Welcome to Florida

09Dec11

We dropped off the rental car on Monday morning December 5th.  In the bright Florida sunshine we gathered our gear and pedaled out of the Jacksonville airport.  It felt kind of like magic that we were suddenly pedaling in Florida, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time.

The roads had decent shoulders and the drivers seemed to be in good spirits.  We pedaled 25 miles out to St. Georges Island along the St. John’s River.  We happened upon a city park called Huguenot Memorial Park and there was a camping symbol on their sign.  We wandered in and were pleasantly surprised to find simple camping, hot showers and views of the ocean and river for $11.30!  Terrific!  We stayed two nights, taking walks on the beach, watching crazy amounts of air traffic fly over from the nearby naval base,  plus giant ships going by.  The campground was practically empty.  There were also lots of surfers riding the waves during the day.  We did some repairs to our gear and just relaxed at our campsite at our picnic table under the shade of a palm tree.  Life is good.

Our campsite at Huguenot Memorial Park

Beach flower

Palm tree silhouette

Pelicans in formation

Bird tracks in the sand

Here comes Santa Claus...

Wow!

We left on Wednesday morning December 7th with plans to connect with a warmshowers host in St. Augustine.  We took a ferry ride first thing from St. Georges Island to Mayport.  It was quick and for the first time we went on first and off first.  Normally it’s the other way around.  From there we headed south 41 miles in a headwind.  The headwind doesn’t bother us too much in the flat terrain and sunshine.  The wind can be dehydrating so we keep drinking lots of water as we go.

We arrived in St. Augustine in the afternoon.  Almost 4 years ago to this day we had taken a holiday trip down to Florida with our bicycles on the back of our car.  It was the fist time we tried biking around together and St. Augustine had been our first stop.  It’s neat to be back around the same time with all the holiday decorations.

Our warmshower’s host Hugh is a terrific fellow and his house is right in town.  We toured  around on Thursday, checking out the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, a National Park site.  We invested in a Nation Park Pass as we anticipate visiting many more down the road.

On top of the fort

Courtyard

Flagler College

It’s been a blogging marathon!  Thanks so much Hugh for hosting us-we continue to be overwhelmed by the hospitality that warmshowers hosts provide.  It’s such a great resource and we look forward to the day when we can host cyclists again.

We are headed out the door and into the backcountry a short distance from St. Augustine.  We are excited for free camping that involves a picnic table :)  Our next post will share what we’ve found in the woods of Florida.

Thanks for following along and we wish everyone well.

Debi and Bryan

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2 Responses to “Welcome to Florida”

  1. 1 Frank Zangara

    You guys look great. Your pictures are awesome. When we stopped at the fort we stood looking at the enterance trying to decide if we wanted to go in or just get on the bikes and continue towards the Keys. Just as we were about to leave an older couple saw us scratching our heads and purchased tickets for us. We loved that southern hospitality.

    Keep on truckin.

    Frank, bike cop


  1. 1 Bend, OR « thrubike.net

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