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Santa Rosa Beach

Soma Saga

Interesting day, but now that the ride is over I’m feeling pretty good. Panama City seemed like a really big town, even though it is smaller than Corvallis. Traffic heading west was insane. US-98 which had been a fairly mellow 2 lane road further east, was now more like a 4 lane freeway, with a minimal shoulder. I kept trying to get Google to route me on 30, which went along the beach, but Google insisted on 98. But then came all the construction and I finally said screw it and took the first road I found heading south to the beach. There traffic was just as crazy but going much slower and there was a minimal bike lane. This was Panama City Beach. It was beginning to feel more like South Florida than anywhere else I’ve been. 
Meanwhile Google still wanted me to go back to 98 but I ignored it as 30 was going to merge with 98 further on anyway. When it did it was past the construction, but traffic was just as heavy. 
Then the route went left to Rosemary Beach on what it said was the Timpoochee Trail, but it was just a very congested sidewalk  and the cars were backed up to a standstill. So I headed back to 98, but it was too crazy so I took the next left towards the beach. This was also backed up to a standstill but it had a good bike path next to it. 
When I got back to the beach it was a circus. Evidently it is spring break in Kentucky, and all of the teenagers come here. No joke!  The trail follows the road for about 20 miles west and it was jam packed with teenagers on rental bikes the whole way. High rise hotels, fancy and not so fancy shops. By the names of the towns: Laguna Beach, Sunnyside, Santa Rosa Beach, it seemed like they wanted to emulate So. California beach towns, but the vibe was much more South Florida. There were literally thousands of people either riding on the trail, which was little more than a sidewalk, or hanging out at the shops. I didn’t even see how crowded the beaches were. So I had to navigate a party at 5mph for almost 20 miles. 
But I enjoyed it and it was way more fun than riding on the highway. So I made it to my WS hosts and I’m just waiting for them to get home.