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Old 12-20-2011, 11:26 AM   #4636
FAW3
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Bluhduh Can I get some help for a qucik trip to S.F?

I’m working on a plan…and I hope I can get some local suggestions for routing/diversions that fit within my time allotment. In short, I’ve got a few days of free room & board at a friends house in Key West in early Feb. I’ve been running the keys for diving for 30+ years, and know the Keys pretty well…but this time I am both time crunched AND simply don’t want to run Rt95 from Northern Va…I am going to hop on the Amtrak AutoTrain ($$$) with my KLR and start/end the motorcycle part from Sanford/Orlando.

My basic routing plan is:

1. Minimizing the Interstate runs.
2. Get off the train in the AM and head South from Orlando on Rt 441, taking whichever side of Lake Okeechobee that looks to be the best MC ride, and hit Everglades and/or Big Cypress for a first night or two destination. Try to play on any legal public trails in the area and generally experience the ‘Glades. This entire area is virgin to me.
3. Then on down Rt 1 to KW for a few days.
4. Haul back up to Orlando…maybe taking the “other side’ of the lake on the way back. Grabbing a quick overnight near Orlando in order to board the AM train home.
5. I've got 6 nights all together...

My questions: For the ride down to below Okeechobee, and grabbing a night or two in/around Big Cypress and/or Everglades National Parks…

Any suggested routes and roads to hit, or avoid?

For the National Parks…outside the formal campgrounds: is just pulling off and camping out of sight a common practice/permitted (a open option up here in G. Washington National Forest where I tend to roam)?

How strict are the fellows/gals with the funny green hats about tying a hammock to a tree (my back and I are both Hennessey Hammock fans)?

Is it worth the trip all the way to Flamingo?

Thanks for any info!
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:44 PM   #4637
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAW3 View Post
I’m working on a plan…and I hope I can get some local suggestions for routing/diversions that fit within my time allotment. In short, I’ve got a few days of free room & board at a friends house in Key West in early Feb. I’ve been running the keys for diving for 30+ years, and know the Keys pretty well…but this time I am both time crunched AND simply don’t want to run Rt95 from Northern Va…I am going to hop on the Amtrak AutoTrain ($$$) with my KLR and start/end the motorcycle part from Sanford/Orlando.

My basic routing plan is:

1. Minimizing the Interstate runs.
2. Get off the train in the AM and head South from Orlando on Rt 441, taking whichever side of Lake Okeechobee that looks to be the best MC ride, and hit Everglades and/or Big Cypress for a first night or two destination. Try to play on any legal public trails in the area and generally experience the ‘Glades. This entire area is virgin to me.
3. Then on down Rt 1 to KW for a few days.
4. Haul back up to Orlando…maybe taking the “other side’ of the lake on the way back. Grabbing a quick overnight near Orlando in order to board the AM train home.
5. I've got 6 nights all together...

My questions: For the ride down to below Okeechobee, and grabbing a night or two in/around Big Cypress and/or Everglades National Parks…

Any suggested routes and roads to hit, or avoid?

For the National Parks…outside the formal campgrounds: is just pulling off and camping out of sight a common practice/permitted (a open option up here in G. Washington National Forest where I tend to roam)?

How strict are the fellows/gals with the funny green hats about tying a hammock to a tree (my back and I are both Hennessey Hammock fans)?

Is it worth the trip all the way to Flamingo?

Thanks for any info!
I'd avoid the Turnpike and I-95 at all cost too . The route on the east side of Lake O' is nice with spots to get off on the levee to look at the lake. The trail however is only for hiking and cycling. Take Old Canoe Creek Rd from Orlando area (Kissimmee/St Cloud) and go to 441 ,to US 27 , to Krome Avenue to Florida City. Please check a good map as funny enough I ride it a lot, but can't recollect the precise details at the moment .
Avoid the Orange Blossom Trail part of 441, as it goes through a trillion traffic lights weaving through Orlando..

You can take either the new 18 mile stretch with the much needed concrete safety barrier in the middle, or take Card Sound road to Key Largo...
I wouldn't wild camp down here, and I don't know about the hammock issue...
Flamingo is only worth it if you do the tourist thingy and get on an excursion boat, either on Whitewater Bay or Florida Bay.
Have fun!!
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #4638
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Also avoid 441 where it joins with State Road 80 and starts heading east. As soon as you hit Royal Palm Beach you start hitting many traffic lights and heavy traffic. Youll want to take US 27 south from the Belle Glade area if you travel the east side of Lake Okeechobee.

AND!! Dont even think about traveling through or spending the night in Belle Glade or Pahokee. Daytime only travel in this area as many people liken it more to Somalia than typical Palm Beach County. There are so many shootings out there a week that the local news simply skips reporting on most of them. Amazingly enough, during the day, its dead quiet.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:33 PM   #4639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemm View Post

AND!! Dont even think about traveling through or spending the night in Belle Glade or Pahokee. Daytime only travel in this area as many people liken it more to Somalia than typical Palm Beach County. There are so many shootings out there a week that the local news simply skips reporting on most of them. Amazingly enough, during the day, its dead quiet.
LOL, south Florida's new motto "Florida - it ain't like you think it is."

Mike, I think you're right... and I'm wondering why the news doesn't report all of the gunfire out that way? Maybe we could convince VICE's Shane Smith to go do a documentary on the area?
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:13 AM   #4640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemm View Post
Also avoid 441 where it joins with State Road 80 and starts heading east. As soon as you hit Royal Palm Beach you start hitting many traffic lights and heavy traffic. Youll want to take US 27 south from the Belle Glade area if you travel the east side of Lake Okeechobee.

AND!! Dont even think about traveling through or spending the night in Belle Glade or Pahokee. Daytime only travel in this area as many people liken it more to Somalia than typical Palm Beach County. There are so many shootings out there a week that the local news simply skips reporting on most of them. Amazingly enough, during the day, its dead quiet.
I have lived here 53 years. Never been shot, shot at or even seen a shooting in real life. I need to get out more.

Traveling through the area is safe. Couple of decent campgounds in the area.
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:13 AM   #4641
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Looking at heading here next Thursday night....

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=743059

Look at my post in there for the details

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!

Andy
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:23 AM   #4642
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I'm going to be free all weekend, if someone is riding, let me know. Otherwise, I guess I'll do a valve adjust on the KLR.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:52 AM   #4643
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Thanks for info !!

RE: routing from AutoTrain/Sanford down to Everglades Nat'l Park...

Thanks for the suggestions/routing info.

Last Sat I rode thru some light snow flurrys...so my riding chances up here are getting a bit cold. Looking forward to South Fl in Feb!

Take care!

Frank
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:21 PM   #4644
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Originally Posted by speedracertdi View Post
I'm going to be free all weekend, if someone is riding, let me know. Otherwise, I guess I'll do a valve adjust on the KLR.
I'm on the West side, but looking for a ride also! We could meet out at Loop Road and start from there. Saturday.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:58 PM   #4645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAW3 View Post
RE: routing from AutoTrain/Sanford down to Everglades Nat'l Park...

Thanks for the suggestions/routing info.

Last Sat I rode thru some light snow flurrys...so my riding chances up here are getting a bit cold. Looking forward to South Fl in Feb!

Take care!

Frank
the auto train is a good way to come down.......we did it in 2010 and plan to use it again to get out of south FLA!!
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:55 AM   #4646
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the auto train is a good way to come down.......we did it in 2010 and plan to use it again to get out of south FLA!!
I agree it sure beats the alternatives. I've done it a couple of times now, and this last time had a small incident that is worth mentioning. Maybe this word of caution will help others in the future?

On the most recent trip my pannier got a healthy gash in it from the handle on the Amtrak bike carrier. It was a no hassle insurance payoff, to their credit, but just be a little careful. Here's what happened...

Bike loaded fine in FL, tho I was in a hurry (we were late) so didn't notice the handle. The damage occurred in Lorton during unload. Front wheel is captured in chock, so it takes a good shove by the attendant to back the bike out. In that lunge, the pannier caught the handle of trolly that, on some of the older trollys, protrudes into the backup lane. Pics help clarify...

Note handles on newer trolly on left that stick out the back, but on older trolly handle is a 90 degrees and protrudes into backup lane:


A more observant rider than I would have noticed how close that handle was to the GS pannier BEFORE unloading, but noooo:


Ouch!


The gash was severe enough to break the water seal at the bottom. Nothing a little silicone won't remedy. I was pleased that the upper seal / lip for the lid was not affected. That one would have been more difficult to fix.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:42 AM   #4647
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For those of us who don't know, what are the logistic concerns about train-ing a bike in and out of Florida - like:

How much does it cost?
How long did it take to get there (where-ever 'there' is for you), and how long to have it unloaded?
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:10 AM   #4648
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For those of us who don't know, what are the logistic concerns about train-ing a bike in and out of Florida - like:

How much does it cost?
How long did it take to get there (where-ever 'there' is for you), and how long to have it unloaded?
The route is between Sanford FL and Lorton, VA. Train loads about 2pm for the bikes and departs at about 430. Arrival the other end is like 0930 am. They are pretty punctual even if they depart late. It cost us about $525 dollars for the bike and two people in summer 2010. That was the transport of the bike and a sleeper cabin. The have options from riding coach in just a seat to a full blown cabin with a private bath. We chose the 2 person cabin that has fold down bunks and the use of the bathroom/shower down the hall.

For me living in Homestead, FL, I covered 1100 miles in about 22 hours without killing myself. I think we rolled to Orlando/Sanford about 8 or 9 am and was there way early for the train, which was ok because there is a nice waiting area, cafe and little store. We were off the train and bike reloaded by 1030 the next morning.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:20 AM   #4649
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
For those of us who don't know, what are the logistic concerns about train-ing a bike in and out of Florida - like:

How much does it cost?
How long did it take to get there (where-ever 'there' is for you), and how long to have it unloaded?
The Auto Train only runs to and from Sanford, FL and Lorton, VA. They can't put your bike or car on at other stations. One runs north and one runs south everyday.

You really have to check the website for cost. It depends on vehicle, seats, day of the week, etc. You can also just ride in a coach seat or upgrade to a room. Amtrak.com

You have to get to the station early afternoon. Train leaves late afternoon, runs all night and you are at the other end early the next morning. Usually not that many bikes. On the way up our bikes were unloaded first. On the way home we waited about 30 minutes. But they have a decent lobby to wait in.

We really enjoyed our trip on it last year. We rode over to the west part of Virginia and rode the Blue Ridge and Skyline drive. Didn't really want to ride up I-95 for a day or so during the summer.

We rode the train up and back last year. We are thinking a just riding up this year, then slowly making our way back on the bikes.


The cart did start rolling on it's own across the parking lot in Virginia, but they ran it down, no harm done.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:23 AM   #4650
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We chose the 2 person cabin that has fold down bunks and the use of the bathroom/shower down the hall.

Roomettes I think they called them. We choose the same. Not that bad really.
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