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Old 11-09-2012, 06:33 AM   #374
NomadGal OP
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Oddometer: 1,098
Made it to Key West!
Now I can at least say I've been there, would I go here ever again? Hmmmmm, nope very unlikely!
The problem with imagining things is that in my imagination things are almost always better.
I had envisioned long beautiful stretches of land and water, beautiful bridges to cross over, the sun stinging on my back, and the fresh ocean air in my lungs.
The reality was a tad different.....
Long stretches of roads through towns filled to the brim with one store after another, so much consumerism :( , some beautiful bridges, sun in my have and wind howling around my helmet, and the smell of diesel exhaust in my lungs. Yep, a sad reality.
Anyway, let me backtrack to the beginning.
Left my friend Lorrie's house late, around 11 because I decided to check my oil filter again. Yikes, still metal slivers albeit not that many anymore.
It took me an hour just to get through Naples on Hwy 41. Traffic light after traffic light, neither Spirit nor I cared for it much.
Finally I got to the open road! I smiled again and relaxed. This is what riding is all about, not the congested and polluted town and city rides.

Stopped at a visitor center which one guy I met there called Alligator Alley

Not only where there alligators, there were birds and fish too.

These fish must not realize that they will be dinner at one point or another. Either that or they seem at ease with the knowledge.

Yep, pretty gnarly looking, and definitely not something I would want crawling outside my tent......

Took a couple of okay shots while riding over the bridges, it was windy so I mostly held on to the handlebars

The bridge on the right has a couple of sections missing. I was told by Omar (my unexpected host) that this is where they filmed True Lies with Arnold and

I got to Big Pine around sunset and couldn't find the camp ground. I stopped at a house where two Harley guys were working on a bike, and asked where the campground was. The guy pointed to his yard, and said that if I wanted I could pitch my tent up right there. Wow! That was very sweet. his name was Omar and his friend was Keith. They were both recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, and proud that they had been straight for years. I pitched my tent while they worked and afterward sat with them for a while and talked about the program they were on.
It sounds really cool. They even meditate and get in touch with who they really are.
We talked about books and such.
Omar had even read a few books I had read too, like "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior", Richard Bach's Illusions and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I told him to read Eckhart Tolle's New Earth and the Power of Now. Wonder if he will like it.

I slept great even though I woke up a few times.
The good thing about going to bed at 8 pm is that you wake up at 6.
This is the first time I hit the road at 8 AM! Wow! The road was still quiet, and the last stretch to Key West was way nicer.

Some other early birds

A McD with a nice view.
I had my oatmeal and coffee, and am heading to the southern most point.
Afterward back North and into the Everglades
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