Monthly Archives: October 2013

The End of the Road: One Wheel in the Atlantic – Day 95 – October 29

DAVE DID IT! Our Unicycle Across America Road Trip, that began March 1 in San Diego, CA, ended today at noon. The Destination was Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, FL. The Rider stretched out the last 3 days’ rides to  arrive at the water’s edge in at the crack of noon ‘in case anyone was coming’. Here are some pictures of the finish.

As you can see, a lot of people we knew showed up, plus a number of people at the beach joined in to celebrate. It was a great surprise and I enjoyed coordinating secret logistics with the group. Dave showed amazing perseverance combined with mental and physical endurance and well-deserved the welcome he got. It has been a real adventure for both of us that created abundant memories and stories. Plus we’ve had a blast! Thank you to everyone who came out to support The Rider (and The Crew):

Florida extended White family: Ruth Naegele, Joe Naegele and Nancy Naegele-Nichol (aunt & cousins who drove up from South Florida)

Mom & Sibs: Bea White, Suzi Ramos and Katie Hamric (who organized the surprise & flew the the Ohioans in)

Dennis & Dorothea Quinn (friends who drove from Sarasota)

Eva Hottinger (BOCC friend we stayed with in Satsuma for 3 nights)

After the beach gathering, we packed up and drove to New Smyrna Beach, FL, where Nancy has a home near the beach. We had a great time celebrating some more and enjoying the sunset on the beach. This morning we all went for a ride.

For my last Unicycle Road Trip blog post, I want to thank everyone who has supported us along the way – neighbors who watch our homes; siblings who accept our mail; Jo Ann and David who shared their cross-country ride expertise; old friends with phone calls & comments on the Blogs and Facebook; new friends we’ve met on the road; those of you who invited us into your homes & RVs, provided a place to stay, bought dinner or drinks and the campground owners who gave us a good deal to support the Ride.  A special thanks to those who gave financial support to the ALS Therapy Development Institute. Raising awareness and funds for ALS in memory of Bob White, Dave’s dad, gave this Ride a purpose and made it more than a road trip.

Bob and Ruth White with their father

Bob and Ruth White with their father

An Interview & BOCC Family on LaLa Lake – Days 92-93 – October 26-27

We arrived at the Burned Out Canoe Club outpost on LaLa Lake (aka Evie & Slick’s home in Satsuma, FL) on Friday afternoon.  It was another case of studying the map and thinking we might be in the vicinity of our friends’ home. One cell phone call later and we planned a layover day with Evie at their new Florida home.  It’s a cozy place with a deck overlooking  a little lake near the St. John’s River. Unfortunately, Slick is working in Maryland, but we got to see him on the Middle Fork trip.  Saturday was like a little BOCC family reunion when Barry Black rode his motorcycle up from Sanford, FL, his snowbird houseboat home.

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IMG_0417A reporter from The Jacksonville Times-Union met with us in Palatka Saturday and did a two-hour interview with Dave. The article he wrote appeared in this morning’s paper.

http://m.jcfloridan.com/news/article_e25bc242-36ab-11e3-b151-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=story

http://members.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-10-26/story/coast-coast-unicycle-riders-journey-really-started-almost-50-years-ago

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Tomorrow Dave rides a short day and we will be in St. Augustine. We will camp at Anastasia State Park. On Tuesday, Dave will ride into the park at noon to end the ride. And Bob’s your uncle!

Old McIrby’s Farm & Botanical Gardens – Day 91 – October 25

Yesterday we opted out of Kate’s Fish Camp and chose to cook dinner in a park nearby instead. And began a great evening.  A group of older guys were having a gathering at the pavilion across from us and one of them came over to investigate our truck and find out what we were about. When he learned that we did not have a place to camp for the night, he invited us to come home with him to his farm. Eventually, more of his friends came over to talk and learn about the unicycle trip. Long story short, the group was the Eastside Garden Club. They started either in 1939 or 1947 as a fishing group comprised of local businessmen. They would fish every Thursday, then play poker and drink through the evening.  Someone said the group needed a name and they should call themselves the Eastside Garden Club because they consumed so much Four Roses. It was really fun talking with them.

We had a very enjoyable evening camping at Marshall McIrby’s farm. I felt like I was part of Charlotte’s Web. As soon as we got there, everyone expected dinner and came running: donkey, geese, chickens, dogs, cat. Cattle were on their own. Marshall is a very interesting guy and a generous host that we were lucky to meet and get to know a little bit.

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In Gainesville, I discovered Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and had a great morning hiking around and taking photos. It’s  a wonderful place for wandering around and discovering its many environments and unusual gardens.

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Ichetucknee Springs to the Devil’s Millhopper – Day 90 – October 24

This morning I hiked around a bit and took some pictures of the Main Spring and Blue Hole in the state park. Florida has more springs than any other place in the world. The karst terrain is characterized by underlying limestone and numerous sinkholes.  Along with the warm climate and heavy rainfall, springs thrive. The water emerging from the springs is purified by the aquifer for 40 years.  Year-round temperature is 72 degrees. If the air temperature had not been around 50 degrees when I was there, I would have been in the springs instead of looking at them. I was feeling sorry for myself until I saw friends’ Facebook posts of SNOW in northern Ohio.

My next stop was a Winn Dixie, then the nail salon next door. It was time.

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I then headed into the Gainesville area to find The Rider. First I found the Devil’s Millhopper. Really. It’s a huge sinkhole, 155 feet deep with 212 steps to the bottom. I met a backpacker on the steps who does them 10 times for his workout. He said it’s the closest thing to a mountain in  the area.  Very exotic hole in the ground created thousands of years ago. Pictures do not do it justice.

Our destination campground today is Kate’s Fish Camp, on Newman’s lake just outside Gainesville.

Another travel quote, by Helen Hays:

“When traveling with someone, take large doses of patience and tolerance                     with your morning coffee”. ;-))

More Travel Quotes – Day 89 – October 23

Ernest Hemingway
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
Not much happening on the route today – Northern Florida bible belt continues. I saw a sign on a home that advertised “Assault Weapons For Sale” and I was afraid to get out and take a picture of it. Farms, forests and the ubiquitous Spanish Moss. The first time I saw it was at age 11 on a family vacation to Florida. I thought it was so cool that I brought some home.  I still think it’s cool.
The Rider made 48 miles today! He stopped just beyond our camp –  Ichetucknee Springs Campground. It’s on the route, east of Wellborn, West of High Springs & not near anything.. Tomorrow I plan to check out the springs in the state park.
More travel quotes to share.  They are from Goodreads Quotes About Travel  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/travel. I find them addicting. Wish I could write stuff like this!
Marcel Proust

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
Mark Twain

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
― Mark TwainTom Sawyer Abroad
Rumi

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”
― Rumi
Anaïs Nin

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
― Anaïs NinThe Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974
G.K. Chesterton

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
― G.K. Chesterton
Anna Quindlen
“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own.”
― Anna QuindlenHow Reading Changed My Life
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
― Ralph Waldo EmersonEmerson’s Essays
Douglas Adams

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
E.E. Cummings

“may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.”
― E.E. Cummings
“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”
― Judith Thurman

Bill Bryson

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
― Bill BrysonNeither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe
Mary Anne Radmacher
“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher
Elizabeth Gilbert
“to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love
Ursula K. Le Guin

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin
Marcel Proust

“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of
life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they
continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It
is as though they were traveling abroad.”
― Marcel Proust
Neil Gaiman

“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book
Robert Louis Stevenson

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”
― Robert Louis StevensonThe Silverado Squattersl
Tennessee Williams

“Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.”
― Tennessee WilliamsCamino Real
Rick Steves

“Self-consciousness kills communication.”
― Rick Steves
Anderson Cooper

“The farther you go, however, the harder it is to return. The world has many edges, and it’s easy to fall off.”
― Anderson Cooper
Pat Conroy

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”
― Pat Conroy
James A. Michener

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the relgion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
― James A. Michener
Anthony Bourdain

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
― Anthony BourdainKitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Roseanne Barr

“Men read maps better than women because only men can understand the concept of an inch equaling a hundred miles.”
― Roseanne Barr

The Road Abode – Day 88 – October 22

We declared today a layover day, but we didn’t really lay over. The weather report called for 70 percent rain and it started drizzling in the morning.  We packed up and left at noon for a movie in Lake City, FL.  Before we departed, we noticed an overnight growth on the truck. It’s a good illustration of how damp everything gets.

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My friend John wants to see what the truck looks like inside. so here are some inside shots of the Road Abode (my name for it). AKA the Sardine Can. It’s cozy, but doesn’t require much time to clean or dust!

Section 100 – October 21 – Day 87

Today we traveled Section 100 of the seven Southern Tier Route Maps. Section 1 in San Diego, CA was 2600+ miles, 87 camping days and I lost count of how many grocery store visits ago.

The day started with a waffle continental breakfast at the KOA – a first for us. Turns out the owners were originally from University Heights, OH.  More small world stuff.

Madison, FL was the today’s town of interest. The antique shops it is known for were unfortunately all closed on Mondays. But I enjoyed wandering around the square and main street area. I always try to imagine what it would have been like in the 1800’s when many of the homes were built.

Suwanee River State Park offered another top notch campground on the cycling route. There was a miraculously low mosquito population, considering it was on the river. I cooked my most successful stove-top dutch oven dish, lasagna for dinner. We enjoyed visiting with John & Susan Robinson from Durham, NC.

East of Tallahassee – October 20 – Day 86

Today everything felt damp inside the truck.  So our campsite goal was the KOA east of Tallahassee for laundry day. I’m blogging while 2 loads of wash get done.  The country roads the route followed were mostly flat except for the 12 miles I chose to ride. Very pastoral.

I found a good car wash and washed the truck.  CLEAN  makes a big difference to me since I spend so much time in it. It also struck me that we have a color theme – blue with red accents. IMG_5950It was a good day for The Rider and The Crew.

From Ante-bellum Museum to Fish Camp – October 19 – Day 85

Yesterday we cooked dinner at an I-10 rest area west of Tallahassee. It might have made a good campsite except for two reasons. The first is in Florida vehicles cannot stay more than 8 hours. The second is that we have read it is less safe to overnight in rest areas close to cities. So we moved to the Flying J down the interstate.

This morning was foggy and rainy, so we moved slowly, hoping for the fog to burn off.  After dropping off The Rider, The Crew went to check out Goodwood museum and gardens.The home was built in the 1840’s with the grounds filled with heirloom plants.

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The neat thing about the house is that it feels like the owner just left.  All the furnishings and personal items, art and family photos belonged to people who lived there. A wealthy woman purchased it in 1912  to use it as a hunting lodge to entertain guests. People like Tolstoy and Helen Keller. She added cottages, a pool, and a roller rink.  The grounds are kept as they would have been in the 1800’s, slightly overgrown and are not overly manicured.

The Rider missed a turn and lengthened his route.  The positive part of this is that we were able to return to Shell Island Fish Camp to overnight.  It is in St. Marks on the river. We discovered this in 2012 and  enjoyed the spot. They only charged us $10 to camp overnight. Another place where the people make the difference.

Travel Quotes On The Road To Tallahassee – October 18 – Day 84

Nothing much happening on the road to Tallahassee. Except hills.

Dave hillWe are about 89% done with the Southern Tier route. We are now in McDonalds in Tallahassee because it’s pouring & they have Wifi. The newer ones like this even have plugs. Here is the view from the window. I think he wanted in out of the rain.

McDonalds tree frog

On days like this, there is not much for me to do. So I started collecting travel quotes that I will share with the reader. Good food for thought and inspiration.
Not all those who wander are lost.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” 
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 
― Lao Tzu
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
― Robert Louis StevensonTravels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” 
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” 
― Lao Tzu
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” 
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”