Dave and I have about 2 weeks to explore on our way to Roan Mountain, TN. Why do we need to be in Roan Mountain in two weeks? Well, Anne & Jim (who we visited last year) are taking care of Murphy for us. Why are Anne & Jim taking care of Murphy you ask? Well, Dave and I are joining Greg & Helen (friends from Minnesota we met on the Great Loop) for a cycling vacation. You might remember Greg & Helen from our Erie Canal 8 day bike ride last July. This year we are heading to Slovenia (I must admit I had to look on a map where Slovenia was) for a guided “green gourmet bike tour” around the country. We are very excited! (Except the weather still might be a bit brisk in May for us Floridians).
This week, after leaving the gorgeous Black Prong Equestrian Center, we headed to Ross Prairie State Park for cycling along the Marjorie Harris Carr 16-mile paved multi-use trail, a part of the 110-mile long Cross Florida Greenway. Tom, Barb & Salty joined our short journey to the park. Upon arriving, Dave & Tom decided to get in a short bike-ride before dinner. As Barb & I visited, it seemed as if the boys should have been back. I checked my “Find my Friends” app and the dot showing Dave’s location did not seem to be moving. I texted Dave and he replied that all was well and they should be home shortly. We waited and waited and again I texted. The reply was “We are good. One of us will text if a problem. Busy now”. Hum…. As I followed Dave’s dot, they were now making slow progress back to the campsite and returned safe. It seems that once they got off the paved trail to the 1-mile “easy” mountain bike trail back to the campsite (they were on gravel bikes, not mountain bikes), they made a wrong turn and ended up on a double black diamond mountain bike trail (the hardest level). Yikes!
The four us of spent the next two days exploring the paved trails, first on the Marjorie Carr trail and then on the Withlacoochee trail. On the first day, Dave decided to try out Murphy’s new bike trailer and Tom had a trailer for Salty. They all did great, except when Dave was going downhill around a corner, Murphy’s trailer fell on its side and skidded across the road. Murphy tumbled out of his trailer and somehow got out of his collar and he came running over to me just as I was stopping my bike. He was fine and even got right back in the trailer. Whew. We left the pups at home on our second day of riding and enjoyed a yummy lunch in Inverness, FL.
Our next stop was the Suwannee River State Park, yep – right on the Suwannee River. The Suwannee River begins in the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia. It runs 246 miles, flows southwest into Florida, and ends as it drains into the Gulf of Mexico near….yep, Suwannee, Florida. For our Florida friends, you may know that “Old Folks at Home” aka “Swanee River” is the state song of Florida. Written in 1851 by Stephen Foster, its lyrics have been revised several times to not be quite so offensive, as it was written in the first person from the perspective of a slave. We stayed two nights and enjoyed several hikes along the river and into the forest, spotting two large deer on one of our hikes. I tried to get a picture of them, but they were quite skittish.
Our final stop this week was a gem. Dave scored a lakefront spot in the Eastbank Campground, on Lake Seminole, right on the Georgia/Florida border. It is a Core of Engineers (COE) campground, and with Dave’s “senior” discount, it cost $11 a night. Pretty sweet for such a gorgeous site and a very nice campground as well. We visited the nearby historic downtown area of Bainbridge, GA which had a beautifully landscaped central square, with shops, restaurants, and a bakery surrounding the square. Those of you who know me well, know that yes, I stopped in the bakery, and surprisingly, I only bought 4 homemade, scrumptious cookies. How I did not buy one of the enormous cinnamon rolls, I do not know!
Onward for another week of exploration before we see Anne & Jim.
Loving every minute Brenda, Good to be retired Dave, and I so love hiking Murphy
2 thoughts on “Traveling to Tennessee”
Miles of smiles!
Wow, you guys are off to a fantastic start on this years travels!
The close-up glamour shot of Mr. Murphy and Salty definitely made my day!
(and thanks for letting us tag along 😉