Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 53 - Milton to DeFuniak Springs

Today we put on some miles. A bit over 60 from what we can tell. We are camping near DeFuniak Springs at a lake.

The plan was to meet at WallMart and carry groceries to camp which is a few miles north of town.

The day started fairly cold, but our tents were dry so was somewhat easier getting packed up. After getting packed up I rode the half mile to the Waffle House and had breakfast. Several others did as well.

Our route today has an option of either staying on 90 which we went off route on to get to our campsite, or backtrack into Milton about 4 miles or so to get back on route. 90 has a nice wide smooth shoulder and I'm kind of for saving some miles so I opted for that option.

The road today was mostly pretty flat so I rolled along pretty fast.

I caught up to and passed several of our group that had left earlier. As I approached Crestview I noticed Dick ahead of me. He pulled off the main route and I followed him.

As it turns out they were just getting started with their Veterans day parade. We stayed and watched, got some candy and a small american flag. The grand marshal asked us how our ride was and where we were going.

After watching a fair amount of the parade we got back on the road again.

A few miles up the road I needed to use a restroom and pulled over at a convenience store. As I did I noticed a loaded bike there, but as I approached I realized it wasn't one of our group.

It turns out it was a young girl riding from Vancover, BC starting sometime in July. She was very excited to meet me saying that she had been hearing about our group all the way across. We chatted for a bit and rode on. Her bike was interesting in that her panniers were made from 5 gallon buckets and most of what she had seemed to be fairly inexpensive, although she did have a fairly good bike. She really wants a Surly though and was quite excited to see mine.

Later in the day Daryl talked with her a bit as well.

A bit further up the road several of us had lunch at a nice BBQ place and had a good talk with some locals.

The day went on smoothly from there although it took me a bit to figure out where WallMart was.

The campsite was quite nice, next to a lake. No mosquitoes, but I did have some small tree frogs get into my tent before I zipped it up. I shooed them out and didn't have a problem with them the rest of time we were there.

Some of the group opted to stay in town so there were fewer of us camping for the night.

There was wind chime in the tree next to my tent that was tuned to a minor key so as I went to bed the wind blew a random melancholy tune. The breeze died down later on and then came up again just before dawn so I woke to the same melancholy tune.

So far the roads in Florida seem to be some of the best in the country. Nice wide, smooth and generally fairly clean shoulders seem to be common.

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