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The Search for the Giant Alligator: A Motorcycle Ride through Florida

A Motorcycle Trip in Florida: Day Nine

We left St. Augustine late in the morning on the last day of our pilgrimage. We detour south out of town on State Road 207, pick up SR 13 and ride north on this scenic, twisting road along the eastern shore of the St. Johns River, crossing at Green Cove Springs.

We continue west on Route 16 to Camp Blanding, home of the Florida National Guard, where we visited the WWII museum there. Camp Blanding was also a huge training center for the Army during the war.

Our last stop on this search for the ghosts of tourism past is in Lake City. We stop for lunch but before we leave, we pause for a photo opportunity beneath the sign at the Fu King Chinese Restaurant. Enough said.

We have pretty much run out of alligators, time and money, so we run straight back home to Tallahassee on US 90.

Final Thoughts...

So what did I learn on this Pilgrimage? What did nine days on the road and over 1800 miles teach me?

I learned that the giant alligator of my youth is still alive. If you want to see the giant alligator, you still can. The paint isn't quite as fresh and the parking lots are never full, but it's still there.

You won't find the giant alligator next to Disney and Seaworld, but it's still around. You won't see the giant alligator advertised in Chamber of Commerce brochures, but it still stands. You won't find the giant alligator in the look-alike fast food restaurants that line the highways, but he still survives.

The giant alligator lives. It's harder to find and it gets smaller every year, but it's there. See it before it's gone forever.

Travel Pictures

Motorcycle Ride in Florida
Motorcycle Ride in Florida


Fxrguy says:

Great trip. I live in Florida and a lot of the places you describe are places I ride quit a lot but I still learned about a few places. Loved it!
Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM

warhoop63 says:

This is the type of adventure, trip down memory lane that I love. Great journaling of the trip. A wonderful trip, and a wonderful read!
Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 5:47 PM

BilltheDiver says:

Great story and some good pictures! I moved here in the 70's and have been to most of the places you visited. Brings back memories. There are more spots to be discovered like Solomon's Castle and the Linger Lodge. Thanks for sharing the adventure!
Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM

Riverman777 says:

That was a good adventure story. Nice job. I'll bet you guys enjoyed it. I live up around the Crestview area. I'm looking forward to making that trip soon. Good luck and happy trails. michael
Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 7:56 AM

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