61 Miles Down, 749 To Go

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3641 S Byron Butler Pkwy
Perry, FL 32348
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Yesterday morning, I had the opportunity to present details about the trip live at the Fox 35 studios at 7:40AM. The council meeting that same night ran really late so by the time I got home and finished preparing (18 hours after I woke up that day) it was 1:30 before I got to sleep. My alarm went off promptly at 3:40 so I could catch a ride with my Dad to Tallahassee at 4am. With a few short stops along the way, we arrived at the Capitol Building around 9:00, shook some hands, and started the journey at 9:30.

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Nearby was a really cool Vietnam Memorial  I couldn’t help but take a picture under.

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Other than the Tallahasse-St.Marks Historic Railroad Trail which was great, the 61 mile route today was long, straight, & boring, 2 lane roads before arriving in Perry, FL (A pretty small but busy little town with thriving economic activity many other cities would envy) and visiting the first planned stop, the Forest Capital Museum.
(P.S.: There was a car on the side of that long, straight, & boring road with the hood up. He had overheated for lack of coolant. Being a gentleman, I offered him one of my water bottles to get it rolling again and nearly thirst to death before finally getting to a gas station to refill. Lesson Learned!)

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MAXIM: Most Logging Truckers couldn’t care less about bicyclists. #MayorLivesMatter

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Debra, the very friendly and knowledgeable on-site park ranger had mercy on me and gave a full tour of the grounds in a Kubota. The original 1863 “Cracker House” homestead built by Wiley W. Whiddon with 2 opposing bedrooms, an offset kitchen (for fear of fire), and an outhouse, is just on the back side of the park. *Fun Fact: Wiley’s Great-Great-Granddaughter who still bears his name just won the “Miss Forestry Pageant”

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The other side of the park has an indoor museum that gives a thorough overview of the different uses and lifecycles of Pine and other trees. The exhibit detailing the harvesting and production of terpentine, (the tree sap) was awesome. There were actually some trees on site that were “scraped and drained” in the past and have since grown over and are in different stages of resealing.

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I left there to arrive at the KOA Campground in Perry where a space was donated and I was ecstatic to find and enjoy a swimming pool & shower. I’d seriously consider living here it’s so clean and relaxed. Now I’m about to head out to Casa Grande Mexican Grill & Cantina where I was offered a hot meal, cold beer, & live music and will update with a full review later. Something tells me I’ll sleep pretty good.
Thank you everyone for all the support and well wishes. It really means a lot. Here’s to hoping I can actually sit down on my bike seat tomorrrow…

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