Tom met me at the turnoff from the Gainesville-Hawthorne Bike Trail into Gainesville. He was finishing his run, prepping for an up coming race. As he said “HI”, little did we know I had just emailed him, requesting to stay at his and Martha’s home as they are host to bicyclists on Warm Showers. “I’m drying out and waiting to hear back from Tom a Warm Showers host”. “I’m Tom, come on, I’ll show you the way to our home”.
What a welcome to the world of long distance biking. “Would you like a cold beer. Dark? Great! Shower’s upstairs, laundry out back, appetizers on the table. Help yourself”. Martha let me pick the greens from their garden for the salad, and top the home-made pizza with mushrooms and broccoli. We had a delightful dinner outdoors next to a fire. For entertainment, Leo the cat, performed circus tricks including jumping thru a hoop.
It was hard to leave but I needed to mail some more not needed gear home. After running errands in town, I started to ride towards Alachua at noon. At O’leno State Park I found a bike trail. It was so nice, I rode it off trail to Fort White. Oh no, I am lost….. Well not really.
After dinner, at Ichetucknee State Park, I missed RT 137 and looked for a way to get back on the trail. It was dark and a pickup truck revved his engine as he passed by. It was time to call it quits.
Day 4, 63 miles. West of Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Rt 247. Woods near homes.