Day 57:Getting Closer…



April 22, 2016

Gainesville, FL to Palatka, FL

Day: 57.4 miles; Total: 3,094.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,073′

Map Link:


Breakfast options for an early start in Gainesville were a McDonalds or Fast Eddy’s so of course we joined the crowd of locals at the walk up/drive up window for FE’s breakfast sandwiches ( mayo optional and tater tots were the vegetable option). Fueled up, we headed down a country road lined with small homes and went towards the start of the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail.

This beautiful paved biking and hiking trail runs for about 16 miles alongside a state preserve, and we rode under trees hanging with moss, past water features filled with frogs and birds, and no motor vehicles!! It was great riding. On the trail, we met two very interesting cyclists, Paul and Bill, who are teachers for an organization that supports folks with Parkinson’s. They both have the disease and are working to assist others in ways to do beneficial training and exercising. Their website is Parkinson’, so check it out if you’re interested.

When the trail ended, we were then going north, (?) back on a highway for a bit, then a very rural road with broken surfacing, and after several small towns, we rode onto another bike trail. This was the Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail, and again a lovely place to ride on,  actually getting to chat together as we rode along. It crossed over more field-like terrain and was nicely flat. When it ended, we rode the final 10 miles back on the highway with some shoulders for us. Logging trucks roared by and traffic was busy as we entered Palatka, and just as we saw the St John’s River where our motel was, the threatened rain began, but we were only in it for a few blocks.

We got in early, for us, and had time for a quick lunch and then laundry( so exciting!). Hard to believe tomorrow is the last biking day!


Fast Eddy’s to start the day


On the trail



Traveler checks out the moss


What a nice trail to bike on



Traveler meets Paul and Bill ( in addition to their Parkinson’s work, we learned that Bill grew up in San Anselmo in Marin county and Paul leads hiking trips in New Zealand!)


Look! Florida citrus along the road


Remember all those big dormant pecan trees in New Mexico and Texas? Here are pecan sprouting leaves and dripping with moss


The view along this afternoon ‘s trail 



Tonight, we had a real treat, dinner with CCI Puppy Raiser Janci and her fifth puppy Gulliver, a model puppy. Great fun!

Support Canine Companions for Independence.

Donate at our event page.

See details about our Southern Tier route.

4 thoughts on “Day 57:Getting Closer…

    • Hi Theo
      We are flying to SD Monday to get our car, hope to see Wes and Liz if training /schedule permits, and then we’ll drive home by Thursday. Looking forward to catching up 😀🐾

    • Or at least sprinkling local water on the tires! We hope to meet up with local CCI folks too, and that will be really a fitting conclusion to our adventure!

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