We had a problem getting breakfast this morning because a number of the fast food places still didn’t have electricity, so we stop at a gas station. This station was extremely busy due to all the hurricane workers needing food, gas and water. We did get something to carry us through to Grand Ridge, which was 15 miles, where I was able to get some biscuits and gravy.
The hurricane damages were getting less and less. One interesting thing is the trees that were uprooted were laying to the north when the other days they were laying to the south. It was obvious that we had passed through the eye of the storm.
We reached the big city of Tallahassee and even though the weather looked like rain we hadn’t have any yet. Yet is the key word. Whenever we get into a big town the cars do not give us much room and the drivers are always in a big hurry. We had to stop many times to check for directions. We knew we were headed into the middle of the city, close to the Florida State University, but we had to narrow it down.
We were headed to a place called Tallahassee Bike House. This shop takes in old or damaged bike and repairs them so they can be given to the underprivileged children. It is a great thing they are doing and they opened they warehouse to us. I can’t tell you how important that was to us because the rain we had not seen yet came.
We stopped at a local café for breakfast. We ordered our food and were served large helping of food. You would have thought they added to our size because we were bike riders but all the servings were huge.
The day was cool again but the rain had stopped. The road, Highway US 90, had a wide shoulder and were very smooth which makes for a good ride.
We continued to see more hurricane damage. There were tree clearing crews making way for the powerline repair crews. It is a major task.
The city of Marianna was hit hard which had a huge effect on us as we rode through to the church where we were to spend the night,
Once we arrived at Marianna we broke up into two groups to help people affected by the hurricane. The group I went with help clean tree and lawn damage. The gentleman we helped is a world war II veteran. We worked for over 3 hours and his yard was much improved and he was very appreciative. The piles of debris are as large as the footprint of a whole house and were 4 to 5 feet high.
The other crew helped at the church staging supplies for FEMA. It was amazing the logistics needed to serve the ones affected.
Once back to the church we got cleaned up and the church provide us with dinner and desert. The church also provided space for the FEMA rescue crews.
I was in bed around 7:30 since having ridden over a 60 miles and put in 3 hours of yard work, I was exhausted.
We stated with a light breakfast of cereal, eggs, muffins and drinks provided by the Church, which was nice. The day started out rainy and cool so this breakfast helped us make it to our second breakfast. We stopped again for additional nourishment at a gas station café in Milton. This addition would help us make it through another morning.
When we started out after our second breakfast, we missed one of our turns to Rest Stop 1. Once we discovered it we were some 2 miles down the wrong road. We pulled out our maps and determined we could continue down the wrong road, highway 90, to Grand Ridge where the correct route and our adjusted route came together. This point was also our 2nd Rest Stop.
Today we saw the first of the effects of the Hurricane that came through this area some 2 weeks ago. We saw a lot of uprooted trees and some trees where the tops were twisted and broke off. We saw a few buildings that had blue traps on the roofs.
We made it to the First United Methodist church of DeFuniak Springs. It was a smaller church but they were great. They provided us dinner which is always a joy. Just being able stop and relax goes a long way.