America the Beautiful

This week we biked through Ray Charles’s home town of Greenville, Florida.  Ray Charles sang a resounding rendition of America the Beautiful, a perfect backdrop to this week’s route through diverse landscapes in the Florida panhandle.

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Thankfully, Florida doesn’t permit cyclists on the interstate, so we enjoyed lovely back roads and river crossings, including the beloved Suwannee River.  Scenes from the panhandle…

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The Spirit of the Suwannee campground, on the other hand, was less tranquil. We happened to land in the middle of a huge electronic music festival right next to our camp site with live and LOUD music through the night!  The crowd seemed straight out of Woodstock.

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After the rains of a week ago, the weather has been dry and HOT – with temperatures up into the 90s, calling for multiple ice cream stops, especially on our century ride yesterday.

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We were treated to the best-of-the-best shipped from Cincinnati to celebrate Lou’s birthday!

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The cows (near the Suwannee camp site) and critters (at Wakulla Springs State Park) found other ways to cool off.

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We wondered about this guy’s business model as the temps climbed!

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I jumped off the bike trail along Tallahassee’s outskirts and headed into the city for an “off-route field trip” to visit the beautiful old state Capitol building along with a trip up to the 22nd floor’s viewing platform of the “new” Capitol. Florida boasts that it has the third largest Capitol building in the country after  Austin, TX (with its gorgeous, classic building), and the nation’s Capitol.  In this case, big doesn’t always mean beautiful.  There was a great view over the University of Florida, the Turlington Education Center (named after my fellow cyclist’s father!) and 60 miles in all directions.

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The old Capitol was charming and inviting, even if its occupants were slow to embrace change.

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Wandering on the side streets of Tallahasee in search of the bike path heading east, I found some great street art, including a nod to today’s girl power.

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My favorite street art makes me think.  I first saw this in New Orleans.  It’s fun to imagine how to fill in the blank. Now that I’ve almost finished crossing the southern tier of the U.S., I can’t help but think that there are a lot more states, countries and continents to cover, a lot more time to spend with family and new and old friends, conversations to share, and questions to keep asking…

 

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2 comments

  1. Anne, so happy to that you completed your trip safely and had such a good time! Hope that you’ll continue blogging too! You’re welcome back to San Diego anytime. xoxo

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