Friday, August 22, 2014

Florida Caverns and Three Rivers State Parks

Our loaded mountain bicycles at the corner of Where and Am I?
Walt Foy and I bicycled a back roads route through the farmland of northern Florida, riding a loop from Florida Caverns to Three Rivers State Park and back over a 2 day weekend.  The whole route can be driven in about 3-4 hours the same day and still leave time to tour the Caverns before you leave, but I suggest you try riding a bicycle instead.  Moving along at 10 MPH is the best way to really see the land and experience the topography.  You also feel a sense of "earning" it when you carry your camping gear along the route.  With the low amount of traffic and with only one hill, it was a pleasant ride.
We drove up on Friday, camping at Florida Caverns that night.  In the morning we pedaled out into the country and open farmland.  I remember it was cool weather, but not cold.  The clouds were few and bicycling on our mountain bikes was easy.  Walt didn't own a touring bike, so I left mine at home and we rode the mountain bikes instead.
In the afternoon, we reached the bottom of a large hill where we could see the campsites to the left in Three Rivers State Park.  However, we had to ride uphill to get to the entrance, then coast back downhill to pick a site by the lake.  The bathrooms were clean and the hot showers were welcome.
Waiting for the coffee to kick in the next morning
Walt was watching an osprey dive for dinner across the lake from our campsite when I returned from the shower.  After dinner a couple in a huge motor home bus parked next door to us invited us over to visit.  I think they were interested in us riding bicycles and camping in small tents that took less space than the closet did in their bus.  I know I slept well that night.
The next day was cool and overcast, and after barreling down the hill exiting the park, we rode along more back roads and beside farmland until we got back to Florida Caverns.  After a shower we enjoyed the excellent tour of the cave, delighted to be just a few feet underground in Florida.  I highly recommend the Florida Caverns tour with its interesting geology.

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