First Time Host

Man standing in front of a fully loaded touring bicycleContributor: Lil Cub

In 2019, after hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT), I returned home and decided to open up my place for the Florida Trail (FT) and Eastern Continental Trail (ECT) hikers to rest and charge up. Since my place was only a quarter mile from downtown and at the crossroads of Hwy 90 and 85, it is the perfect location for hikers and now bikers to stop tent and charge up, as both trails run right through the fair Gateway City of Crestview.

In January, I had the pleasure of encountering a biker, Sc Down (RideorDie), and he explained his dilemma. No place to set up camp for miles upon miles. So I invited him to Lil Cubs Place On The Florida Trail to rest his bones and charge up.

During his stay, he was so gracious to answer all my questions about biking. That’s when I learned that perhaps I could host bicyclists as well as hikers, as I saw others do in Damascus, VA, during The Trail Days Festival. Bikers and hikers together, having good times. So…learning of Warmshowers, I decided to put Lil Cubs Place On The Florida Trail out there and see what happens.

Sc Down was so helpful in providing information, and he was truly a kind, respectful, and knowledgeable individual. I learned he was doing a warm-up ride of the FT going south to Key West, where he would begin his road ride of the ECT. Amazing just doesn’t cover the challenge and rewards of such a task.

And I learned of many bike paths of which run right through my city. I’ve seen bicyclists passing through before but never thought much about it except how cool it would be to do something like that.

Well, I have the perfect location and facilities to not only assist hikers but also cyclists. I look forward to seeing my first cyclist, RideorDie, again as he continues his journey north. Thank you, RideorDie and Warmshowers, for the opportunity to give back.

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