Day 16

Whew, today was the biggest riding day I’ve had on this trip so far… over 50 miles! Adding a few miles to the ride made it so we could stay in a nicer town, with nicer hotels. ūüėÉ

IMG_1480Half of my miles today were spent traveling along the side of what seemed like a freeway, where the cars and trucks twirled my tassels as they whipped by. The other half  had me peddling on nice, new (wide) bike trails that I shared with almost no one.

Crossing the state line from Georgia into South Carolina was a little more rewarding than the border between Florida and Georgia. At least there was a bigger welcome sign! So far, I think I like South Carolina better than Georgia.

IMG_1500On top of my long ride, we squeezed in another stimulating laundry session, pigged out on burgers and ice cream at Fat Patties, and topped the day off with a movie.

Only 88 miles left until Charleston!!

Some views from today…

STATS:
From: Savannah, GA to Beaufort, SC
Today’s Miles: 51
Total Trip Miles: 581

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Day 15

Taking a day off to¬†hang out in Savannah. We met up with Sue (co-worker from DPR) for lunch, then she toured us around to some of her favorite shops in the old historic district where we’re staying. Lots of rain today!

STATS:
From: Savannah, GA to Savannah, GA
Today’s Miles: 0
Total Trip Miles: 530

Day 14

IMG_1431My¬†rain jacket got fully tested in action today! I started out without it but only got 3 miles down the road before the rain downpour started. My sister had to come to my rescue to bring my jacket. The rain kept coming down the entire rest of the ride. So needless to say I didn’t really get any photos or shoot any video. I made it safely to Savannah though and feel deeply entrenched in the South now. It’s amazing how far north I had to peddle to get to the ¬†“South”. Florida is definitely not part of the South in terms of culture. I found a really nice coffee shop called The Coffee Fox where I stopped to warm up with a mocha and a piece of quiche (ok, ok two mochas and¬†two pieces of quiche). We did a bit of quick walking around and stumbled upon the DPR Hardin jobsite! My husband, Chris arrived here to spend some time with me, and tomorrow I am taking a day off to rest and do a bit of exploring around Savannah.

STATS:
From: Richmond Hill, GA to Savannah, GA
Today’s Miles: 23
Total Trip Miles: 530

Day 13

IMG_1361Awoke at 4:30 this morning to crashing thunder and lightning so bright it lit up our whole room. However the storm cleared just in time for a fabulous sunrise and an on-time departure for me. With one last gaze at the beautiful view from our balcony and a send-off from Sassy I  peddled away toward Richmond Hill.

I waved to an elderly gentleman leaving the post office as he was observing my ride from across the street. He gave me a broad smile, a big wave and shouted out “may your way be fast and steady”. I thought that was a nice thing for him to say.

IMG_1417When I saw a sign reading ‘Smallest Church in America’ of course I had to go see it! Well it was small alright, it was downright tiny!! You all (y’all…since I’m in the south) know how I love tiny things. Not a thing was missing from this wee church, except a pastor and the congregation.

One good thing about riding in this area is all the big logging trucks. If they’re really close as they pass by me they give me a little wind boost from behind that lets me coast for a few seconds…ha ha…yikes!IMG_1423

Hungry after 40 plus miles of peddling, I felt like I could eat anything and everything in sight! After a large iced tea, a caesar salad and a big bowl of macaroni & cheese I felt like I was going to explode. A ‘food baby’, as Susi called it.

Some of my views today…

STATS:
From: Darien, GA to Richmond Hill, GA
Today’s Miles: 42
Total Trip Miles: 507

Day 12

IMG_1340I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and started riding early. That means I’m tired and can’t really think of what to write. People in these parts must really like my pink bike because I got a lot of hoots, honks and big arm waves. I didn’t even have balloons on my basket¬†today! Although I rode through a lot of areas with more saggy, rusted houses, we once again landed on our feet at a nice little bed and breakfast called the Blue Heron Inn. It is newly rebuilt and just reopened. IMG_1397I think we are the very first people to occupy the room we’re staying in, and we have the whole place to ourselves as the only guests tonight. We helped the owners, Bill and Jan, break in¬†the new outdoor bar that they built from recycled materials from the old building (which unfortunately burned down last year). We don’t drink so we just ate our salads at the bar.

Some of the views from today…

STATS:
From: Jekyll Island, GA to Darien, GA
Today’s Miles: 40
Total Trip Miles: 465

Day 11

The morning started gently, luxuriously  sleeping in till 7 followed by a lovely breakfast at the Horse Stamp Inn. We pet Belle and fed her apples before I peddled away toward Jekyll Island, our next destination.

Frame-26-08-2015-09-30-00

On the way a couple of ladies drove up along side me as I peddled ¬†Hwy 17 giggling, they asked if I knew whether Brunswick was north or south. I actually knew the answer – it was north. Then, they asked if I could give them directions, uhoh…..now what? I told them I was from Florida and didn’t actually know the way, they giggled more and said “Oh, we’re from Northern Ireland!!”. Then it struck me! I could look it up on my cell phone map app. They continued driving slowly along side me watching for cars, giggling and the whole time apologizing for bothering me – they weren’t, I thought it was fun.

Rumble strips are not made for riding bikes on!! They force a person to ride out in the roadway or rattle themselves apart trying to negotiate the ‘strips’ – yikes! Im happy to report though that I made it safely through the rumble-strip-obstacle-course leading out to Jekyll Island.

Once on the island there were wide and smoothly paved bike trails. In fact the trails were so nice that Susi even felt inspired to ride a ways with me. Thanks for suggesting we visit here Jim Snyder, it’s beautiful!

STATS:
From: Waverly, GA to Jekyll Island, GA
Today’s Miles: 40
Total Trip Miles: 425

Day 10

IMG_1228Balancing on a skinny strip of asphalt at the edge of the road, and praying the cars speeding by at 60 miles per hour wouldn’t ¬†hit me, is how my morning started. Too busy trying to stay alive to get any photos that’s for sure… White-knuckle riding!¬†Crossing the boarder into to Georgia was a bit anti-climactic. There was only a small street sign saying “We’re glad Georgia’s on your mind”. Don’t know what I was expecting for sure but something more than that I guess.

IMG_1237I’m out in the boonies now! Rusted, sagging houses with moss and mold growing everywhere, wrecked cars and trash in the yard, and of course a shiny new Mercedes parked in the car port…..wait….what? That ain’t right. Huh.

It’s so sad to see all the neglect and downright abandonment of what looks to have been thriving businesses and nice homes.¬†Then, right in the middle of it all is the Horse Stamp Inn, where we’re staying for the night.¬†A wonderful Georgian manor with beautifully landscaped and maintained grounds. There’s even a friendly horse in the paddock. The folks running the place are so friendly and nice (Michelle says “hello”). They even toured us through every room so we could select the best one (we actually thought all the rooms were perfect). We were told we’d be having some h’ordures in the evening that actually turned out to be a full dinner. We even had Max, the super-lapdog to keep us entertained. I hope we don’t wake up in the morning to find out¬†our oasis is a mirage and that we’re actually at the Motel 6!

Horse Stamp Inn

Views from today…

STATS:

From: Yulee, FL to Waverly, GA
Today’s Miles: 41
Total Trip Miles: 385

Day 9

IMG_1211I accidentally¬†added about 10 miles to my trek today. First, I got totally distracted watching the sunrise between the houses that lined the beach. I was riding¬†along trying to glimpse the sun between each house and suddenly found myself WAY off track.¬†Next I rode¬†down a beautiful bike trail that ended up being¬†closed! It would have been nice if the closed sign was on both ends of the trail instead of just down at the very end where I found myself¬†totally boxed in. I had no choice but¬†to turn around and go back….dang!

IMG_1210Oopsies……bike fall down and go boom.

On a happier note, as I was riding merrily along on a small twisting road near the Mayport Navel Station, the road suddenly ended at the waters edge but there was a ferry waiting for me! As soon as I arrived and rode my bike aboard, they closed up the gate and we embarked on a 5 minute mini-cruse across the St. Johns River. Good thing I had the $1 fee handy.

IMG_1213You’d think this frog would have found a better place to lounge around. He made quite an impression in the concrete road, however.

And last but not least… Huge spiders had strung their webs all over the place along a big section of the bike trail.¬†¬†There’s nothing like riding along and having a gigantic spider web wrap around your forehead and stick to your hair (and everything else it touches). Yuck!! After that I made sure I¬†ducked and weaved around those.

STATS:
From: Jacksonville Beach, FL to Yulee, FL
Today’s Miles: 47
Total Trip Miles: 344

Day 8

I thought that since¬†today is Sunday, I’d have the road all to myself this morning… But no! The fishermen came¬†zooming past me in their big trucks hauling even bigger boats, all trying to be the first on the water to get the best spots. Then came the bicyclists one after the other, hundreds of them, some in big groups and others peddling alone. I just about wore out my “hello” trying to greet them all.

MailboxesOut here on some of the lonelier stretches of road people, get pretty creative with their mailboxes. Maybe¬†it’s sort of a way to direct people who are coming to visit,¬†like “when you come around the corner, look for the pink lizard mailbox on the right”. Or maybe they just want¬†to express themselves.

IMG_1139I stopped off for breakfast at this cute little cafe and I must have ordered enough for two, because when the girl brought out my order she set one plate in front of me and the second¬†one on the other side of the table. I guess she thought because there were two breakfasts there should be two people. Nope… just me! ūüôā

IMG_1208The ride went along really fast today and was over before I knew it! The scenery wasn’t overly exciting, so¬†I didn’t find much in the way of interesting things for picture-taking. Oh well. It was also laundry day, which was very exciting (no… not really). Tomorrow I’ll be¬†heading out into the boonies a bit.

Here are the views from today, we added some different music to try to make it a little more exciting. Haha!

STATS:
From: St. Augustine, FL to Jacksonville Beach, FL
Today’s Miles: 34
Total Trip Miles: 297