Finally I got a nice short day, and thank goodness because it is just cold today. I woke to temps around 32 degrees with wind, which obviously made things worse. I was camped out in the woods south of Tallahassee around a state park which was great because their was fresh water, picnic tables, and clean restrooms to use.
As I got up and moving it was clear that I was going to be bitterly cold for the first part of the ride. I loaded up with all of my clothing, an extra pair of socks, and both of my Buff's to keep my head and face warm. Still, as I got going, that was not enough. Within a few miles my toes would have shattered into a million pieces if they were hit by a hammer. It was the kind of cold that just plain hurts! The rest of me was managing, but my feet were just killing me. I stopped every five miles or so and gingerly put them down on the ground, bounced up and down, all in a feable attempt to get warm blood flowing into them. Needless to say I was not very successful.
The ride into town on the Marks Trail is really beautiful. I love any opportunity to ride on the Rails to Trails as they get you away from the cars and really allow you to enjoy the area without the constant fear of traffic. It was not too early, still, the cold kept most other folks away and I had the trail all to myself. I had never been to the city before so I was anxious to see the campus and the famed stadium, a place of may great Gator v. Seminole battles. I stopped on the overpass, with the campus on my right, and just took it all in.
Using my trusty phone I was able to locate a Starbucks and after 17 cold miles, I landed in a safe, warm refuge. Compared to the out of doors, it was a sauna, crowded by students hunched over coffee and laptops. Here I made my home for the day and was able to connect with a host to stay for the night, saving me from sleeping out doors on another cold, cold night.