Southern Tier: Virtual Tour-West to East. Last Leg From Live Oak to Ichetucknee Springs, Gainesville, Palatka, St. Augustine
These springs fill the rivers in the area. I was wondering about all these rivers that I passed.
Gainesville is the home of the University of Florida. I love touring a college campus and looking at the architecture.
On this ride there were two long trail rides. The Gainesville-Hawthorne trail was about 15 miles. Later we went on the Patalka-Butler State Trail which ran 12 miles.
Doing the Virtual Trip is the best I can do. I miss the hard stuff: rain, heat, cold, hills, bugs, hunger, thirst and many aspects. This does allow me a chance to get some feel what some riders experienced while they did the trip. I must remember that I did ride the 3098 miles. Now I will start another virtual trip. The temperatures will soon warm up and the snow will stop. These changes will allow me to get outside.
There are many recreational craft in Florida. In fact, they lead the country. I am sure that this came about as the population bloomed: now the third in the US. Decades ago Michigan lead the country with pleasure craft registrations. Now after Florida comes Minnesota then Michigan. All these states have a lot of water.
We passed through Pace and Milton as we moved away from the Gulf. Timber was the industry of this region for a long time.
Crestview with a population of over 27K and the crossing of three major highways provides a good spot to stay. The railroad from here helped move the lumber. At an elevation of 235' it is one of the highest places in the state. It also has the nickname of "the icebox of Florida" because of its repeated coldest temperatures in the peninsula.
Many of these towns were along the Pensacola & Atlantic Railroad which started in 1881 to service the agriculture and timber commerce of the area. These industries are still productive in this region of Florida.
By this part of the tour I want to just get to the end and do something different that bike, see sights and sleep. I am moving on without exploring Tallahassee.
In my town of Rochester, we had an opera house like this. The lower floor was a shop and the second floor housed a big, open room that could be used for "shows." I wonder if an opera made either venue.
Which is worse the surface shown above or rumble strips? I vote for rumble strips being worse, but usually you have a little section next to it you can ride. With this surface, we needed to be on the road as much as we could. When we see traffic in both lanes, we shift over to the shoulder. We did fine and this is just a temporary condition. It will soon be repaved and what a beautiful shoulder later bike tourers will enjoy.
I remember this Stephen Foster tune, but I do not remember all the lyrics. Check it out on YouTube if you are not familiar. Getting ready for the last leg of this virtual tour.
Like so many places along the coast the fort is still undergoing hurricane repairs. There are no guided tours at this time.
Now across Florida.
Southern Tier-West to East. Virtual Tour: Leaving Mississippi and then Alabama into Florida
This is the sea food capital of Alabama. This area was also devestated by Hurricane Katrina. Many of the fishing fleet were pushed ashore by the 16' stormsurge. This area is also known for its ship building.
Now on to Florida, the last state of this virtual tour.
Southern Tier Virtual Bike Tour: Leaving Louisiana and Entering Mississippi and now about to Alabama
We were able to take advantages of the amenities of a city of over 10,000 people. Picayune is the name of a Spanish coin.
Finding out about the areas that I virtually travel through is interesting. Today the obvious draw to the coast is to be by the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy the warmer temperatures during the winter. I have many friends that travel from the midwest to the south to get a break. These picture make me long for a trip.
In the early 1900s this area was know for the radishes grown here. These radishes were long and not like the ones that I see now in the store. Long Beach called itself the "Radish Capital of the World." The timber industry was big in this area. The enormously devestating hurricane Katrina (2005) wiped out much of this coastline and the communities. There has been a lot of hard work to build this back. The Choctaw were the native people in this area. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choctaw
Southern Tier-Virtual Bike Tour- Louisiana: Bunkie, Morganza, Jackson, Bogalusa
When you have limited roads between towns, people always go for the direct route. People are almost universally good and giving you space, but you do not know when the driver will not. I feel like I need to be responsible for my safety. I will defer to pull off on the shoulder to live to see another day.
Audubon was a self-taught artist. He created a pictoral record of birds of the North America. An example of his work is below and show vivid detail of each species. Each bird was shown in its natural habitat.
Tomorrow I will be in Mississippi.
I love my riding days and look to find interesting and informative items to share.
Pacific Coast Highway