John Gorrie
Orman House
State Park
So.......on a Friday morning in April, we took off, with our favorite riding buddies, Steve and Jill, to Apalachicola. All fueled up we pointed
the bikes north on US 441 and then US 27. We traveled through Fort White, Mayo and at Perry we turned west on US 98 and for our
lunch stop at St Marks. We ate at a place called Riverside Cafe. There used to be a place called Posey's but I believe the building was
severely damaged in a recent hurricane, unfortunate it was a great place to eat.
After a good lunch we jumped back on the bikes. US 98 is a beautiful ride, especially when you can see the ocean. Just a note of
interest, there is a moderate amount of construction on the road. There are several neat towns along 98 which includes, Panacea, St
Teresa, Carabelle and Eastpoint. Anyways we continued on to Apalachicola and our home for the next couple days, The Coombs House
Inn. Thought we were going to get rained on but we lucked out and were spared. We have stayed at the Coombs House Inn before, and
chose to stay there again because of the staff, Stella in particular, she is biker friendly, makes our stay special, and keeps us informed
of the goins on in town. Besides that the accommodations are superior and the breakfast is always incredible.The Coombs House Inn
was originally built in 1905 for James N. Coombs, a successful entrepreneur. In 1911 the house was damaged by fire. Not until 1994 was
the house fully restored and opened as a bed and breakfast.
We love to walk around Apalachicola and enjoy the
scenery. One place that is of interest is the Chestnut
street cemetery, that is just across the street from the
Coombs House. One of the restaurants that we enjoyed
was Chef Eddys try it out. This is one of the many
beautifully restored homes in Apalachicola.
On Saturday morning we had a little ride planned. We went east on 98 and just past Eastpoint turned north on SR 65 making a loop by
turning southwest on 67 at a little settlement called Telogia. Met one the locals there, very interesting and colorful guy.We rode through
two national forest. Apalachicola National Forest and Tate's Hell state forest. There is a legend about Tate's Hell forest. They say in 1875 a
man named Cebe Tate got lost in the forest which is mostly swamp and bogs for over 7 days, he finally wondered out in a clearing near
Carabelle, he told the people that his name was Cebe Tate and he had just been in hell. After that he died.Nice 130 mile ride but right before
we got to Carabelle the wind started to kick up, and made for a very interesting ride back to the bed and bre fast, especially navigating the
bridge to Apalachicola.
One of the reasons for coming to Apalachicola was they were having a art and
wine tasting festival on Saturday afternoon. Well...........the rain pretty much ruin
things, but we went anyway, all the artistions were packing up and leaving, so
we ducked into a neat bar called the Oasis. Nice place, we understand that it had
just been refurbished and reopened. They had a couple there singing, it was
entertaining to say the least? From there we walked over to Boss Oyster for
some cold beer and oysters.Talked with some folks and got an invitation to
attend the worm grunting festival in Sopchoppy, Florida. We will have to put that
on our list of things to do.Seems...........the only thing to do while it rained was to
stroll through the shops and EAT. We actually had reservations at the Owl
restaurant. Great place to eat.
We were scheduled to leave on Sunday morning
BUT........there was a great big storm brewing
with high winds, we watched it on the radar for a
while, and finally decided that that it would be
best to wait it out, and stay another night. YEAH.
We had some places that we wanted to see so it
worked out well. We also found out that there
was a group of bikers trying to get here, but
were stuck in Perry. I know in all our minds we
said a prayer for their safety.
One place we wanted to see was the Orman house. We had a wonderful visit and Ranger Mike Kinnett gave us a most informative tour.
Orman house was built in 1838 by Thomas Orman, it was an antebellum home that looks over the Apalachicola River. Mr Orman helped
Apalachicola become one of the Gulf Coast's most important cotton exporting ports during the mid 19th century. It worth the visit, and
the house has been expertly restored.The other place was the Dr. John Gorrie Museum. This is the guy that made it possible for us to be
comfortable down here in the hot humid south. He developed the ice machine because they thought that the yellow fever or malaria was
caused by contaminated swamp water. His thoughts were to cool the room of the patients affected, and he even draped gauze over their
beds, of course this was thought to have filtered the air that the patient was breathing, of course as we all know now it was the
mosquitos.Dr. Gorrie did get a patent and tried building his ice machines but was never successful. He died in 1855 and is buried in
Gorrie Square in Apalachicola.
We also took a short ride over to St George Island. Not a place to ride the bikes especially after it rains. Lots of summer homes,
places to eat, and a mini mart with gas. The bridge to the island is fun to ride over.
Here are the people that rode all
the way from Perry in the
storm. They are To the right
there is a picture of the folks
that we met, from Pennsylvania,
they had their bikes shipped to
Daytona, and have been touring
Florida. Their next destination
was Pensacola. It was great
meeting and talking to them,
funny they are just like us they
like riding their bikes and
exploring new places.
Well folks, Monday morning came and the skies were, well not really clear, but it wasn't raining, so we had a great
breakfast, and saddled up for the trip home. Oh yeah..............we did make a little stop in Steinhatchee to say hi to some
of Jill and Steve's family vacationing over there. And then on home. So until next time,JUST GET OUT AND RIDE         
Marcia T
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