Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day, as far as riding distance and nice roads. Although we had a meltdown from one of the girls at the end of the day, due to a laundry misjudgment. We didn't have enough clean clothes, so someone had to wait an hour to get cleaned and pressed clothes to wear for the night.
Thankfully we were able to talk everyone down off the ledge of despair as Christy quickly cleaned the clothes. Here is one of the buildings at the Stephen Foster Culture Center, taken as we were leaving the park the next morning.
This was a pretty fun day as well. We finally made it to another of Florida's great wonders... Fresh water Springs.
However, before got to the Springs, we had about 30 miles of riding through rolling back-country hills. The roads on this day were pretty nice as well, although I still have to rate the roads yesterday at the top of my list. The traveling today went pretty well. Plus, we stopped at a great little restaurant, called the Whistle Stop, in the town of White Springs (I think?). We had planned on stopping in town for a quick meal, and realized there wasn't a whole lot of options in town. We almost kept riding right past the Whistle Stop. Thankfully Christy spotted it hiding on the corner and suggested we at least go inside and take a look. When you walk in the door, the inside seemed much larger than the outside appeared. Almost like the inside was bigger than our eyes.
We rolled in for a mid-morning breakfast. The girls and Chris had cherry turnovers. And I hit the jackpot with a berry scone and some white chocolate sauce. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! If you're ever in town, you should stop in and give it a shot. And no... we don't get a penny for saying so!
After our morning meal, we cruised down to our next stop... Ichetucknee Springs (I lovingly refer to them as the ItcheeTouchMe Springs).
Here we are, stopped in a little road-stop called Wellington, before we visited the springs.
One of the main reasons any person should ever visit Florida is for the water. The beaches are phenomenal, the Keys, the Everglades, and the springs are also pretty amazing. Ichetucknee was the girls' favorite spring to swim at on the entire trip. So, they give this stop a HUGE, two thumbs up. And I agree. It was absolutely refreshing to jump into that 74 degree water during the heat of the day. It was a little cold, at first, but once you're over the shock it's totally worth it.
Here are a few shots of us preparing to jump in, and then enjoying the feeling of the springs.
And, of course, a couple shots of the bikes waiting for us to come back from our little adventure on the water.
After Ichetucknee Springs we finished off the day with a pretty quick, enjoyable ride on a bike trail down to O'Leno State Park. The trail starts right outside the outskirts of Fort White, and it runs almost 10 miles all the way to the park.
Amazingly, we actually pulled off 55.24 miles for the day. We could totally tell that our bodies were starting to get stronger and more adapted to life on the road. I think the refreshing stop at the springs also helped keep us going.
Also, here is a video clip of us enjoying the springs.
The spring is actually a large, 30 foot long crack, running along the bottom of the river. There is a big hole that you can swim into, maybe even scuba dive inside of, but there is a fairly strong current pushing towards the surface coming from the spring. The spring depth seemed to be about 15-20 deep out in the middle. It was great swimming around down there and hanging out with the fish.