Tampa Fl, to Key West...I dont know why.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by half_price_beemer, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    Let me first start with good manners by introducing my riding buddy "Pumba." He doesn't talk much until he warms up to you.[​IMG]

    I got this Idea this morning, I was wide awake at 5 a.m. for no good reason. so I started thinking:evil I have some time off, why not go for a ride. After spending about 30 minutes checking the bank account and drinking some coffee I had made up my mind. Time to see one of those four corners all these gold wing riders talk about. So after packing a random assortment of cloths bathroom supplies, and my tools I was hitting the road...To Mcdonalds.
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    No that my stomach was full of breakfast burritos, I started off out of tampa on I275 to St. Pete. I don't like riding slab for long, but it was necessary if I was going to see the Sky Bridge across the bay. No is probably a good time to say that
    A.) I just moved to Tampa 2 weeks ago from Ohio
    B.) I didnt bring my camera, so iPhone do your magic.

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    Sorry guys I guess these photos will have to do.
    after making the trip across the bay I turned East on 64 towards Zolfo Springs. on the way I found something I didn't know existed in Florida.
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    and TURNS!!:clap
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    wait there was just one each, back to the real florida.
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    #1
  2. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    I headed down from Zolfo Springs to Lake Okeechobee, what I found when I got there was a little disappointing, I took 441 around the east side of the Lake and I thought man that will be cool to ride next to the lake for 30 miles. well as it turns out the lake is behind a dike, no not that kind, so to see it you needed a bicycle or to go on foot. I wasn't walking. so instead I rode looking at trailer park after trailer park. someinteresting set-ups on some of them (sorry no pics.)
    Then I entered the twilight Zone, where open two lane freeways have 45 mph speed limits. Then I saw something new on rt. 27 a "variable speed zone." never heard of one, but apparently on a whim they can change the speed. so I went 75 to stick it to the man.

    Finally got off the slab and onto 997, after about a 6 miles I some motocross helmets popping above the trees, I started looking for a the entrance and found it. Its called Miami Motocross 5 bucks to get in. it was neat, they even said unofficially I could set a tent for the night.
    [​IMG][/URL[​IMG][/URL[​IMG]
    Pumba napped in the shade while I watched some racing, 125-450cc bikes dont impress him.

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    My original plan was to wing it and hope for an open camp ground...oh yeah its the 4 of July Amurica! so I kept riding around florida city, thinking I could find a place, then I found this hostel called the Everglades Hostel and Tours. this place is sweet. 25 a night (20 in you don't want A/C) it's right off of 997, there's WiFi in the whole complex; hence me making this thread right now. It has a serious hippie vibe, but they know how to party.
    here are some random pictures I got, Ill probably post more of the hostel tomorrow.
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    they have nice indoor showers, but this was cool outdoor shower house, so you can see the sky.
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    This is a rock waterfall with a clear spring pond that you can swim in.[​IMG]
    The zen room which is a free standing gazebo with my ADVrider already on the laptop.
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    They even have a cool hippie tree house made of nets and hammocks. I should also mention, that theres a full kitchen with everything you need except beer and food, but they have a huge fridge to put stuff in.
    #2
  3. venneman

    venneman Adventurer

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    I've driven through Florida, and I seriously think you crossed into another state somehow. There are no hills in Florida, or turns (other than at intersections).

    Still, impromptu trips like that can be the most fun. Hope Pumba enjoys himself as much as you seem to be!
    #3
  4. ohiodualsporter

    ohiodualsporter Been here awhile

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    I'm anxious to hear how today went and see some pics.
    #4
  5. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    So as promised after indulging me for a moment you will see the continuation of the hostel set-up. After finishing my thread post last night, I started talking to a bunch of people around the hostel. There were people from Ireland doing odd jobs as they toured the U.S. some French girls, and even a dude from sweden. It was very much the hippie vibe from all of them, and I stuck out like a soar thumb with my riding gear and a camo hat, but none the less I was tolerated for the rest of the evening. As it turns out there was another guy there on a silver BMW RT1100, sadly he rode into Miami to see the fireworks when i was at dinner. and he wasn't back until I was in my rack. around 6:30am I was smacked awake by the sound of a fellow traveler ripping a big one. soon after the smell floated to my bunk. I took that as my cue to get a shower and role out. If you do not leave as early as I did they have an all you can MAKE pancake breakfast. pretty cool (free WiFi, cool diggs, A/C and free breakfast for 25 smackers.) any way the PICS!!
    As your looking at the kitchen

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    The spring you can swim in

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    The net tree house, don't drink and climb unless you say "watch this" first.

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    They do have tent space I think the rate is discounted just not sure what it is.

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    Jumbo chess.

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    Last picture of the Hostel this morning.


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    After loading the panniers and saying goodbye. i twisted the throttle and halled A, er, butt to...Yep you guessed it, Burger King. Sausage egg and cheese Croissant is always a good go to, the burrito kinda sucked.

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    After that it was a short ride to get out to key largo. this is on the way out.
    The Keys, Sponsored by Ford.

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    I noticed that the Pig was coming up on a milestone so I snapped this pic of the moment. 95,000 miles and running strong, of course most of those miles someone else did.

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    I always thought riding the keys would be further than this. here is a pic taken about 20ish miles south of florida city.

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    #5
  6. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    What does "burgher" mean ?
    #6
  7. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    After I took the picture of the 105 miles to go sign, the skies opened up, and I thought... hey, this is florida give it ten miles and it will change, and then I thought hey give it 20 miles and it will change. finally the weather broke to reveal another huge storm coming over Marathon Key:cry

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    SO i said screw it I'm in know rush. so I pulled over to wait it out. I stopped at a gas station, grabbed my water out of the pannier, and ate a Reese cup. then thunder and lighting started every where. I even had a guy that lived there tell me good luck when he saw me on a bike. as I stood there under the over hang Pumba hid under some trees, apparently he doesn't like storms.:rofl

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    As I got to messing with my phone,checking Facebook, advrider I thought I should check the weather...

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    So due to the rain I gave up the idea of pictures until I got to Key West, sorry, I think every one can relate to being pissed off by being in the rain all day.
    so after taking the detours thru Key West. I finally got to the old post that I was searching for. There is a road that leads right to the post. everyone was taking pictures and the line was long so Like a jerk I pulled up snapped a quick picture and was on my way outta there. Key West looked really cool, but I figured It would be more fun to experience it with the girlfriend. So I'll be back.

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    Soo. that concludes the trip to the Keys, But... after I took the picture of the bike at the southern most point I turned around and became selfish, I took a monotones ride back through the keys, as I had already seen it, and traffic was getting bad The rain dumped on me for a long time, the only thing that cheered me up was seeing harely guys with no helmets riding in it. I made a turn west on RT 41 where the speed limit was 45!!!!. so I passed a few people and, thought my cruising speed of 75 wasn't too bad. Then a guy flew by me in a Mercadez-Benz so I wicked it up to his speed, 100 MPH! and we cruised acrossed indian reservations, and national parks... more to finish tomorrow.
    #7
  8. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    maybe a typo, i am bad with catching my writing mistakes.
    #8
  9. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    As I said before, it rained on and off the whole way back. I don't know if anyone else gets in this mode, but when I ride for a lot in one day. I get slap happy, everything seems funny, and the music seems great. That mode hit me around Naples Fl, when I turned north to make the final 160 miles to Tampa. When I got to the I275 interchange I had to choices, add 10 miles and go through St. Pete, or take I75 straight north. The reason that I was trying to decide was because it was obviously pouring rain on I75, and I saw I could skirt the weather if I added those extra 10 miles. So I took 275 and paid the $1.25 toll to use the Skyway, (which always reminds me of The movie Thor.) After that I stopped to grab some ginger ale to mix with my gin at home.

    All told it was around 900ish miles. I gotta say it was fun, but if I did it again I would bring a riding buddy.

    let me know if the report was good, Ill try to do more and make them better as I go.
    THE END
    #9
  10. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    I was surprised to. I found it in Cattle country on the way to Zolfo Springs, but your not kidding about straight roads. after those pics nothing veered left or right.
    #10
  11. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    Alameda for now
    Good RR. I'm in St.Pete and have done the ride to the keys in a cage many times but not on my bike yet. You gave some good ideas instead of taking alligator alley, so thank you.

    Stay safe.
    #11
  12. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    Thanks for reading it, If you ever wanna do a day ride let me know. any other must sees in florida?
    #12
  13. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Location:
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    Good job but you only scratched the surface. Florida is a subtle state, and I say that after twenty years in California where everything hits you in the face, granite cliffs, mountains crashing waves giant redwoods, vast deserts and on and on.

    In Florida its orange groves and cow hunters (as they are called) and long stretches of silence. [​IMG]Check out Loop Road off US41, Tampa-Miami Trail. 23 miles of dirt and alligators.

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    Or you can check out Solomon's Castle north of Arcadia for something weird and wonderful. Try riding round Brooksville for hills (small) and pine forests (large) or west of Ocala for horse country and suddenly thinking you are in Kentucky. Cedar Key for lunch? Tarpon Springs for a Greek lunch?
    Bok Tower in lake Wales if you like ornamental gardens and the tallest point in peninsula Florida. The list is endless. Off roaders love Ocala national forest or the off road riding north of Miami off Highway 27.

    I like riding Florida oddly enough but in summer I like to make trips to the Appalachians for twisties but its a bit of a hike from key West. Dahlonega Georgia is twelve hours from my house....

    Have fun if you can get over how different Flatistan is. Check the regional forum for lots more.
    #13
  14. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    Yeah I saw a lot I liked, and sometimes taking a trip isn't about the road it's about what the road takes you too or makes you feel. Thanks for all the tips, I cant wait to give the rest of florida a shot.
    #14
  15. ohiodualsporter

    ohiodualsporter Been here awhile

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    I liked it. I can't seem to be that dedicated to take photos and write a log when I ride. Next time we ride together I'll have you do it. Ride safe.
    #15
  16. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    Yeah stopping and taking pictures is really the hardest part. I look forward too putting in some mile with you when I get back to the midwest.
    #16
  17. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    yeah, all the mutts gotta bust on florida.... i hope they freeze their azz'z off next february.... :evil.... 41 around everglades city is pretty cool, so is everglades city...... take that 'loop road' on a sunny day in the winter, and you'll see a metric buttload of alligators, maybe more...:eek1... check out the clyde butcher gallery down there too, florida's ansel adams...
    #17
  18. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    I will have to see this metric buttload sounds cool.
    #18
  19. patmo

    patmo Long timer

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    My parents retired from Cincinnati to St Pete Beach back in the mid 1980's and lived the rest of their lives there until passing a few years ago. One of my brothers moved there about 6-7 years ago, the only thing he took with him was his bike. He now has a house and a sailboat, but still has his bike. I have traveled to that area many many times during those years, and a few times have either been on a bike, or rented one once I got down there. I don't think I could ever "live" there, but as others have said, taking a nice ride down there in January when it is cold and snowy up here is certainly a big inticement for spending time down there.

    One year my brother, my son, and I all took bikes out toward Sebring one sunny day in Late December. We did find some curves and hills, not many but a few, and it sure beat sitting inside up north WISHING we were riding.

    Enjoyed your report and pics....keep them coming.
    #19
  20. half_price_beemer

    half_price_beemer Wings-it Adventurer

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    Thanks, the only thing I came down here with was my bike, and just brought what I could fit on it; so I share your brothers mind set i suppose.
    #20