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Friday, June 13, 2014

Tour De Mellon ride

     Finally getting around to sharing details about the Tour De Mellon ride and water melon festival in Chiefland Fl. and our first time out in our new to us travel trailer the Evergreen Everlite 29fk, that's for front kitchen, and a very spacious usable kitchen it proved to be with plenty of counter and cabinet space and ample light to see by. And in the bedroom a walk around bed, and a very usable shower in the bath.  Aside from lots of storage cabinets the Airstream lacked the other amenities.  Enough about the camper, on to the ride.
     As usually happens before a big ride on a trail, this being the Nature Coast Trail, the maintenance crews are out cleaning, mowing and blowing getting ready for the ride the day before. But sometimes the best efforts are for naught.  At about 2:30 in the morning we could hear the wind kick up  and rain down on our camper roof various detritus of tree branches and acorns which hadn't fallen off last fall and of course all this same trash was blown down on the previously groomed trail making the ride, especially for thin tired road bikes like a mountain bike ride.  Being on a fully suspended trike I did my best to pick up as much crap while riding and throwing it off to the side.  We did 50 miles that day and the weather was beautiful, not overly hot and humid and a light wind of the tail variety on our way back.  Needless to say we ate much water melon, yum!   After the ride we checked out the festival which had the usual arts and crafts for sale and everybody seemed to be enjoying being out on a beautiful day.
      Sunday turned hot and humid for a ride on the Chiefland to Cross City portion of the trail which is a lot of out in the full sun riding. Hay getting ready for RAGBRAI and riding through corn fields of Iowa so good training.  We were told about a place to check out called the Putnum Lodge at the end of the trail that was having a brunch that we decided to make our destination and were glad we did. What a magnificent building.  Used to be a hotel for lumber barons back in the 1920s now a hotel and B&B. The food was good, "Full House Karaoke" provided entertainment and almost the whole interior walls and ceiling was pecky cypress plank which I thought was painted but was told by owner Ed that it was stained by the Seminole Indians from various variety's of berries and still looked new to this day.  Check out this place as a destination or place to stay for a ride on the Nature Coast trail.  Rooms go from 110. to 170. depending on their size, some with kitchenettes, all charming and period decorated.
      Monday was a day like Sunday, hot and humid as FL. summers are and we rode to Trenton for lunch and piece decadent German chocolate cake at the Quilt Shoppe Cafe'.  Lots of sugar for the ride back.  Three days of 50 miles each in the heat pretty good I'd say.
      Next time we hook up  the camper we'll be heading for Kansas for a family visit then Iowa for RAGBRAI.  That will be the end of June so not too far off.
      Till then, Happy Trails!








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