters and dear friends are flying in tomorrow and I cannot wait to see them at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine on Thursday.    Bring an umbrella!

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Day 52 – “Don’t stop believing” Journey

Crawfordville to Perry, FL

54 miles

Total: 2880

Some days the ride is just about the miles, and moving to the next destination. Today was one of those days.  54 uneventful and unremarkable miles mostly on 98 east.  I did have a couple of snake sightings. Both dead and alive.  I am relieved to be on my bike and able to zip by them.  But I will admit to emitting a girly yelp when I come upon one.

It is hard to believe that there are only three days remaining on my cross country adventure!

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported my fundraising effort for Make A Wish. It is always uncomfortable asking for money, but when you believe in the cause or organization, it makes it just a little bit easier.  Along the way, Make A Wish families and friends have shared their experiences with me, and I appreciate your  willingness to do so. Your experiences help to reinforce that I have selected a worthy charity partner.

It has been a pleasure working with Donna Parker from Make A Wish NH. I have received terrific support and resources. Plus she is an awesome person and it has been a pleasure getting to know her.   Donna gave me a lightweight bag which I have taken with me and use everyday.  Each time I grab the bag, I think of the good work and wishes that your donations will help to provide.  91% of the funds raised go to wish granting.   I set an aggressive goal of $15,000 and knew that it would be a stretch to reach it, but I believed with all my heart that it could be reached.  I am proud and humbled to say that as of today, including checks we have raised over $17,000!!!!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I am not quite finished yet-still have three more days to ride.  If you have been thinking about donating, you still have a few days left!   Help us fulfill the wish of a deserving Wish Kid and their family

Check  out the link at the top of the page to learn more about how you can donate, or if you are interested in learning more about Make A Wish NH –  Visit nh.wish.org.  If you are from another area,  google your local chapter for information.   Volunteers, in kind services, and deserving wish families are always in demand.

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Special thanks go out to Karen and Marc Bernier for sharing their Make A Wish family experience, and honoring their Wish Kid, Canaan.  Much love to my sisters, Kathy and Joanne for their efforts in getting the word out, putting together a terrific auction and being my strength when I just couldn’t muster it

xoxo

-Karen

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Day 51- “Come away with me” Norah Jones

Crawfordville -Rest Day!

46 miles!!

Total Miles: 2826

On my day off — if you had asked me 6 weeks ago if I would be riding on my rest day, I would have thought you were crazy.

Yesterday on our way back from Wakulla Springs State Park, I rode past a sign for a Lighthouse.  The sign indicated that it was 20 miles away.  I thought that I would like to go, but at that moment – was not to thrilled about getting on the bike on my day off.

The hotel offers a light breakfast, so I headed down at 8:00. I sat with Karen and Connie, whose company I greatly enjoy.  They are both short in stature but large in personality, kindness and are truly genuine.   As we discussed our intentions for our rest day, I mentioned the St. Mark Lighthouse to Karen.  Truth be told, I was looking for someone that would give me the nudge that I needed to head to the lighthouse.  Karen is perfect for this, as she enjoys sightseeing and has taken quite a few sidetrips during our cross country adventure.

She was all for the trip- we ran back to our rooms, made a quick change and headed out to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge/State Park.  Sue joined us and the three of us rolled on.   It was a great day, an easy ride on a road with a large shoulder, 11 miles into the park on park roads. Great scenery – marshes, coastal waters, birds, turtles – even a few alligators.

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We enjoyed lunch at a local bar – and had a bit of local fare – fried oysters, grilled shrimp!  Overall a perfect day all around.

My thoughts were full of wonderful memories of Sue Z who loved lighthouses.  I think St. Mark’s beckoned me so that I would spend the day thinking of her warm smile, her strength and zeal for life. She is truly missed.    I also though of Nicole D – another terrific person who enjoys lighthouses, and who has been a wonderful supporter of my journey.

4 riding days to go!  Still trying to get my head around the fact that this journey is coming to an end. Thanks to all of you for joining me on this great adventure!

Day 50 – “See you later alligator” Bill Haley & Comets

Quincy to Crawfordville, FL

52 miles

Total: 2780

A foggy start to the day found us on a “fog hold” for an hour before we headed out.  We had the luxury of a shorter ride, so there was not the need to risk our safety heading out in the poor visibility.

The last few days though Florida, have been with terrain that included many rolling hills.  I can no longer make a blanket statement that Florida is flat!  Perhaps the lower part is flat, but up here in Northern Florida, we have worked our way for days up and over many, many hills!

On our way to Crawfordville, we had an option for a side trip to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.  I opted to head in and enjoy lunch in the Lodge.  After I walked around the grounds and enjoyed the view of the lake and the grounds.  As it was Saturday, the area was very busy with many people swimming or jumping off the high dive platform.  Several of our riders decided to take a boat ride to try and catch a view of Manatees and Alligators.   They saw many alligators but due to recent rains, the water was a bit murky to catch a sighting of the manatees.

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Tomorrow we have one more rest day before we embark on the last 4 days of riding and our arrival into St. Augustine on Thursday.

 

Day 49 – “Chattahoochee” Alan Jackson

Mariana to Quincy, FL

54 miles

Total: 2728!

Further inland we traveled today, with the most notable moment of the day was crossing the Chattahoochee River.  The rivers are swollen here, and many have overrun their banks, and flooded local roads and yards.

We outran the dark clouds and avoided a thunderstorm.   One more day of riding before our last rest day and our final four riding days!

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We have enjoyed many great dinners across this country made with limited resources in the back of our travel trailer by 3 talented cooks.  Each one during their time with us has brought their own own style and taste.   After dinner, a few of us volumteer to help with the dishes.  It sounds crazy, but this time has become one of my favorite parts of the trip.  We laugh, we banter, we wash dishes!  Just another reminder that it is about the people that you spend time with, not the tasks or activities!

A few pictures from tonight!   Many thanks to Joyce (my twin Dish Bitch), Carolyn, Nancy, Twila, Mary-Slade, Sue, Ellen, Carol and Patty – for lots of fun.

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Day 48 – “Rocking down the highway” The Doobie Brothers

Crestview to Marianna, FL

91 Miles

Total: 2674

Left this morning at 7:05 shrouded in fog and heavy mist.  My glasses were fogged up and I had to take them off so I could see where I was going.  Temps went up to 85, and relative humidity was about 45%!   The cloud cover gave way to the sun around 9:15.  A gentle breeze kept the heat at bay.

After navigating out of Crestview, our route was pretty straightforward – 90 miles on route 90 East!   The Doobie Brothers song popped into my head as we were tooling along.  We went through several small towns – I am amazed at the names of some of these places  – Today was Mossy Head (Which made me wonder if the inventor of Chia Pets lived there…), Argyle (which made me think about how you can lose socks in the washing machine ), Ponce De Leon (…of course… in search of the Fountain of Youth)….well you can see how these rides go….by the time I arrived in Chipley – I was thinking of chocolate chip ice cream, and the last town of the day before we arrived in Marianna was Cottondale.    And what was your first thought.. mmmhmmm…

 

Today marked the last “long” ride — or a ride over 80 miles — we have two over 70 before we arrive in St.Augustine.   I am happy that this one is completed!

This part of Florida does not look like Florida to me — Pine trees, green, rural town- it could be anywhere.

Next stop? Quincy ….

 

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Day 47 -“You’ve got a friend” James Taylor & Carole King

Pensacola to Crestview, FL

65 miles

I enjoyed our quick trip to Pensacola.  Had a great dinner last night in the historic downtown. Lots of outdoor dining, rehabbed buildings and restaurants and bars.  Too bad I didn’t have any energy to explore after dinner, but I will add Pensacola to my list of places to return.   Once out of downtown, the ride took us along the coast for a bit and over another bridge.  We moved inland through several small towns, and enjoyed 6.5 miles on a bike path.  We exited the bike path and made a few quick turns onto a country road that we rode on for 15 miles.

 

We have enjoyed cloud cover and overcast skies for much of this trip which has kept the temperature down. Today, (and the next few days) the temps went up to 85 and the sun was bright in the sky.  Perfect day to celebrate the end of the ride with an ice cream.  Tomorrow we head out by 7 to beat the heat and pedal our last long day. 94 miles.  I cannot wait until that ride is done!

As I head into the last week of riding, and begin to reflect on the last 7 weeks, I want to thank my incredible family, friends, and colleagues for their incredible support.  Never once have I felt alone with your emails, texts, comments, cards and surprises.   Many of these came exactly when I needed them the most.    My heartfelt thanks to all.

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Day 46 – “Good Vibrations” Beach Boys

Dauphin Island, AL to Pensacola, FL

60 miles

Total: 2518

Blink! Out of Alabama and we are now in our last state!  We assembled early as we had a ferry to  catch to take us from Dauphin Island to Mobile Bay.  A quick 40 minute trip past oil rigs brought us to the gulf communities of Ft. Morgan and Gulf Shores. We pedaled past beach homes up on stilts.

 

 

 

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We crossed another bridge and entered Florida, Perdido Key at mile 35.    I have complained about the road surface in previous entries, so it is only right that I tell you that today was terrific. We enjoyed a bike lane for many miles in the Alabama seaside communities  and into Florida the road was in great shape.

Stopped in at Gulf Coast State Park in Alabama for a few pics of the pristine white beach. Really pretty and today it was not crowded at all

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We move inland now until we get into St. Augustine on May. 1.

Really enjoyable day today..like a day at the beach!

couple pics of sunset on Dauphin Island

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Day 44 – “Sweet Home Alabama” Lynyrd Skynrd

Day 44- Pascagoula, MS to Dauphin Island, AL

41 Miles

Total 2458

Day 45 – Rest Day on  Dauphin Island, AL

Yawn..we rolled out and I glanced at my watch and it read 7:19.  My first thought was why are we leaving so early when we have “only” a 41 mile day.?  The answer is so that we could get to our destination of Dauphin Island and relax and enjoy our accommodations, and the following rest day. Which upon arriving at said destination, I was thankful for the early start.

I sped out with “the dynamite sisters”  T-N-T.  Tanya and Twila, they were on a mission to find a donut shop that had received rave reviews.    The challenge for me was trying to keep up – Twila is a rocket, and Tanya can move!  We arrived at the 20 mile SAG stop, and thought we had missed the shop.  Twila dropped us so that she could ride her faster ride.  It was only a few miles beyond the SAG stop that we arrived into the small town of Bayou La Batre.  We were almost at the end of town (um, maybe a mile..) when I hear an excited cry from behind me –“there it is, there it is!”.

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Seemed appropriate to make a stop at a place called Sugar Rush on Easter Sunday!  As we were parking our bikes, several of the locals went in /out of the shop and each told us that we were going to enjoy our donuts!  And we did.  I did not try the Bubble Tea, but was told that it is made with tapioca.  I am sure it is great – but didn’t sound too appealing at 8:30 in the mornimageing.

We stopped for our official Welcome to Alabama photos!   Another state off of my list – and only one more to go!

Another bridge awaited us to get onto Dauphin Island.  The aptly named “Long Bridge”   was listed as 3.5 miles – most of it causeway type, but there was a very high/steep  portion.  Of  the several bridges that we have crossed the last week, this was the first one that gave me pause as I approached.  My initial reaction  was that I would not like to drive over this one– it was that steep.  But up and over I went – and once I got going it was not too bad!  Beautiful coast views led us onto the island, and off shore we saw many an oil rig.

Our  destination for the next two days is a lovely condominium resort right on the ocean.   We are in 3-4 bedroom units with living room and kitchen.

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My day off was wonderful!  Quiet morning, a walk into town and grabbed a great lunch – crab cake sandwich.. mmmmmmmm .  Enjoyed time with a few of my condo roomies and back to the Condo to relax.  I caught up on my “correspondence” writing thank yous and updating my blog.

Dinner in a bit and then tomorrow we head off  to Dauphin Island by ferry and on to Florida!   Hard to believe we will be entering our last state!  We have about 575 miles to go!

Came across this on the beach today.   I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

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Day 43 – “Ride” Trace Adkins

Wiggins to Pascagoula,MS

69 miles Total:  2417!

Hat tip to Adam for the song recommendation for today’s blog!  Seems right considering the first verse-  No diesel to fire up, but Sweet Ruby will make it to Florida! What a great day!   Finally we rolled out with the sunshining!  A gentle breeze made the heat stay at bay, and the terrain was rolling hills, and quiet roads.   We traveled through DeSoto National Forest.  Great ride, lots of green as we wound our way through rural Mississippi.  Some days the miles can be overwhelming, where you are glancing at your odometer every few minutes to see if you are making progress.  Today the miles just seem to fall away- 70 miles and I was in to the motel  by 1 pm. The last few miles took us to the coast and we crossed 2 bridges to arrive in Pascagoula.  The bridge was steep, but had a nice wide shoulder and not too much traffic.  I stopped at the top to take a few quick pictures – you can see the Naval yard. During our brief time in Mississippi you cannot help but realize that you are in the Bible Belt.  Even in the most remote areas you cannot go 3-5 miles without seeing a church.  You can feel and see the strength of their faith everywhere.  Seems appropriate to wish everyone a Happy Easter! image

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It is slowly creeping in that this journey will be over in less than two weeks!   There are moments when I am pedaling that it feels as if it will never end.  Other moments, it seems as thought it has flown by!

“Ride” Lyrics Alright Take a trip from here Bogalusa, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Picayune, Boloxi, Pascagoula, Mobile Bay,Big full moon Diesel up just north of Destin Headed cross to Jacksonville Love to see the world come at me Through the bugs On a big windshield Yeah, that’s right Tear it down in Raleigh-Durham Haven’t got an hour to lose Head up to the coast to Virginia Read the newest Newport News Back across the Appalachians Blowin’ into Louisville Love to feel the big wheels turnin’ Always have and always will Somewhere inside me There’s a new direction Somewhere before me There’s an open road Can’t go to sleep Without that diesel singin’ Somebody tellin’ me It’s time to go Let’s ride Come on boys, let’s ride Come on boys, let’s ride Little Rock, Texarkana, Dallas, Fort-Worth and El Paso 110 in the desert Pedal down Go dog go Always love to see the people Always love to hear the crowd Always love to bring a party Turn it up and play it loud Somewhere inside me There’s a new direction Somewhere before me There’s an open road Can’t go to sleep Without that diesel singin’ Somebody tellin’ me It’s time to go Let’s ride Come on boys, let’s ride Let’s ride like the wind I’ll be back again As sure as this world’s spins around One day I might find a reason To shut this thing down But for now Let’s ride Somewhere inside me There’s a new direction Somewhere before me There’s an open road Can’t go to sleep Without that diesel singin’ Somebody tellin’ me Tell me, it’s time to go Let’s ride Come on boys, let’s ride Come on boys, let’s ride Yeah Let’s ride     Submit Corrections TRACE ADKINS Lyrics A-Z Lyrics Send “Ride” Ringtone to your Mobile Writer(s): Peter Sven Kvint, Craig Michael Wiseman Copyright: Kvintsongs, Universal Music – Mgb Songs Powered by Share on http://www.amazon.comMP3 Share on emailEmail Share on printPrint Enter artist/album/song to search lyrics for: Advertise Here Privacy Policy DMCA Policy Contact Us TRACE ADKINS lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. “Ride” lyrics provided for educational purposes and personal use only. Copyright © 2000-2014 AZLyrics.com