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By | May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Tallahassee to Wakulla Springs to Newport
34 miles

I thought I got a late start yesterday, finally getting on the road about 9am due to crossing into the Eastern time zone. But today I didn’t even get up til nine! After doing my laundry and Scott and Laura feeding me oatmeal and cantaloupe, I headed out at 11:30. Scott and Laura accompanied me on their tandem for a few miles, but they had to get back to open the shop at noon. Of course, there’s no way to thank them enough for taking such good care of me! I’m so lucky I ended up at their bike shop!


They had pointed me in the direction of a grocery store, because I was out of electrolytes for my water, but of course I wanted to eat everything there. They, sadly, also had no macaroni and cheese at their deli, but they did have yummy breads and rolls and couscous salad.

After the store, I headed for St. Mark’s Trail, a rails-to-trails trail. The first few miles were being resurfaced, but I was eventually able to get on it. What a lovely trail! It was wide and smooth, and they paved over driveways, rather than up to them. This meant fewer bumps! There were also bathrooms every few miles, and a few parks, parking areas, benches in shady spots, and drinking fountains.

Every trail should be so nice! Also, at most of the roads it crossed, car traffic had a stop sign and bike traffic had the right of way!

Unfortunately, I had to leave the path to get to Wakulla Springs. This might have been the first
time I went deliberately off route to a sight-seeing destination. Five miles out and five miles back! It had come highly recommended from several sources, plus I was taking a short day anyway. And there were alligators!

It was a beautiful day, but not quite hot enough for me to swim in 69 degree water. I enjoyed looking at the beautiful blues of the spring,

and the water was amazingly clear. I took the boat ride, a slow nature cruise down the spring fed river. We could see the bottom the whole time. There were alligators,

frolicking deer,

Suwanee Cooter turtles,

Anhingas and Anhinga babies, Osprey, Wood Ducks and Wood Duck babies, several kinds of herons, egrets, Cormorants,

and other birds whose names I can’t remember.

At the lodge, I had a Ginger Yip, which is basically a vanilla milkshake made with Ginger ale instead of milk, and looked at a very large stuffed alligator.


It was a very enjoyable afternoon. I rode the last ten miles to the Newport County Park campground, and set up camp. Jim Russell, his fiancé Connie, and his son, Grayson, came out to see me for a short visit.


Jim is a distance cyclist from Tallahassee who heard about me from Carl and Sallie, the brother and sister riding in support of MADD, whom I had met a few days ago, so he contacted me through my blog. Jim is on the FSU police force and does a lot of work to reduce drunk driving as well. He has put together a six hundred mile bike ride in Florida, and one circumnavigating the state. He is really interested in supporting long-distance cyclists, and someday hopes to do RAAM himself. He brought out snacks, water, a regular bike pump, (so much easier to use than my smaller road pump–a treat!), and, perhaps most imoportantly, bug spray. The noseeums at this campground are pretty intense. I would have liked to talk longer, but the bugs made it difficult.

Jim said that a cyclist is only as good as his crew, and between Jim and Connie’s appearance and the amazing folks at the Bicycle House, I must be doing OK. And that only takes into account the people who have helped me since yesterday afternoon!

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