Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day 10: Sneads to Bonifay

Today was another 50 plus mile day. We spent much of our time on 90. We started on 90, but the shoulders turned horrendously rough. we opted to take some backroads that would add a little extra mileage, but in return we had gloriously quiet roads with new smooth surfaces. Another bonus, there was more shade than on the main highway.

After about 15 miles of great riding we returned to the highway near Marianna. We stopped at a Hardees for pre-lunch. The ride through Mariana was rather wretched. Four lanes wide, busy with fast traffic and no shoulders. To top it off, Marianna seemed to stretch on forever. Drivers were courteous, and willing to move to the left lane when they could, but it was stressful.
Kari on highway 90. Notice the unrideable shoulder.
Photo by Roger Gaither
Jo on the backroads
Sweet, quiet Florida backroads
Jo and Kari. Photo by R. Gaither
A sad thing happened upon leaving Marianna. From out of nowhere, and friendly hound began running with us. He wasn't chasing us, but just running alongside in the wide grassy area next to the road. He was having a grand old time. He would dart into driveways, then dart back out again. He ran through ditches and sometimes dashed under trees where he would bounce around before rejoining us. This went on for probably about 5 or 6 miles. He had that much energy. The problem was several times he would dash across the busy highway, then dash back.

He finally was starting to tire and Jo and I got ahead of him on a downhill and we were quite a bit ahead of the Ace and Roger. Not long after a lady in a car pulled along side of me and said that the bikers back there had stopped because a dog had been hit. We thanked her for the information and found a place to stop and wait. I had no desire to go back to see what happened.

Per Roger's description, the dog had once again dashed to the far side of the highway and was running along with the guys. Roger could just see that the dog was planning to cross back again, and sure enough he did. It was at the same time two cars crested the hill and one car could not avoid hitting the dog square on. He died on that spot. Both these cars continued on, but another stopped and a lady got out to try and help. She was a dog lover and was pretty upset about the incident. They moved the dog to the side of the road, and Roger and Ace moved on as there seemed nothing more to be done. Roger was pretty upset witnessing such an incident. It's not the first time he's seen a dog killed in this way, and it's not pleasant. PEOPLE, KEEP YOU ANIMALS IN YOUR YARDS AND NOT IN THE ROAD!!! I totally put the blame on the persons who allowed the dog to run loose. Some people think it's funny to let their dogs chase cyclists, some simply are negligent or ignorant in the caretaking their pets. But, as in this case it's the dog that paid the price with his life.

We continued on down 90 through Cottondale and on to Chipley where Roger found a delicious family buffet. This was good home cooking, southern style. Needless to say we left there well fed. We weren't sure if we'd be able to ride after all of that!

May (who is driving our SAG vehicle) had earlier been through Chipley and noticed that they are demolishing their courthouse and suggested we might get some photos. We found the courthouse just as they were working on demolishing a portion of the building. It was quite interesting to watch, but we were sorry such a lovely building was being torn down. According to one resident the building had been neglected and had a mold problem and it couldn't be saved. They plan to replace it with a newer, bigger building that will maintain the historic architecture of the original.
Courthouse demolition in Chipley. Photo by R. Gaither
Column going....
Front view. She must have been grand.
On down the road. Photo by R, Gaither
The last 12 or so miles were uneventful. A ride down busy highways to our motel outside of Bonifay.

52 miles
Sunny and warm
Nice little tailwind

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