Monticello, FL
monticello
maps
Continuing on after breakfast, we arrived in Monticello at about 1pm.  We were to early to check in but the Inn keeper allowed us to
drop off our luggage, so off we were to start exploring.
A little history of Monticello, Jefferson county was formed in 1827 and
Monticello named for Thomas Jefferson's home,  was name the county seat. Monticello is the only incorporated city.  
This is the county courthouse the road circles around the building, and you can enter it from all four sides.  
As we were walking in the evening we spied this car sitting by the police station, they say this vehicle is still used.
This is the B and B we
stayed in, the John
Denham House.  It was
built in 1872 by a Scottish
Immigrant John Denham,
who dealt and prospered in
the cotton trading and
shipping business. It has
thirteen rooms and is about
136 years old and listed on
the National Historic
Register. When we were
there was so renovating
going on but it did not
affect our stay.
On with the story................We jumped back on the bikes and took US 19 to
Thomasville Georgia. Us 19 is a nice 4 lane highway, but has some hills and long
sweeping curves.  As fate would have it, and in the dead of summer we hit
some rain, but like Jill always says, "were bitches not witches, so we won't
melt".  
Thomasville was founded in 1826 and was named for General Jett Thomas who
was a hero in the war of 1812. Thomasville was a popular, turn of the century,
winter resort for wealthy northern families.  
We arrived right downtown, and of course I am in my element with all the richly
historic building. The city has done a great job of preserving and maintaining the
downtown area.  We could have spent hours or days exploring all the shops and
historical sites.  But again because of time restraints we had to pick what we
wanted to see.
One thing we wanted to see is Thomasville's famous oak tree. It located on the corner of Crawford Street and East Monroe Street. This
tree is awesome and is said to be over 325 years old.  This is a what they call a Quercus Virginian is wider than the Niagara Falls is
deep, and is the largest live oak tree east of the Mississippi. Just look at the picture above, you can see the size of the tree as compare
to us. Big isn't it.
After all the sight seeing we were getting hungry, and as usual Michel had that situation all planned out.  We were headed for the
Market Diner at the Thomasville Farmers Market.  Folks this is some of the best all you can eat country cooking I have had in a long
time.  We were fortunate that it was Saturday night and we got to indulge in the all you can eat seafood tool.  After this feast we made a
lazy ride back to Monticello and the B and B, we got cleaned up and took a stroll in downtown Monticello.  Not much going on, and
nothing open. So we made our way back and had some good wine and conversation before turning in.
Next morning was when we had planned to explore the roads we came to ride on.  We headed north on county road 259 through some
really small towns, and turned on to county road 155.  At some point Michel lost the route on the GPS, so we stopped at a small minute
mart, whipped out the laptop, and made some adjustments.  Thank goodness for the world of electronics.
County road 155 or Mondrian Road, is where we started to experience the canopy tree roads, how beautiful they were, nice hilly
sweeping curves we were enjoying.  At about half way through our ride, Jill heard a warning on the radio about a nasty storm coming
in with high winds.  Well this changed our riding plans, and since we had to get back home that day, we headed towards home.  At the
time we were heading north towards Thomasville, we found US 19 and started heading south to Monticello.  In the distance we saw
the storm front, and it did look nasty, with lightening as well.  So we turned around and waited out the storm just inside Thomasville.  
Only after an hour or so, we were back on the road, with only a small amount of rain.
With the rain gone we got to Madison Florida and stopped for something to eat at O'Briens, its a place we had stopped at before but it
was closed.  Its is small and family owned, the food was good, fresh vegetables, and traditional Sunday  fare. With a good meal on
board we turned the bikes towards home.  
So until next time  "Just get out and Ride"   Marcia
On the last Saturday in June we took off an over nighter bike trip with our favorite riding buddies Jill and Steve.  Our destination was
Monticello, Florida, we had heard there were some good riding up that way.  So off we were to check it out.
Just a little info about the roads we wanted to ride:  Most of the roads we wanted to see are part of the Red Hills region.  There are nearly 300 miles of
tree-canopied roads, most of the them used as trade routes and look much like they were 100 years ago. (Be careful to check your route because some of
the roads are dirt).  Here is the website to check out these roads
www.1000friendsofflorida.org/pubs/apalachee/redhills.asp
We left Alachua at about 9am and headed north on 442/41 and took a left on CR 18, on some great back roads (see maps for routes) We
stopped for breakfast in Live Oak at Jays, good country breakfast, you know what I say if the locals are there then its good food.
Michel Marcia
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