20121020-154038.jpgDEFUNIAK SPRINGS

We stopped for lunch today in the delightful park at the center of the town of DeFuniak Springs. This circular lake is surrounded by a park which is surrounded by elegant old homes with enormous front porches that look out on the park and lake. The lake is one of the many sinkholes in this part of Florida.

Resting in this park we were reminded of the many parks we encountered on the Northern Tier ride in 2006. Nearly every town along that route, no matter how small, had a well tended municipal park. Often, the parks had bathroom and shower facilities and welcomed bicycle campers. At the other end of the spectrum are the towns along this route. This park in DeFuniak Springs really stands out because it is one of a handful we have encountered on the entire length of the ride. I guess town parks is a northern thing. We have asked local residents on several occasions if there is a park in town and we get uncomprehending stares in return as if we are asking for the Big Rock Candy Mountain or some such fantasy.

To stop on a hot day in the shade of a large maple tree, eat a snack, drink a pop, watch kids play – those are some of my fondest memories of that other ride. These southerners don’t know what they’re missing.