|The Capital City Challenge ride for 2008 is in the history books and for those who were unable to attend, you missed a great ride. The morning we left started off dreary, overhead clouds threatened to rain on us. The merry group of riders who again follow our fearless Road Captain George into unknown adventures were ready, willing and able to ride. Ok, maybe not all were able to ride; some of us make attempts at it. Anyway we hit the trail going down onto Hwy 98; we headed for Panama City where we then ran up 331 to Hwy 20. The Rain still ever looming, we trudged on. Arriving in Tallahassee around 11 am, we located the mall and the Motorcycle Cop Competition. Folks if you have never seen this done before, you are missed something extraordinary. The way those guys handle those bikes is awe inspiring.|
After watching the competition, we headed to the hotel. After some problems with mine and Jerry’s reservations, (booked at the wrong hotel by accident and trying to deal with a real jerk to get it canceled so could stay with everyone else) we got into our rooms and unloaded our bags. We then went for a ride on a beautiful street shaded with moss hanging trees. There were lots of wonderful curves to lean the bikes into. We then stopped at this little country store where they make homemade sausage. The Sandies being the food whores we are, decided it was time for a little snack. I ordered a 6” sausage with mustard and a tea to wash it down. That sausage was the best tasting sausage I have ever had. After a little while there, we got back on our trusty steeds and headed back to the hotel and dinner.
Dinner was at a steak house next to the hotel. The place was quite elegant, the atmosphere, cozy, the food…….AWESOME! We shared many appetizers amongst the group and Lee (Rocketman) was gracious enough to share his Spicy Thai Shrimp. It was fantastic. After dinner some of us retired to our rooms for the night, others seemed to have a wild brew ha-ha in the parking lot. I’m sure George will write about that in his article.
Sunday morning arrived with a slight chill in the air. We loaded up our gear ate breakfast at the hotel and headed out for another day of misadventures. Our first stop of the morning was in the town of Cairo. No not Egypt, Cairo Georgia or Florida, not sure what state we were in then. Cairo is the birthplace of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Nice town to visit. Our next stop was then in a place that is near and dear to many a heart, CLIMAX! Yes, you read it right, we had a visit to Climax on the trip. Now before your perverted little minds start to wonder, it was Climax Georgia, not some seedy hotel room or dirty little book store. We only lasted a minute in Climax then we were off again to Lake Seminole and a country buffet at Wingate’s restaurant. The food there was awesome and the wait staff was full of humor as it seems they like to give my tea order to someone else each time I would order. The waitress kept saying something about not staying in my seat after I ordered it is why she kept giving it away. We had a good laugh over this and when I was getting some desert, she came up and gave me a hug and thanked me for making her day.
|With our bellies full, we headed for home. We had more location to visit on our adventure, Fallen Water State Park to see the tallest waterfall in the state! If you ask my opinion, it is the only waterfall in the state. We hit the road hard and put down some miles. When we got into Chipley, we easily made our way to the park, paid our $2 dollars to get in and went to see the waterfall. George has been going to this place for 50 years and has never seen water flowing over the falls. We hiked down to the falls and with all the rain that we have received lately, it was spectacular! The falls are73 feet high and there were a beautiful rainbow in the mist. We took pictures, Becky and Cool hand Luke (Not Luck) acted like a couple of young kids smooching under the falls. We had to remind Becky that this wasn’t Niagara Falls.|
After all the hoop-law settled down, we made our way back to the bikes loaded up and rode back to hwy 90 and the final leg home. Once in Defuniak Springs, some of us stopped for gas and the others pressed onwards to the final destinations.
The trip was one I will remember for a long time, the laughing, the roads, and yes the food were all incredible. We are lucky that we have such a talented and adventuress club to ride with! I can’t wait for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keith D (RL)
I survived my first overnight trip with the Sandies. WOW.
|I have to say I had some stressful times. Where do I start? I guess it would be Saturday Morning. I thought The Mitchell told me that the group stops about every hour to get gas and to use the bathroom. So about 45 mins into the trip it was time for me to use the bathroom. I’m thinking I have about another 15 mins and then we will stop. I had to unbutton and unzip my pants to relieve the pressure on my bladder. I sure thought I was going to have to pull over. Only problem is I would have gotten lost since I didn’t know the route that we were taking. Some where around 45 mins later we stop and I thought I was going to not make it to the restroom. Thank god I was the first girl to get to the bathroom. One of the guys said I came out of the bathroom with a big smile on my face. From then on I was pretty good on the restroom.|
Ok now to Red lights. I’m not sure how many red lights I had to run to stay with the group. I know I know. Your saying well if you would of rode on Mitchell’s BMW rather than driving your own four wheeled BMW you wouldn’t have had to worry about that. RIGHT? I know you are. LOL
Ok now to the anxiety I had two cars get between me and Steve, he was the last bike in the group. And I just knew that the light would turn yellow and Steve would go and the car in front of me wouldn’t go and I would be stuck.
Ok now to the Police. I found out that the Sandies don’t know how to drive the speed limit. The speed limit was like 45 mph and we were going anywhere from 60 to 80 miles an hour. And then my radar detector started going off. I knew I was going to get busted. I could only imagine what that ticket would cost, 80 in a 45. I think I would have been taken to jail. Thank god that that was a blue day and I didn’t have on all my pink Harley stuff because I can only imagine what the girls in jail would of done to me. LOL. Thank goodness at the end at 331 in Defuniak we stopped at the gas station because a Highway Patrol was so ready to pull us over.
Then on the way home we broke off from the group and The Mitchell wanted to see how fast he could drive his bike he left me in the dust. What a nice guy.. HUH
Ok now to the good stuff.
It was interesting watching the Police do the challenge and watching them drop their bikes. I had no clue how they picked the bikes up after they dropped them. I learned from the event.
Thank you to The Mitchell for buying a new helmet so I could ride with the group to Bradley’s Country Store. That was a great ride. It was beautiful seeing the Canopy roads. Thank goodness we got to the store when we did. They weren’t too happy to see us there they keeps saying we are closing. I’m sure they like the money we spent. They have awesome smoked sausage.
Dinner was nice. It was great having everyone at dinner. Jerry didn’t make it to dinner I understand he was in his room with his Captain Morgan. Waiting on his bed for Sharron and Steve. He missed a great dinner. My Prime Rib was yummy. Thanks to Steve for the Coin Challenge. When he threw his coin down. I played it off like I didn’t have one. But you have to remember who my boyfriend is *The Mitchell* do you really think he would let me go without a coin. So thank you Steve for my Key Lime Martini it was so yummy I wish I had a picture of The Mitchell’s face when he took a drink of it. I only needed one and I was buzzed. After that The Mitchell and I went back to the room and tried out the Jacuzzi.. NICE.. I’m kind of bummed that we weren’t apart of the drama the rest of the Sandies had at their hotel. From what George said the police got called because the girls were getting wild singing outside. The girls would be (Miss Tina, Mrs. Lisa, Sharron, and Sam.) And what I understand is that George was also a part of it. I’m sorry we missed out on your guy’s fun.
On Sunday we missed breakfast because we had to get on the road but we had a good lunch at the Fish Camp. And I learned to use the bathroom every chance I could after the Saturday morning event.
Just when I thought the trip was over and we were on our way home. We stopped at the Falling Waters State Park. We got to see a Beautiful water fall with a rainbow. That was really nice. It was interesting seeing the sink holes. George said that he has been to see the waterfall for over 50 years and that was the first time there was actually a waterfall. Since we had a lot of rain the water was really flowing.
I can’t wait for the next trip. This one took us 4 ½ hours to get to Tallahassee and 7 hours to get home. It was fun. I want to thank everyone that went. The Mitchell, Steve, Sharron, David M., Will, Lee, Keith, Joe, Jerry, Sam, George, David Moody, and Tina for making me feel welcomed to the group. Since I was a Virgin on this trip.
One More O-Dark-30 get up for an overnight trip to the Capital City Challenge to watch the real Bike Pros show their stuff. This was the fourth one I’ve been lucky enough to see and still can’t believe how they herd those Hogs. The course was one of the best, with four separate layouts run consecutively with the clock running the whole time. Even practicing 8 hours a day, unlimited funds to cover Clutch and Brake repairs, I still couldn’t make it. We left there, took one of Tallahassee famous “Canopy Roads” to Bradley’s Country Store and one of the best smoked sausage sammiches ever.
Next day, it was a perfect day to ride. In typical Sandie fashion we went to Ga, back to Fla. Then back to Ga, again. Had lunch, a super Buffet, at the Lunker Lodge on Lake Seminole. Great ride home from there, perfect weather and a full belly. Thanks to 2 No-Doz, I didn’t even need a nap. My personal high point was Skwirrell’s reaction when I told her I really felt sorry for the Tallahassee Female Motor Officer. When Skwirrell asked “why?’ I said that if she had killed 2 more cones she would have made “Ace”.
Ok let's skip the getting there part, let's move right on over to the police
competition. Now to watch these officers handle these big bikes was pretty
awesome. I mean foot pegs scrapping, motor mounts protecting the motor. I thought
when we left it would be the last we would see of the officers...I thought
We left the mall; I don't know how many bikes. But there was this one, reddish looking lots of seats, tires, Four Doors or maybe two, had a name very similar to a German Marque. But it wasn't a trike, but still more than a trike. This more than a trike followed Mitchell. Maybe someone took a picture you decide what it is.
Checked in at the hotel freshen up and off riding. You know the drill. Beautiful roads great people, wonderful time. Back to the hotel and then to eat.
Thought party time was over, we watch Squirrel drink fifteen long island teas ( Well maybe only a couple, but that wouldn’t make for a great story), but noooooo. Get to the hotel and Hippie John and his sibling (a former Top Officer of The Sandies) no more names mentioned, are playing loud music. Squirrel not her real name, was there and two someone’s who ride on the back (names begin with Tina and Lisa). Again no real names mentioned to protect the innocent...it ain't them. George and myself was there trying to keep some order. No such luck.
Remember the officers...you decide.
My first overnighter as a Sandie, must admit I was a bit nervous since my
first day ride, the Ed’s Red from Hell Ride (ERfHR) was, well, let’s
just say memorable, and with the two prior days of nothing but rain, surely
it couldn’t be worse but I figured what the heck and packed for the short
Saturday morning, leave time 0700hrs – I’m not a morning person and never will be – plus the weather was damp, cloudy and cool. Everyone mounts up and we head off east on 98 towards Panama City. For whatever reason, un-luck of the draw, I’m leading the second group. Mitchell would later comment that he’s figured out my new nickname – RL 2 ‘cause I’ve caught EVERY red light through Destin, San Destin and beyond (Sorry Keith). Anyway, as we press on through the misty rain and slick roads, the sky looks like it could open up anytime (thoughts of the ERfHR keep popping up). Thankfully, it never does and we keep riding East. I’m doing my best to set a modest pace when Rocket blasts by, as Skwirrel put it, the “fly by”. At the next light – yep, caught another one – I ask skwirrel if the pace is ok and she said you’re doing fine.
We make Tallahassee and find the Mall to watch the Motorcycle competition. Enough police officers to make even an honest man nervous, but the competition was impressive and everyone enjoyed it. The highlight for me was watching them pickup the heavy HDs after the drop, and one officer tossing the cone that he was dragging over his shoulder in disgust.
About 2:45, Sam tells us we’re heading out to check into the hotel and go for a short ride – which was fine with us. We arrive at the hotel and everyone gets checked in ok except Jerry and RL – read their story for more on this. Anyway, we settle into our rooms, then, meet outside for the afternoon ride. George takes us down a nice, shaded winding road, a perfect end of day ride, arrive at this little country store that’s famous for it’s smoked sausages. After confirming that we are having dinner at a steak house, I settle for a honey bun instead to satisfy my sweet tooth.
That night for dinner, after everyone is seated, we notice that MacRocket is missing. I go back to his room only to find that he’s already at the restaurant but somehow missed us being seated. All I can say is the food was terrific – prime rib outstanding. Was entertaining to watch Skwirrel and her 3 long island teas (she kept insisting she wasn’t driving), and every one else enjoying the perfect atmosphere. Steve did a coin check only to have it backfire on him, he didn’t mind and everyone gave him a break – oh well, good times indeed.
We get back to the hotel and I later hear a party broke out…heard someone almost got tossed out of the hotel…you’ll have to ask George the details.
Next day, Sunday was absolutely beautiful for the ride home. George cut us a break by making our first and only u-turn early in the ride. We rode through scenic back roads but I knew we were in trouble when we all rode into Climax, Ga, the stories started, (wonder if I can mount a cb on my Sabre), had an early lunch at Lake Seminole, saw some impressive sink holes and the highest (an only?) waterfall in Florida, then on home. Oh, while still leading the second group, seems we get separated again due to me catching EVERY stop light through some town on 90 W.
Definitely a great ride with some of the best people I’d ever hope to ride with. Already looking forward to the next, but you may want to think twice before letting me lead another group.
The Four State Tour: Capital City Challenge 2008
Well we left at 0700 hours (that is 7 am for you non-military people.) We
started down highway 98 enroute to Tallahassee. Now there are three ways to
measure direction in Sandollar terms. There is the most direct route by road,
the path the crow’s fly, and then the George Engler route. The Engler
route is unpredictable and never, never, never direct and straight forward
and that is what we got on the roads to Tallahassee and back to Fort Walton
Beach. We had a good group and if I remember this was the most on a trip to
Tallahassee we have ever had. The main focus of the trip was to watch the Capital
City Challenge. But first we had to get there. We picked up Rocketman further
down 98 and then proceeded on to a road not fit for a tank let alone a motorcycle.
It reminded me of some pot-holed road from Western Pennsylvania or West Virginia.
I got hit by road debris at least two times. After this short (20 miles out
of 450 plus) the rest of the roads were pure riding roads. For anyone wanting
to experience the best roads in Florida for motorcycle riding, then the canopy
roads just north of Tallahassee must be rated as some of the Florida’s
best in terms of scenic beauty. The rolling tree curtained roads bordered by
farms and horse ranches make this trip to the Capital City worth it every time.
The Capital City Challenge is worth the experience just in seeing what can be accomplished by good riders on good motorcycles (what? did they ride both Harley-Davidson and BMW machines.) Now who in their right mind would own both brands of bikes? We as Sandollars do skills…but these riders DO SKILLS ten times up. Even seeing motorcycles being dropped does not diminish the accomplishments of these riders, male and female alike. Well worth watching.
We then went on a short ride to one of the Sandollar landmarks. Like the old store in Burnt Corn, Bradley’s Country Store is an icon in our trip books. Bradley’s is a quaint little store that specializes in the homemade smoked and fresh sausages. Along the way to the store is one of the most unusual yards I have ever seen and most of the riders probably miss it on every trip to Bradley’s. It is partially hidden by a small tree line off to the left as we travel through the outskirts of North Tallahassee. It has a huge American Flag flying but even more unusual are the statutes of whales and dolphins in the yard. One whale has a water fountain shooting out of its blow hole. I told Becky before hand to get her camera ready for the picture. She got a great picture of this.
Dinner as usual at Marie Livingston’s was fantastic. They serve some
of the best prime rib in the state. I had the grouper, which was also very
good. I also had a pork chop from George’s plate and that might get my
vote on our next trip to Tallahassee. Wingate Landing is another of those food
icon places in Sandollar lore. A simple country buffet that is just over the
Georgia line at the base of Lake Seminole.
The trip home was another Engler route that of course varied from the planned excursion, but again well worth any diversions that we did. Falling Waters State park is another one of those unique experiences that needs to be seen in the state of Florida. The state of Florida and the state of Georgia are two of the four states alluded to in the title of this writing. The remaining two states: since we traveled through Climax, Georgia that makes the state of ecstasy, and then the standard Sandollar state of confusion.
Thoughts From the Road
1. George’s GPS always leads us to water (a.k.a. rain)
Note to Sandies: we need to reprogram that sucker to find sunshine
2. Just when you think all the gremlins are worked out of your bike they attack
3. RL in the number six position on the first group is bad news for the second group
4. Dodging potholes is a good skills lesson
5. George knows where to find sausage, even in Tallahassee
6. When the president does a coin challenge he loses (thanks for the beer Steve)
7. Sandies eat at the best places
8. No pole dance this year but the police were very polite (so I’m told, I was in my room)
9. Sunday is just a great day to ride when the Sun is out
10. Becky takes a LOT of pictures
11. Mitchell can tell what is wrong with you just by eating your food
12. After 40 years George finally got to see the waterfall
13. Georgia has weird town names
14. A bunch of Sandies entering Climax (Ga, get you mind outta the gutter) one right after the other is a weird sight.
15. Signs in Climax (yeah I can’t stop writing it) Enter: Ya’ll come, Leaving: Ya’ll come again. Not to mention the Climax Community Group (I’ll bet they have fun)
16. There is no place like home
17. If you are going to ride, ride with people you like (or that you can make fun of)
18. If your bike ain’t dirty, you don’t ride enough
The dove flew to the Ark and presented Noah the twig.Noah turned to the Sandies
and said "It is now time to go forth and ride".
Hastily we mounted our awaiting metal steeds and took off toward east..where the sun was rising and the land was drying from the non stop rains of the previous week. George rounded the herd of us riding cats and aimed us toward Tallahassee. A direct route in Sandie speak to the motorcop competition starting at 11 AM. Be there!
And there we made it...on time! Watched in amazement to the skills of the cops weaving in and out the Maze of ConeLand...tight,tight turns. Sounds of scraping metal as they drag their floor boards in the maze. Men in tight pants and boots..oh yeah baybee...hunka hunka...but I digress...
Very talented men and women showed their prowess in mastering the fine art of maneuvering the huge Harleys and BMWs in the tightest mazes of cones. Enjoyed watching them thoroughly.
Time for us to check in at the hotel. Later we gather together to go on a short ride to Bradley's Store..home of the delicious homemade sausage.We travel very beautiful canopied roads... a great route away from the hustle and bustle and red lights of the city (caught so many red lights that actually wore off my nail polish on my big toe from shifting so many times). Thanks to George's skillful herding, we all made it there ..right before closing. Good timing!
I love that store..set in such a serene country setting consisting of huge old oak trees draped in Spanish moss and maintained pastures. Riding to there is a treat.
We all make it back to the city of red lights and to the final destination of the day...the hotel. Which I might add is waddling distance to a fine restaurant..with a full bar heh heh. We all gather for fun,food and libations. So much fun hanging with the ridingest group of nuts..that's what it's all about. Always have a blast.
After stuffing ourselves, we all meander back toward our rooms. The fun can't be over yet..it's too early! My son Shelby and Steve head back to the room..I..on the other hand...gravitate to where the wild and crazy Central Sandies are congregating..with his sister Miss Aiding and Abeting Sam of FWB Sandies....that's right..I'm squealing on ya. I will say this..Hippie John does have a bodacious sound system on his bike and I'm glad he shared it with us (and the other hotel guests). Those wild folks were told to keep it down. I, on the other hand ..was busy adjusting my halo (cough).
Next morning it's time to head west. George manages to squeeze in a goodbye Uturn before we are on our way leaving Tally the pretty way (back roads) . Explore the water fall of Florida caused by a sink hole.Who knew Florida had one? Was in full flow due to the previous rains. And of course eating at a buffet at Wingate's in Seminole.
This is what it's all about..getting together with great friends, exploring the world and having a blast doing so. Getting off the proverbial porch.
Last revised: April 26, 2008
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