Summer Solstice 2019

Just as it has for several billions of years the sun came up on schedule over Jacksonville Beach at 0624AM, Friday, June 21st.  Because of clouds we didn’t actually see the sun break the distant horizon.  Soon enough, not more that 1-2 minutes later our sun rose into view.

The actual solstice occurred at 1154AM, EDT.  At that time the earth’s northern hemisphere is tilted 23.26 degrees toward the sun; hence the longest day of the year and the first day of summer.

Several members and guests met at the Jacksonville Red Cross Lifeguard Station for sunrise.

L to R: Peter Komatz, Philip de Paula, Ed Seitz,, John Gino, Mike Sadler, Tom Brown and daughter Sara, not pictured Jim Allen

We saddled up and rode south around and away from morning traffic to Grannie’s Kitchen in Starke for breakfast.  There we were joined by Dan Lines.  Departing Grannies we had 5 motorcycles and 6 riders (my grandson Philip was my pillion).


Our back roads (mostly) route, took us thru Brooker, Ft. White, Branford, Perry to the Tallahassee Auto Museum.  There we rendezvoused with Shep Brown and Bob Flanagan from BMWNEF’s western division.


Many members have driven by the TAM countless times on our travels across the panhandle on I-10 but never stopped.  It is worth the stop.


The museum is an eclectic collection of everything collectible.  Cars, antique, vintage, muscle cars, motorcycles, Case knives, you name it, they’ve got it there.

Grandson Philp de Paula rocking the Jake and Elwood, “The Blues Brothers”

Did I mention that it was hot?  When we departed Starke the temperature was 85, by the time we reached TAM the temperature had soared to the mid to upper 90’s. The air–conditioned spaces of the museum were a welcome relief.


It’s a straight shot down US 319 to Apalachicola.  Once we cleared the traffic around Tallahassee we had a pleasant but still hot ride.  US 319 is still showing signs of damage from last year’s hurricane Michael which made landfall around Mexico Beach, further to the west. Several section of the roadway are being rebuilt and reinforced to protect from washouts.


The Coombs Inn and Suites hotel was our destination in Apalachicola.  We arrived at the hotel about 4:30PM.  The hotel is a period home with several additional outbuildings.  Beautiful woodwork graces the interior of the main house.  We were greeting by a friendly staff and quickly assigned our rooms.


After cooling showers (and smelling better), we ventured to the Hole In the Wall Café for dinner.  Our waitress, “Gunnery Sargent Barbara” was our server.  Barbara’s a sweet “grouch”.  If you looked up Oscar the grouch from the Muppets in the dictionary you’d see Barbara’s photo!

We met again at breakfast, said our good byes and separately hit the road(s) for home.  Mike Sadler, Philip and I paired up to retrace our route back home.  We added a stop in Lake City for lunch with NEF member Jack Wells at Kens BBQ.

Keep an eye on the events calendar for upcoming events.  We’ll do the Winter Solstice ride in December.

Ride safely