Carrabelle and Sopchoppy bound

Day four of our Forgotten Coast Tour. The sun was out but a nasty wind was blowing across Apalachicola Bay. And the temperature would never get above 56 degrees all the lifelong day.

We left the town of Apalachicola behind us and once again set out across a very long, long bridge. Only this time braving a cross wind that was very nearly blow-us-over-the-bridge-and-out-to-sea strength.

The first leg of our Apalachicola to Sopchoppy day is my favorite ride of the Forgotten Coast tour. That’s because one is treated to an almost uninterrupted view of the Gulf of Mexico for the entire 24-mile ride to Carrabelle. At times the sea is just yards away from U.S. 98 (which, by the way, has very generous marked shoulders for most of the trip to Carrabelle.)

Yeah, I know. The election is over. But I’m happy to put in a promo for schools. Plus this guy put a “No Trespassing” sign on his dock so that was out.

No question about who rules the roost in these waters.

In which I come across a dead forest. Or as I like to call it: The best woodpecker condo complex on the Forgotten Coast.

Is this a great name for a forest or what? Gotta wonder who Tate was though. Poor sod.

A man, his bicycle and a bayou. (The man’s taking the photo).

The obligatory lighthouse photo (Crooked River Lighthouse if it matters). And the obligatory “You kids get off my lawn!” photo.

Carrabelle Beach looks like it’s been frozen in amber since the 1950s.

Carrabelle is one of my favorite Forgotten Coast towns for obvious reasons. Nobody takes anything seriously here. (Plus every time I hear the name it reminds me of a certain celebrated TV clown back in the 1950s who shall go unnamed.)

Getting back to my nobody-takes-anything-seriously comment: How serious can you be when your Number 1 tourist attraction is a phone booth?

We have lunch at the Marine Street Grill. Which is right next door to Harry’s Bar. Which is right next door to a package store. Which is right next door to a seedy motel. So you can see that Marine Street has the whole package.

From Carrabelle we had to SAG riders to the Ocklockonee Bay Bridge (because you run out of bike lanes on 98 for a spell). The bridge is an absolute joy to cycle (great vistas) and just beyond the bridge is surf road, with a separated bike trail that takes you all the way to Sopchoppy.

What to say about Sopchoppy. I could mention its historic 1939 gymnasium. I could go on at length about its celebrated Worm Gruntin’ Festival. Or wax poetic about the placid Sopchoppy River.

But never mind all that. My favorite Sopchoppy story is the time Burt Reynolds gave it a shoutout when he was playing a hayseed in the 1976 comedy “Nickelodeon.”

Plus it’s got a brand new brewery which is right around the corner from a classic country grocery store. So, once again, the whole package.

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