ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Day Trippin'
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-26-2011, 05:33 PM   #1
XC Rider OP
Motorcycle Vagabond
 
XC Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Out in the country
Oddometer: 2,762
Everglades weekend

So around November of last year I decided (thanks to a little push from a friend) to go ahead and make the trip to Alaska this coming summer. I've been thinking about doing this trip (Key West, Florida to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska) for atleast 5 or 6 years, and now that's it's gonna happen, I'm prepping full-time and anxiously awaitting early June!

First thing I did was to find a new bike for the trip. Earlier last year I had bought a used Ninja 650r and was planning on modifying it for a trip like this. However, due to a lack of shop space and access to tools due to my current living situation, I decided that if I could sell the Ninja, I'd be better off going with something like a Versys (practically the same thing as the Ninja) or if I could find one for a good price, maybe a GS. I really wasn't interested in a KLR (I've owned one before, good bike but not what I'm looking for right now) or the Vee-strom (rode one, but it just didn't do anything for me); I need to have something that made me feel alive when I rode it. After all, there's a lot of miles between Key West and Prudhoe Bay, and only a relatively small portion is non-paved. So to make a long story short, I was able to sell my Ninja in December, and within 2 weeks I had found a replacement in the form of a 2009 Kawasaki Versys (with only 1400 miles)! You can read my fly-n-ride pick up report HERE.

Alright, so now I got the bike, time to get it outfitted and prep my gear. I've got a lot on things on my to-do list for this bike, but here's what I've done so far:

Mud Flap to protect the inards.

Before:



And after:



Thanks to whomever put a broken dock cart by the trash cans!

I also put on a new set of mirrors on the bike. The stock ones vibrate so bad you just can't see anything. So I picked up a pair of really cheap mirrors on Amazon.com upon hearing that others had used them with good success. After all, at less than $10 a piece, how could I loose! Turns out, they work great! Here's a LINK if you're interested; sorry, no close up picks, but you can see them in the pics that will follow.

Next on the list, I picked up a new tent, a Kelty Gunnison 2.1, and a new camera, the Canon T1i. With these few new items (as well as an itch to get off the island for the weekend, I live in Key West), I decided to go for a little shakedown campout in the Everglades this past weekend. This would give me a chance to try out the new tent and the new camera. I had also been wanting to ride Loop road (off of Hwy 41) for quite a while now. While I don't have any protection on the bike yet (skid plate, engine guards, barkbusters, etc...) I figured I'd be ok if I just took it easy.

So here is my little rr from this past weekend's excursion.
__________________
XC Rider
"Motorcycles have put me in touch with wonderful people. As a result of that, I have an elevated idea about how good everybody in the world is." - Ted Simon
My Ride Reports.
SpotWalla: WHERE IS XC RIDER!?
XC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
OldCoot
Gnarly Adventurer
 
OldCoot's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Hendersonville, NC
Oddometer: 331
Great bike choice.

I've subscribed...

I'd like to make the trip north someday, so I really enjoy reading about other people doing it. Have a great time and post lots of pictures!

__________________
2008 Suzuki Boulevard S50

OldCoot's Blog: Blue Ridge Travel Guide

Interactive Google Maps: Best Blue Ridge Mountain Roads
OldCoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
XC Rider OP
Motorcycle Vagabond
 
XC Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Out in the country
Oddometer: 2,762
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:

Apetizer-



The main course-



Dessert-



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:

__________________
XC Rider
"Motorcycles have put me in touch with wonderful people. As a result of that, I have an elevated idea about how good everybody in the world is." - Ted Simon
My Ride Reports.
SpotWalla: WHERE IS XC RIDER!?
XC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 11:12 AM   #4
TK-LA
SoCal Rider
 
TK-LA's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Southern California
Oddometer: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by XC Rider View Post

If that was a "Sam's Choice Cola" rather than a coke I'd say that was the perfect redneck breakfast.
__________________
Big Trip to Washington, Vancouver Island and British Columbia
So Cal Day Trips
2012 Suzuki DL1000 V Strom
2007 Suzuki GS500f - Don't underestimate (and don't take it in loose rocks!)
2004 Suzuki LS650 "Savage" - Either stolen or ran away from home.
TK-LA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
tcourdin
Resident Spooner
 
tcourdin's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Arkansas
Oddometer: 10,206
What a great ride! Thanks for sharing.
__________________
My SPOT
tcourdin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
Rcrx21
02 KLR650; 02 KDX220
 
Rcrx21's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Collegeville, PA
Oddometer: 438
My wife and I are heading down to the keys from Phildadelphia next Saturday. Our loose plan is to hit Osceola, Ocala, Richloam, South golden gate to James Scenic to 41. Might as well go through Loop rd and your way to card sound.
Butch
Rcrx21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
aldntn
Vgo
 
aldntn's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Nashville TN
Oddometer: 273
Great Pics

Love the Everglades and Keys.
__________________
http://www.aldntn.bravejournal.com/

09 DL650ABS
aldntn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
5OUTTA6
Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: North of "Bagdad by the Bay"
Oddometer: 21
5OUTTA6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
XC Rider OP
Motorcycle Vagabond
 
XC Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Out in the country
Oddometer: 2,762
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
Great bike choice.
Thanks, I agree. I really like it so far.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
I've subscribed...

I'd like to make the trip north someday, so I really enjoy reading about other people doing it. Have a great time and post lots of pictures!

Just keep your eyes posted on the RR thread. I put together an RR when I take off for Alaska some time around early June.


PS. I'll try to post up Day 2 tomorrow night.
__________________
XC Rider
"Motorcycles have put me in touch with wonderful people. As a result of that, I have an elevated idea about how good everybody in the world is." - Ted Simon
My Ride Reports.
SpotWalla: WHERE IS XC RIDER!?
XC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
Too Tall
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Too Tall's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Iowa Great Lakes
Oddometer: 163
The Versys is an excellent bike selection for your trip north. My wife road a Versys to Alaska in June/July 2010 and the bike performed excellent with zero problems. One of the best improvements is to put a 3 tooth smaller rear sprocket on the bike.

See http://2wheel-adventure.blogspot.com/ for the AK ride report we did for our friends and relatives. Other mods to the Versys are covered there as well.

Look forward to your ride report from Key West north. Ride safe.
__________________
-Fortunately still working on my Bucket List-
2014 KTM 300XCW
2013 KTM 500EXC
2012 Triumph 800XC
2010 KTM 990 SMT
Too Tall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2011, 07:09 AM   #11
danh600
Gnarly Adventurer
 
danh600's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: South Florida
Oddometer: 275
Sure was nice riding out of the park Sunday wasn't it. Beautiful day.

You got some good pictures at Royal Palm. It was over run with tourist when I stopped on Sunday. However, the little side trails were nice. Not many people at all.

Good luck on your big trip to Alaska. I am about one good days ride north of Key West if you come the scenic route through the center of the state. If you go up the interstates you by-pass me. If you come up US27 give me a holler. I have an extra room in the house.
danh600 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2011, 07:19 AM   #12
PhiSig1071
What's ******width?
 
PhiSig1071's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Tucson, AZ
Oddometer: 1,888
You found the shortcut!

I used to live in the keys, and it seemed like every time I had to drive up to homestead for something there was a crash on card sound or the stretch. I've been across that gravel road a few dozen times.
__________________
Which one of you FF's was it?...FOUNDER!

Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
PhiSig1071 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2011, 06:57 PM   #13
XC Rider OP
Motorcycle Vagabond
 
XC Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Out in the country
Oddometer: 2,762
Quote:
Originally Posted by danh600 View Post
Sure was nice riding out of the park Sunday wasn't it. Beautiful day.

You got some good pictures at Royal Palm. It was over run with tourist when I stopped on Sunday. However, the little side trails were nice. Not many people at all.

Good luck on your big trip to Alaska. I am about one good days ride north of Key West if you come the scenic route through the center of the state. If you go up the interstates you by-pass me. If you come up US27 give me a holler. I have an extra room in the house.
Yeah, Sunday was so much nicer than Saturday.

Thanks for the invite; I'll let you know if I come through the area.
__________________
XC Rider
"Motorcycles have put me in touch with wonderful people. As a result of that, I have an elevated idea about how good everybody in the world is." - Ted Simon
My Ride Reports.
SpotWalla: WHERE IS XC RIDER!?
XC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #14
XC Rider OP
Motorcycle Vagabond
 
XC Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Out in the country
Oddometer: 2,762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
The Versys is an excellent bike selection for your trip north. My wife road a Versys to Alaska in June/July 2010 and the bike performed excellent with zero problems. One of the best improvements is to put a 3 tooth smaller rear sprocket on the bike.

See http://2wheel-adventure.blogspot.com/ for the AK ride report we did for our friends and relatives. Other mods to the Versys are covered there as well.

Look forward to your ride report from Key West north. Ride safe.
Thanks for the link; I've got it bookmarked and will read through it this weekend when I get a chance.
__________________
XC Rider
"Motorcycles have put me in touch with wonderful people. As a result of that, I have an elevated idea about how good everybody in the world is." - Ted Simon
My Ride Reports.
SpotWalla: WHERE IS XC RIDER!?
XC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2011, 07:17 AM   #15
bwalsh
Beastly Adventurer
 
bwalsh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Hell town
Oddometer: 10,519
Quote:
Originally Posted by XC Rider
not your stereotypical sunny Florida type of pictures
Only time I have been to Florida(the sunshine state) they were having the worst rains in thirty years. We were going to the Suwaneee Springest in Live Oak. At the first stop we made in the state I bought an umbrella. There was 4" of standing water in the fest site during the height of the storm!

Great RR so far! I'll be waiting for the next installment.
__________________
2004 XR650L / 2001 R1150GS
NWVA TAG NWVA TAG MAP RTE THREAD & IN LIST



bwalsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014