Day 6 - St. Augustine to Starke - Two Far 2021 - Sooo... Far - CycleBlaze

April 14, 2021

Day 6 - St. Augustine to Starke

Westward Ho!

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We had fun spending time with Ken and Francie in St. Augustine.  Having properly celebrated completing the Southern Tier, they are going to Jacksonville today for more visiting and then flying home to Washington with a stop in Minnesota to visit their daughter.

One tandem ready to ride, another packed and ready to fly.
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Having detoured east, we are now headed west to Texas, where we will turn north to ride to Montana.

Westward Ho!
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The first several miles were through St. Augustine on busy roads.  We didn't stop for any photos, but I snapped one from the bike crossing the Bridge of Lions.

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It didn't take long to get through the city and back out on rural roads.  It was sunny today and warmed up fast - a good day for lying around in the shade.

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One thing on our route which concerned us today was the ride across the bridge at Green Cove Springs on Hwy 16.  It is a narrow bridge with no shoulder and over a mile long.  The traffic is fairly heavy.  It's not a good bike bridge, but we would deal with it when we got there.  It was just about as good as it gets.  Approaching the bridge, traffic was backed up nearly a mile.  We passed on the shoulder to the front of the stopped traffic and found that one lane was closed for construction.  The flagman allowed us to ride on the closed lane.

We had the entire closed land to ourselves.
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Francie GassFantastic luck!!
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3 months ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Francie GassIt really was. Riding across that bridge with normal traffic would have been scary.
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3 months ago
Keith A. SpanglerConstruction and kind people are a nice mix!
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3 months ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Keith A. SpanglerWe've been through a number of construction zones where we were allowed very grudgingly - or even hostilely - but we didn't care as long as we got through. It was nice to be waved on with thumps up and friendly smiles.
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3 months ago

When we reached to construction area, we had to wait for the oncoming traffic to clear, then just rode around the few vehicles blocking the lane.

The guys at the construction site were very friendly and let us pass safely.
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Once we passed that short area, we were clear to cross the bridge in "our" lane.

It's so nice when some potential problems solve themselves.
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Cute little vehicle for sale. We didn't stop to inquire.
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West of Green Cove Springs, we found the road lined with these lush green trees.  Hwy 16 in this area was called "JC Penny Blvd".  JC Penney of department store fame founded Penney Farms here in 1926.  He intended to develop experimental farms, but the depression caused him to curtail his plans.  He did develop a retirement community for Christian ministers, in honor of his father.  That community still exists as a Christian retirement village for clergy and lay people.

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It got quite hot this afternoon, with the temperature reaching 93 before we got to Starke.  We were a few miles away when we passed Camp Blanding, now a training center for the Florida National Guard, as well as some other military and civilian units.  There was a sign saying their museum was open to the public, so we took advantage of a chance to avail ourselves of air conditioning and rest rooms.

This is Ben, a retired Army officer, who volunteers at the museum one afternoon a week. He gave us lots of information about Camp Blanding.
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Curt & Helene ReedI thought you had found an ice cream parlor, not a museum!
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3 months ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Curt & Helene ReedThat would have been even better!
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3 months ago

Camp Blanding started as a large training center for soldiers going overseas in World War II.  It was one of the largest training centers in the US at the time.  I didn't take many pictures, but here is a model of a soldiers' billet in 1941.

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We are looking forward to a cooler and shorter ride tomorrow - only 41 miles to Lake City.

Today's ride: 62 miles (100 km)
Total: 261 miles (420 km)

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