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Monday, January 5, 2015


   Have you ever visited Panacea, Sopchoppy, or Apalachicola?  That's okay, no one else has either.  They are a part of what is called, "Florida's Forgotten Coast",the one rarely visited by humans.

Bears are another story.

     It's a weaving of beaches, pine forests and islands southwest of Tallahassee (City of Politicians We'd Rather Forget"). Heading there last week we heard about the young girl was attacked by a bear in some forgotten town called "Eastpoint". A half-hour later we passed this sign. "Yikes!", we found ourselves passing through this 8-block burg with nothing but the thin skin our Toyota to protect us. We drifted cautiously past the Big Top Market where the unfortunate incident occurred. 
    After the last bear warning sign we entered the causeway taking us four miles offshore to a safe enclave, St. George Island.  The long string of sand must be like Miami Beach was a hundred years ago.   Half of it is developed but the east half is ten miles of wild...sugar sand beaches, sloping dunes, and the occasional bundle of pines.   It was our favorite place on this journey, far, far from the maddening crowd.

   When we checked into the campground the ranger assured us that bears have never been known to hike to island on the four-mile bridge.
   They prefer to swim.  
  We got through the night protected mosquito spray, large sticks, and our dog, Pi.  At dawn we biked to the beach to welcome the sun.  

The sand was quite firm so we agreed, "Let's ride!"
    Pedaling next to the surf was so  fun we could not stop. 

    Francesca and I noticed many gifts from the sea 

but nothing of the storm creeping up behind us.  

Five miles later we reached the east end (see the tip of the map's arrow above), turned around, saw the dark sky approaching and yelled, "Yikes!".  Rolling balls of blackness were threatening to cut us off from our home on wheels.

   We pedaled furiously determined to reach the closest beach shelter before the rain.  

   Falling short we then became determined to reach the closest clothes dryer after the rain.

Coming soon, Part Two, "Ambling Over to Apalachicola"

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