Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Biking Apalachicola

Sunday March 30, 2014                                                                                          If you are reading, Please comment so I’ll know you are out there.
St. George Island State Park
Eastpoint, Florida






Breakfast today, Sunday,  is the end of the party. David did pick a place in Eastpoint so we go and have the usual.  The food is good but the restaurant has the distinct odor of rancid oil and thus we probably won’t return there although it is filled with folks who thought it was fine.

We then meet Laurel and Eric at Battery Park in Apalachicola for a bike around town. Battery Park is the town dock area and there are some great house boats docked there.  Two of them permanently without any motors including Hannah’s Ark.




I love the whole attitude of this place including the two  residents sunning on the back deck.























We take a walk up the pier and there is a loon in the water. I am really surprised to see him here. Somehow I just didn’t think about loons migrating to Florida along with the rest of us.
















Laurel knows a lot about the town since both her father and grandfather were born here. She visited her grandparents nearly every summer and we ride up and down the streets as she shows us their house as well as the houses of a couple other members of her family. It is really a darling little town with some beautiful Victorian homes. It was an easy town to bike in at least on a Sunday late morning and afternoon.











We stop at the lovely community garden where there is such lush spinach, rainbow chard, arugula and other greens growing it is hard to heed the sign which says “Harvesting by Gardeners only”. One box has a dozen little corn plants about 6” tall in it. Too cute. And one is so over grown with beautiful unharvested vegetables it seems like a crime. Lettuces, peas, carrots, beets, cilantro and more just going to seed.   Someone should definitely slip out after dark and harvest these goodies before they become too bitter to eat.











Next stop, the Ormond House State Park where I get my park book stamped and the ranger there gives us an enthusiastic 90 minute tour of the house and the history of Thomas Orman and his son William. The house had remained in the family until the state bought it in the 1990’s. We learned a great deal about both Apalachicola history and the Ormon family.




The house, an antebellum home, on a bluff overlooking the Apalachicola River was completed in 1838.  the frame is of local cyress and probably built by craftsmen skilled in ship building since it was joined with wooded pegs and rope hawsers.  The remainder of the house was made of long leaf or heart pine from Syracuse New York.  It was brought down around the peninsula of Florida by sailing ship.


Ormon House


The ranger, over his eight years as head of the Ormon house, has managed to procure a number of the original furnishings on loan from the family, such the dining room table and Ormon’s canopy bed.  Other beautiful period pieces have come from several members of the local community.






The house is filled with beautiful quilts and quilt pieces.  I just love antique quilts.  I have several created and given to me by my Great Aunt Carrie.  This sort of hand work always reminds me of the love she stitched into each piece.  Somehow today’s machine made quilts are just not the same.




Also on the grounds is an original slave cabin awaiting funs for repair.  The azaleas are in bloom here as well as all over town.







We brought our lunch with us as we always do thinking we would all have a picnic but Laurel and Eric had not so we went again to Up The Creek so that Laurel and I could both have the Conch cakes. They are very good but I have to say that the week-end cook does not do quite as good a job as the chef did on Thursday. Mine were very good but David’s were superior. So if you decide to try them, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed but how fabulous they are may depend on who the chef is that day





We finish off the afternoon by riding over to the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge headquarters area and around the working waterfront.  It’s here that we see the last and biggest of the oyster piles.

Apalachicola is famous for the large quantity and size of its oysters.   Riding around town we found several large hills of oyster shells.  Are they oyster middens?   Guess this is how the Native Americans did it too, eat em’ and throw the shells in a pile that gets bigger and bigger and bigger.  The small pile in the front is gravel.  The large one in the back is all oyster shell.  Eric on his bike provided perspective.  Thanks Eric.




This has been beautiful day outside in a really pretty town with good friends. They are leaving on Thursday so we have to get together as much as we can before that. It’s wonderful of her parents to share them with us.

After leaving them and driving back over to the island,  we stop at Harry A’s Sports bar to check it out in case we want to watch the ACC semi finals there next Saturday before we too leave the area.

We then drive on into the park and check out both of the kayak launches to see which would be the first one we’ll do when/if the winds and waves die down.  Stay Tuned!


  1. What a neat tour. Sorry about Virginia.

  2. What a great day in a great town. We only passed through, but with your longer stay in Florida, you have been able to explore in depth. I loved Appalachicola. In my previous experience, conch was rubbery....maybe I'll have to try it here.

  3. I really like that "be nice or leave" sign! What a beautiful day after the deluge. We went to EPCOT today to the Flower and Garden Festival, you should go one year I think you would like it. And it was our nice day after the deluge..sunny dry and in the mid-70's...perfect!

  4. Nice day for a ride, sure is a beautiful area. Hope you behaved and didn't have to leave as that sign said! :c)

  5. "Someone should definitely slip out after dark and harvest these goodies before they become too bitter to eat." I'll be waiting to hear how it goes!

  6. I'm here, I'm here :) Loved all the beautiful old homes and quilts. It made me feel like I was on the tour with you.

  7. How nice that you had personal tour guides in a pretty city!!! Biking looks like just the right way to tour that area...beautiful day:o)) Love the garden...think that is the first fresh produce I have seen this winter;o)))

  8. Just wondering if you got arrested when you went back for the produce. :)

    I don't remember Apalachicola, but Al says we've been there. It's a pretty little town.

  9. We did not have bikes on the day we explored that lovely place a few years ago, but we did a major amount of walking. We were staying way back on Alligator Point, so it was a day trip and we vowed to return for longer sometime. Now I know it will have to be with bikes!

  10. Pretty day and cute town :) I, of course, like the houses. A loon! I love loons. Glad you got a photo. 90 minute tour-that guy knows his stuff! Nice day with good friends. That's the good life!

  11. Looks like a lovely day, we enjoy touring old home, it's always nice to see so much of the original furnishing returned to them. Such a shame someone doesn't harvest all the produce, after all the work that goes into to getting it to that point to just leave it go bad.

  12. Wow, this is a wonderful accounting of our day together in Apalachicola! Now I know for sure that you have an incredible memory because you remember EVERY detail. Even better, you do such a good job of weaving everything into an interesting story. (I've been thinking about a midnight visit to the community garden -- wanna join me?)

  13. I love that little town! Another place in Florida that will be explored at another time. Great post!

  14. Next time through we plan to spend more time exploring that cute little town! So glad you got to see it through the eyes of a almost-local :)
    If you go back to the sports bar this weekend, I think you'll find the NCAA Final Four games. Unfortunately, the ACC all dropped out on the way :( It sure would have been fun to see 4 ACC teams meet at the Final Four though :)
    Enjoy the rest of your time at that beautiful beach. We are headed to Fort Pickens today.

  15. A wonderful way to tour the town, especially with home grown guides. Love the architecture.

  16. Beautiful old houses. I like the details of the Victorian styles but would hate to do the painting. (Still followong and always will be... even if quiet)

  17. I love Apalachicola and now seeing how much fun we missed with a bike tour! So great you had such special friends to show you around! When do you get all your chores done :O)


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