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Old 11-10-2012, 12:17 PM   #376
sd2ftl
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you're our new hero. . .

My wife and I just met you today for a few brief moments at "Roberts" fruit stand, just outside of the Everglades. You are truly inspirational. Hopefully we'll cross paths with you again in Tennessee. . .you never know.
Barry & Audrey
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:57 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by sd2ftl View Post
My wife and I just met you today for a few brief moments at "Roberts" fruit stand, just outside of the Everglades. You are truly inspirational. Hopefully we'll cross paths with you again in Tennessee. . .you never know.
Barry & Audrey
Hi Barry and Audrey! It was really nice meeting you! And who knows....... the world really is a small place!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:09 PM   #378
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After MacD I headed into downtown Key West. The plan was to go into the state park and take some awesome pics of the Southern ocean. Well, that plan kinda backfired! Not sure what was going on, canoe race or so, but I think I traveled about 10 yards in 10 minutes, and Spirit thought it was way too hot to put up with that. I decided to just turn around and forego the southern pics. As I was trying to find my way out of the city I glimpsed the ocean and headed for it. I got very lucky!!! Guess what I found there?



I had a lady take 2 photo's of me next to it, but somehow those pics either magically disappeared, or she didn't press the button hard enough, or I'm a vampire and didn't know it
I passed Hemmingway's summer home, but was unable to stop and take a picture, too bad!
I used my phone's navigational software to get out of the maze, and as it turns out there way a detour to make it out, and that detour was so much nicer than coming into Key West


I did not know this was here! Awesome!




The old bridge again




If you look closely, right after the street light is the gap where in the movie True Lies the bridge gets blown up!




I had decided to not take the same way back, but to take the evacuation route that went over a toll bridge.
I was glad I did, it was a great road, uncrowded and beautiful.




the toll bridge, only $1, and so worth it!

I had such an early start which allowed me to mosey on over to the ever glades and still have plenty of time to turn back and camp at a campground on Hwy 41
Again I was glad I had my National Parks pass, and got in without payment.


I felt like I was in Africa and not in the Everglades




It was very swampy left and right of the road.

I was on my own, and hardly ever saw a car. After all the hustle and bustle of the Keys, I felt like I was finally somewhere peaceful. Even though I love meeting people and talking to them, I cherish my solitude more. The quiet moments where I can just shut off and enjoy the ride and the scenery. It is hard to describe the feeling exactly, it's like utterly de-stressing and letting anything negative and tense just ooze out of you into the surrounding, and soaking up the good, the beauty, the sounds, or lack thereof, and the smells. Hmmm, maybe not so much the latter in the swamps, boy, it does smell gnarly sometimes!

I arrived at Flamingo, and found out that at the end of the road was a camp ground.
I checked out the sign, but all the fees had a plate over it saying closed.
There was a Ranger parked next to the booth, and I rode over and asked him how come the camp ground was closed, he said that it wouldn't open till next week. Darn.
But then he said loop A was open now, and that I just had to put the monies into the envelope, the fee was $16 not too bad compared with the fee in the Keys.
Yay! I was happy, I could pitch camp early!
The camp ground itself was awesome, and only a few there campers were present.




Crows are pretty vicious! They fight each other and are territorial it seems. This one claimed my table, and whatever scraps might be on it.

I took a nice long hot shower and made dinner. I felt utterly peaceful happy and relaxed.


The sun set early, and I crawled in my tent and watched a movie.

At 9 my eyes started to close and I decided to call it a day.
At 10 I woke up with headlights beaming into my tent, and loud teenagers shouting, laughing and making a lot of noise.
What the????????

After a few minutes it dawned on me, that out of all the empty campsites, at least 30, these kids had decided to pitch camp right next to me!
AFter another few minutes and a hefty internal debate, I got up and asked them if they were planning on pitching their camp there. Then I said if they were, to please be a bit quieter seeing as I had planned to break camp early the next morning.

I crawled back in bed and heard them hop back in the car and leave. Wow! Yay!!!
I did hear them stop a ways down the road, and hoped they were not making someone else's night miserable.
Unfortunately sleep would not come after that, and I tossed and turned till 1 AM, when I finally succumbed.

Woke up at 7 and found that it was very overcast but warm. And guess what was in abundance??? Mosquitos! Oh boy! The wind had died down overnight and now they were patiently buzzing around waiting for their morning meal, me!

Needless to say, I didn't stay long after that.
I did strike up a conversation with a woman called Barbara, whose daughter was grown up as well, and who deciding what to do to make her life less dull and monotonous. She thought that what I was doing was great. I told her that I didn't want to wait till I was 62 and retired. Who knows if I'm able to do this then, or if I'm even alive. It's now or never I figured. Barbara was thinking of going to Canada in the summer and working at a farm 4 hrs a day in exchange for food and a place to stay. I hope she does it!

Took a couple of nice pics on the way out.



Witnessing the annual crow meeting!

I stopped at a few scenic places, amazing what a different eco system this is









Then on to another scenic point







Caught the sun's reflection in the water.



After I left the Everglades I stopped at a fruit stand



Right after I stopped a couple walked up to me and introduced themselves, Barry and Audrey. Barry was biker too, and an ADV member, so I told him about my ride report. They were very nice and hoped to meet me in Tennessee.

I felt like getting a smoothie, but decided against it when I saw the price, and went for a carton of coconut milk instead.
As I was standing at the register waiting to be rung up, the owner started berating his employee, a young girl, in front of everyone about having made a mistake and not charging a costumer the right price (she had undercharged him).
I looked around me and the place was packed! Come on! You don't do this right in front of everyone, you pull your employee aside and talk to them like a human being! I can't imagine him loosing money at that place!
Anyway, I lost my appetite and did not feel like giving him my business. I put the coconut milk back and left.

After filling up my tank and getting something to drink at a gas station, I managed to get lost in Homestead. It took me quiet a while to find my way out. My cell was no use either, the sun glared too much and I could not see the map on it.

Finally I found Hwy 997 and headed North to Hwy 41.


Lotus flowers in a mote along 41

This time however I decided I did not want to ride 41 all the way to Estero, that road was just too crowded.
I took a dirt road to the right in the hopes of hitting Hwy29


yay! back on the dirt again!


Wow! talk about living together!

It was a pretty cool and easy dirt road, and it felt great to be out in open space again.


Once I hit Hwy 29 this sign popped up, I did not see any though :(

Made it back to Lorrie's house at 4, tired but happy to have had a great day riding.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:38 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by nomadgal View Post
even though i love meeting people and talking to them, i cherish my solitude more. The quiet moments where i can just shut off and enjoy the ride and the scenery. It is hard to describe the feeling exactly, it's like utterly de-stressing and letting anything negative and tense just ooze out of you into the surrounding, and soaking up the good, the beauty, the sounds, or lack thereof, and the smells.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:53 AM   #380
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Funny- I stopped at the same fruit stand. No owner berating employees (I would have walked out too) but the Key Lime milkshake was really good, a bit pricey at $5, but good and thick.

I then made the mistake of asking how much the firewood was, as wood was scarce around the Long Pine Key campground and I was having an attack of the lazies. For a normal sized bundle of camp firewood (8 or so splits) the man wanted $12! Needless to say, this customer laughed and walked out, sans wood. What a rip-off! Obviously survives on the one-time tourist customers.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:54 PM   #381
XR Rough Rider
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Met you at Publix in Estero

I met you earlier this afternoon at the Publix in Estero with my two year old son. I ride a 2008 XR650L and have dreams of riding the US some day. My son and I ride every day and I'm sure that he will follow in dad's foot steps. I took a photo of you and your bike with my cell phone but it did not turn out. I'll read your posts and will also show him the great places that you have traveled. You have also inspired me to ride North someday. Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #382
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I met you earlier this afternoon at the Publix in Estero with my two year old son. I ride a 2008 XR650L and have dreams of riding the US some day. My son and I ride every day and I'm sure that he will follow in dad's foot steps. I took a photo of you and your bike with my cell phone but it did not turn out. I'll read your posts and will also show him the great places that you have traveled. You have also inspired me to ride North someday. Thanks.
Hi XR Rough Rider, It was great meeting you, and I'm glad to see you remembered my username :)
Hope you will be able to ride around the USA too one day. I had to wait for my kids to go to college, and I'm guessing you will too.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:36 AM   #383
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NomadGal:

sorry I didn't click on your links before. I notice you are having quite the adventure. I don't think I could do what you are doing SOLO. I get tired of being by myself for long periods. I like to meet up with people on the road too.

I have started reading your blog from the beginning . . . keep the photos flowing . . .


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Old 11-16-2012, 09:56 AM   #384
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Totally understand your mild level of enthusiasm for the Keys.
In their favor. 1. They are islands.
2. Easy to get to.
3. ?
My history of islands is pretty short. First the Keys, several times. Then some of the Bahamas.
Then several of the Hawaiian Islands.
Nothing else I've seen comes close to Hawaii. I need to get out more but, Hawaii is what I want in an island chain.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
Totally understand your mild level of enthusiasm for the Keys.
In their favor. 1. They are islands.
2. Easy to get to.
3. ?
My history of islands is pretty short. First the Keys, several times. Then some of the Bahamas.
Then several of the Hawaiian Islands.
Nothing else I've seen comes close to Hawaii. I need to get out more but, Hawaii is what I want in an island chain.

Esther did spend decades in Hawaii - off course the Keys won't do it for her.


And honestly, I never got the fascination about the Keys either (or Florida as a whole).
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #386
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And honestly, I never got the fascination about the Keys either (or Florida as a whole).
Hey, quit the dissin'.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:00 PM   #387
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Hey, quit the dissin'.
I can - I did live in FL (only 5 month tough).
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:15 PM   #388
BenZens
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Great ride report It has taken me a couple days but I have finally got to your last post. I hope you can still have some adventures while you are working.

Ben
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:14 AM   #389
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Hey, quit the dissin'.
Isn't being a punching bag for the rest of the States, Florida's main purpose?
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:40 AM   #390
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Looks like I won't start working at the store till next week, so instead of getting bored I keep myself occupied doing stuff for my friend, like:


Jacking up her daughter's car trying to find out why the window wiper fluid container is leaking.
Of course in order to get to the darn thing the wheel needs to come off, and the cover underneath removed.
Honestly! who designs these things?


Turns out the water is literally squirting out of the hoses where they connect to the container.
Easy fix, couple of new clamps and some silicone around the end of the hoses, and she's as good as new!

Next job, spicing up the yard a bit, and having fun with the big rock, planting some succulents in the holes.




We went for a walk and "borrowed" some of the excess plants along the road and planted them in the yard :)

And of course the little things around the house that need attention, like putting in a screen door in the back, fixing door knobs etc..

LOL, and my new boss would like for me to install a new ceiling fan at her home.
Yep! Keeping busy.
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