“No Tank” Trip to Torreya
A report of the 2012 Tour de Torreya curtesy of the Tours Des Vagabonds
Cover photo – Vagabonds enjoying a scenic stretch of Telogia Creek Road
By Linda & Carl Tinsley
The Vagabonds first trip was a one night self contained camping trip to Torreya State Park. There were seven riders, Jim Mann, Chris Lacher, Dennis Wirth, Jim Higdon, Carl Vinson and, Linda and Carl Tinsley. Four of the riders left from the Lake Shore Drive area arriving at the Oak Valley shopping center at Hwy 27 & Capital Cir. N.W. by the 9:00 a.m. start time in spite of Jim Mann’s close encounter of the “deer kind.” The Tinsley’s rode from their home near Oak Valley and Carl Vinson left his vehicle at the shopping center.
Chris Lacher, Jim Mann, Dennis Wirth, Carl Vinson, Linda Tinsley, Jim Hidgon (foreground) and Carl Tinsley (photog) psych them selves for the Tour De Torreya.
The weather was perfect, cool and sunny, they looked like an organized group of bike tourists apparently all the riders got the memo to wear high-vis yellow jackets. First stop was in Quincy where Jim and Carl Vinson visited a hardware store for some washers for Carl’s bike which was threatening “mechanical issues”. They they joined the rest of the group for an early Deli lunch and “pecan pick-up” at an open area near the Piggly Wiggly near Ben Bostic Road.
The “Tour of the Seven Dorfs” continued through the hamlet of Saw Dust winding its way through pastoral scenery via Providence and Telogia Creek Roads to Hwy 12 where a brief roadside stretch, rest and bathroom break included swapping tales with a pair of deer hunters. Luckily there was Jim’s earlier deer encounter to share.
A green sign indicating Chattahoochee, home of the Florida State Mental Hospital was close by was a comfort. As the colorful caravan continued on the last leg of the trip into the park the group was unanimously grateful for the perfect weather and favorable winds. Arrival in the park was highlighted by a visit to a stand of Torreya trees on the grounds of the Gregory house overlooking the Apalachicola River. The Paparazzi on hand was enlisted to photograph the group not only with his own camera but with that of each rider, stacking cameras like cord wood as the session progressed.
Set-up at the camp ground was much smoother than one might expect, reserving four sites left plenty of tent space to choose from. Jim had to be Jim Mann, he enthusiastically cooked for the newbies and came well prepared with an electric hot plate and a hair dryer to heat his gourmet corn bread. Both Carls and Linda dined together on beef stroganoff, a side of chili and high tech Salmon.
No, this is not a homeless camp
Everyone chipped in for firewood and swapped cycling tales, augmented by Dr. Jim Beam, around a cheerful fire. Those of us that had adequate sleeping bags were grateful for same due to the drop in temperature. The group was serenaded throughout the evening by some “younger folks” who thought they knew how to sing “Hey Jude”. The evening’s Beatles recital was (thankfully) terminated at 3:00 a.m. when an unknown voice was heard admonishing the troupe for lack of regard for other campers.
Morning brought a hot pot of coffee brewed on the camp stove by Carl T., a light breakfast and swift breaking of camp and reloading bikes. Another photo op at the campground overlook was orchestrated by a ten year old girl who knew exactly what she was doing. Team Tinsley, last to leave the campground, were approached by the adolescent photo journalist requesting another session. They were glad to oblige, this is what bicycle touring is all about. Her interrogatory skills were impressive especially the question; “Do you do this for a living”.
A brief photo op at the campground overlook before leaving the “Garden of Eden.” – PHOTO CREDIT – ~10 Year Old Photo Journalist
Brunch in Greensboro was earned by climbing some serious hills leaving the “Garden of Eden” including the noteworthy “Bonnie Hill” complete with two dogs waiting at the top to greet the riders. Lunch came soon after at Hardee’s in Quincy with burgers in demand. Lunch was subsequently canceled by pushing an unexpected head-wind for the rest of the ride.
The tourists said their goodbyes at the Oak Valley shopping center and returned to their respective points of origin, all agreeing that a splendid time was had by all and to do it again soon.