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Old 01-26-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
XC Rider OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Right where I need to be
Oddometer: 3,094
Day 1, Key West to Flamingo Point (Everglades national park)

So, got the bike loaded and headed out around 8:30am or so.

The weather as actually rather overcast and foggy to boot! Here's the view looking east on Big Coppitt Key (2nd key up from Key West)

It didn't improve much as the day wore on so I apologize that the pictures from day 1 are not your stereotypical sunny Florida type of pictures. The sun did peak through from time to time, but that was about it. Don't worry though, I didn't let it get me down. I was just happy to get out for a ride on the new steed!

Here is the Bahia Honda bridge.

People fishing under the bridge at Bahia Honda.

The Seven Mile Bridge. It was so foggy that you can't even see the big hump in the middle going over Moser channel!

Once up to Key Largo, I decided to take Card sound road. I've done the keys ride more times than I care to remember, and trust me, after you've done it a couple hundred times, it starts to get old. So I decided to change things up this time and take Card sound road; it's a little more scenic I guess and a LOT LESS traffic (that and I found a secret gem of a road before hitting the main land! more on this later).

A little after the toll bridge on Card sound road, I spotted a side road that seemed to parallel Card sound road and lead to the mainland. The bonus was that it was NOT pavement!

Turns out it was a lot of fun, a little muddy from the recent rains in spot, with a lot of big water puddles. Here are a few more pics of this road (SW 137th Ave as it was labeled on my GPS) which pretty much took me all the way to the Homestead raceway.

I eventuallty got to Florida City where I filled up with gas and dinner supplies and then headed for.....

Got to stay on my toes though, I'm entering Panther country!

I went in to the park, paid my entry fee and headed towards Royal Palm for my first stop. I had heard that this was a great place to spot some local wildlife (I was not disappointed, aside from the poor light quality). Here are some pictures from that spot.

After a short while I got back on the bike and kept going farther down into the Everglades. My destination for the night was the campground at Flamingo point. As I was going down the road I started to get a little light headed... ....then I saw this

Now it all makes sense, I'm gaining altitude!

Onwards and upwards as one of my former teachers used to always say. I eventually reached the Flamingo Point campground and picked out a good spot.

Started to prep a little fire to cook my dinner for the evening (my jetboil and other campsite cooking stuff is up in VA).

The evening's menu:


The main course-


And after dinner libations-

All in all a great day of riding. The bike was purring like a kitten (make that a BIG kitten!) and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Afterall, wasn't that the point of the whole thing!

STATS for the day:

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