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April 5, 2012 / rickhermelin

Day 14 – Chipley, FL to DeFuniak Springs, FL

I want to go back to my first day on the way to Ridgeland, SC. About six miles from town I stopped at Cooler’s Grocery, after almost not stopping, to get something cold since it was a very warm and humid day. It was there that I met Ben Rountree. After a short conversation about what I was doing and where I was going, he asked me where I was staying. I told him I did not know and said I was looking for a host for the night. Without hesitating, he offered to host me and gave me his address. He and his wife Katie were very good hosts and the first of 14 consecutive days of being hosted. See picture of Cooler’s Grocery below.

Today, after heating some oatmeal in the microwave oven, I set off from Chipley to DeFuniak Springs. Somebody had recommended the Holiday Cafe in Bonifay, FL about 9 miles on the way. I stopped to eat a full breakfast since I was covering almost 40 miles. Scott, a bicyclist also doing the ACA Southern Tier to San Diego, had stopped there just moments before me so we had breakfast together and swapped stories. Our total weight was almost the same because he was camping out and carrying more equipment than I was. I found it interesting that his average speed so far was 11.5 mph while mine was 12 mph. He had left Jacksonville, FL on Sunday and was planning to arrive in San Diego around mid May. During breakfast, Cecilia Spears, a reporter from the Washington County News, arrived to interview me about my trip.

The rest of the trip was relatively cool with a chance of rain that never happened. Later after arriving in DeFuniak Springs, I went straight to the Fire Department and asked to be hosted for the night. The Assistant Chief talked with the station Lieutenant and they agreed I could stay. See picture of crew below. After a shower, I went to get lunch at the Corner Cafe where I met the owner, Perry Deneau, also a former Marine, see card below. He did not let me pay for the lunch and I plan on eating breakfast there tomorrow morning.



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