Capitol city foray - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

April 3, 2022

Capitol city foray

Tallahassee bike day

The rain and clouds had moved on by this morning and we were greeted with clear sunny skies. Time to take one last ride on Garfield! Today's pick was to head into Tally's downtown to take a look at the historic state capitol. 

We drove to a parking lot on the end of the St. Mark's Trail where we got on a connector trail that took us north into town. The trail was ok, though with rough pavement along a busy road at first, so it was a little noisy. There were also numerous street crossings and intersections to navigate.

Eventually it did turn into a wooded area that was quieter. This must have been a former rail line here and we noticed that the homes closer to the 'tracks' were small and cheap looking. On the opposite side, there were larger lots with nice houses. I guess it's true what they say about living on the 'wrong side of the tracks'!

This trail ended after a couple of miles and we had to get onto some streets that took us by Florida's A&M University and the Railroad Square Art District. We were now near downtown and we could see the capitol dome in the distance. 

But of course, despite knowing what turns to make and seeing where we needed to go, we ran into a construction site that closed the sidewalk/trail we were on. That would have taken us over a busy road on a pedestrian bridge. We ended up on a road in one neighborhood where we had to walk up a steep hill. Arghhh!!!! I figured it would be hilly in this part of town but had hoped to avoid them. 

Back down the other side of the hill, we went into a nice park and after another couple of weird turns and another hike-a-bike, we found ourselves at the historic capitol building which has quite the history.

The first capitol building was a log cabin built in 1824 when Tally was selected as Florida's territory capitol. In 1826 this was replaced by a 2-story masonry building.

As Florida moved toward statehood, the needs of the government grew so a more suitable and larger structure was required. A third building was built in 1839 which still remains as the core of the existing capitol. By 1891, a small cupola was added. 

In 1902, 2 wings were added along with the current dome. Over the next few decades, other changes were made. In 1972, when it was determined that the current structure could no longer accommodate the growing needs of the state government, a new Capitol Complex was authorized. It was to include new House and Senate chambers along with a 22 story executive office building which you can see behind the existing structure.

The original capitol building was saved from demolition and went through a restoration process. It now houses the Governor's Suite, Supreme Court, House of Representatives and Senate chambers.

I got off and walked around taking pictures of the front of the building. We also found a Vietnam memorial across the street that was interesting. I'm sure there were other things to see, like the inside of the capitol, but we decided to head back.

This time we found our way onto the route we should have taken earlier but still made one more wrong turn before we got onto the trail we needed. Suffice to say, some signs would have been helpful! 

It was nearly 2 pm when we got back to the truck and although we could have ridden the St. Mark's Trail further south to bump up the mileage, our feet were pretty sore from the walking along with all of the clipping in and out. So 16 miles was plenty for us!

We headed back to camp and relaxed a bit. Later Don worked on packing up some things in the truck.  It was pretty entertaining when a long trailer pulled in next to us. 

They had to move their table, and do a lot of shuffling back and forth to reach their hookups. But it is a pretty tight turn to get into the sites where we are located so the longer/bigger you are, the harder it can be. Just for fun, Don made up a couple of signs with a number 10 on it that we flashed up when they finally got settled!

Not much to say about the evening as it was pretty typical - dinner at home that had a Southern touch with some smoked gouda cheese grits from The Wharf restaurant. Then TV and a book followed by bed. 

Neat conveyor belt/dragon at this scrap yard along the trail.
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What's up with you today, George?
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Things were going smoothly until we came to this construction site. A little prior warning might have been nice! We had to get onto the street which did have a bike lane and not much traffic today.
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The construction was due to a skate park being built which had this cool sculpture in the middle of it.
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Today we passed Florida's A&M University.
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The Railroad Square Art District looked like a fun place to poke around in but we didn't have time today. All of the former warehouses were covered with these colorful murals.
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I liked this one.
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Here's another one.
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And more.
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A nice amphitheater in this downtown park. A lot of concerts are held here.
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We finally made it to the capitol! Old in front and new high rise government building in the rear.
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I thought it had a Southern look with it's colorful window awnings.
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This is Florida's Vietnam Memorial. The bracelet sculpture in front is a memorial to the POW/MIA bracelets. This program was started in the 1960's by college students. Sample bracelets were made but finding funding for the project was tough at first. Approaches made to Ross Perot and Howard Hughes were rebuffed. Finally in 1970, a large donation was made that was enough to make 1200 bracelets and they were off and running. It grew to over 12,000 requests daily and over 5 million of them have been distributed since that time. Initially costing $2.50 each, you can still order one for $15.00 from the National League of Families.
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Today's ride: 16 miles (26 km)
Total: 251 miles (404 km)

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