Friday, September 18, 2015

Apalachicola Rundown

So far on this trip we've found some pretty scenic rides. My plan to do a tour of the whole panhandle using Apalachicola as our base was a total wash. It can be done, but it is just too complicated for a relaxing trip. But Apalachicola turns out to be a gem of an area for cycling. It has rides with different moods, different scenery, and different ambiance. (Which is very important to us.)

But what has us excited about the area are the rides we haven't done yet. Rides we will do on our next trip, on road bikes. Franklin County is one of those rare Florida places that has most of its land set aside as state and national forest or wildlife refuges and the like. It is one of the least populous counties in Florida. (And likely to stay that way.) The coastal highway is scenic and reasonably bike friendly. Because the Apalachicola River and protected environmental areas run through the center of the county, roads that lead away from the coast are few, have wide paved shoulders, and almost no traffic. We can't wait to take our road bikes out on these highways.

For instance, a ride to and from the tiny crossroads hamlet of Sumatra on highway 65. Not a stop sign or slow down in 25 miles or so. Road bike heaven.

Thanks to those who messaged asking about our hotel and other details. Our hotel is the Water Street Hotel and Marina. There are also standard motels in the area (the Best Western is newly refurbished), a lovely restored historic hotel downtown, and the River Inn, an older restored riverfront motel (all rooms face the water). So why are we at the Water Street and not at one of these others or in a beach rental? Because the Water Street Hotel and Marina is new construction, not a restored older building. Because each of its apartments has a large screened balcony on the river, furnished with comfortable patio furniture. Because the units have good wireless Internet. And because we enjoy watching the boats going up and down the river and listening to the wind in the marsh reeds. It's as simple as that.

Yep, we'll be back here soon. With road bikes.