Vagabond in America 2016 travel blog

Rally-style Camping

Seminar at the Rally

Buffet dinner ready to go

Dinner at the Rally

Nightly entertainment at the Rally

More entertainment

Boat Show

An early RV

Riders on the Cadillac bike trail

Along the trail

Another view on the trail

A narrow, curving, wooden bridge on the bike trail

My last stop in Florida was the Rally in Tally.

An RV Rally is any time that a bunch of RVers gather together in one place. In this case, the location was the North Florida fairgrounds in Tallahassee, the capitol of Florida.

We parked our rigs in the field in what's called Rally-style. As each RV arrives, it gets assigned the spot next to the previous one. If several RVers want to park their rigs together, they must arrive together.

Generally, the most interesting parts of any RV Rally are the exhibits and the seminars. Since this was a relatively small rally, there weren't very many exhibitors or speakers. But, what they had were interesting.

The main benefit of an RV Rally is meeting other RVers. This rally was organized by Passport America, a discount camping club. That meant that all of the attendees spent enough time in RV parks to warrant buying a membership. I had a wealth of opportunities to speak with other full-time and part-time RVers.

In addition to camping at the fairgrounds, the registration fee covered coffee and donuts each morning, a buffet dinner every day, and stage entertainment each evening. Lots and lots of time to meet and talk to other RVers.

I joined a group tour of Tallahassee that included stops at the Florida History Museum. It also included a lunch at the local Golden Corral. The buffet selection was incredible. The quality? Well, let's just say that it was edible.

In addition to the group activities, I spent one day alone exploring the city's many parks. I heard some people refer to this part of Florida as "hill country". Given how flat Florida is, I was surprised that there are actual hills in this part of the state. It seems that this is the trailing end of the long Appalachian Mountain chain that stretches from Maine to Georgia. It's one of the oldest and longest mountain chains in the world. Last summer, I hiked in the northern extension of the Appalachian Mountains in Newfoundland.

They had several nice bike trails connecting the parks. Some were paved; some were dirt. I was completely surprised to find a competition-class cross-country bicycling trail. This trail, called the Cadillac Trail, is locally well-known and was specifically built for cross-country bicycling. It's a "single track" trail, meaning that it's too narrow in most places to pass another bicyclist. That wasn't a problem because there were so few bicyclist out this early in the season. I had a wonderful time riding on this trail. It was near the limits of my cross-country bicycling skills. In fact, I avoided one of the jumps because there was no one around to rescue me if I didn't make the jump safely. At one point, there was a sign indicating "More Difficult". Thinking that I didn't want the "More Difficult" router, I took the other route. I soon realized the actual choice had been between "More Difficult" and "Most Difficult". I had unintentionally selected the "Most Difficult" path. As it turned out, what make this route hard is that the trail was extremely narrow. I had a clearance of less than two inches between my handlebar and the trees. At full speed, that was tricky. Nonetheless, I made it safely through. If I'd been in Tallahassee longer, I would certainly have come back to ride this trail again.

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