A Two-Museum Day

Hank – I woke up at 4:30 am. That sounds like rain. Then the lightning and thunder started. I wondered how the dogs were faring. I was half awake and half dozing for a couple of hours. Mary made us a great breakfast. We chatted some more and then had to pack up and leave. I really hope they come through Spokane at some time while they’re touring so we can hang out some more.

Rob has a sailboat he’s working on and keeping at Honest John’s Fish Camp. He told us about an 8-foot alligator that the owner is trying to harass enough to make it move somewhere else. Kathy was not keen on seeing the 8-foot alligator so we skipped stopping by. A cool thing about the property is the original deed is signed by President Theodore Roosevelt.

There must be some good fishing at Sebastian Inlet. When we crossed the bridge we saw tons of people fishing on both sides. A bird of prey was sitting on a pole at the crest of the bridge. I got a photo right when it started to fly away.

Pressing onward on Hwy A1A we came up on the McLarty Treasure Museum. Way back in the early 18th century 11 or 12 Spanish ships carrying millions in gold and silver sank off shore near here. The museum has a lot of artifacts on display. There’s also a documentary about how salvagers discovered and recovered artifacts and treasure. We hung out there for almost an hour.

We stopped in Vero Beach for lunch at a place called Cravings. They had live music outside. I got the impression we were in a high end neighborhood. Everyone in sight looked like they were worth a million bucks.

When I first mapped out our route I notice the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum was along the way. First, I wondered why the museum was in Fort Pierce. Second, I knew we had to stop by. We met Dave, Hal, Andy, and Christoper who volunteer there. After hearing what we were up to they thought we were badass. Are you kidding me? Navy SEALS, man. Kathy and I checked out the museum. It takes you through the history of the SEAL Teams in reverse chronological order. All of the artifacts on display, boats, weapons, a helicopter, and more, were either actually used by SEAL Team members or were captured by them. We had a great visit. Before we left, Dave gave me a U.S. Navy coin. How cool is that? We meet the nicest people everywhere we go. We say our goodbyes and wished them all a Merry Christmas.

Oh, and why is the museum here? Because the training site for the Underwater Demolition Team, precursor to SEAL Teams, developed during WWII was here at Fort Pierce.

Rain was not in the forecast but it decided to show up anyway. A light rain started while we were at the museum. And when we left it increased in intensity. We only had seven miles to the hotel, which was only slightly more than a tent site at the KOA campground, and we were thoroughly soaked by the time we got there. We got everything dried out and did our laundry.

Kathy – Mary prepared an amazing breakfast of banana pancakes and maple bacon which we thoroughly enjoyed with our tea. We had a few more hours of wonderful conversations with Rob & Mary before we had to bid them goodbye. We could have spent much longer with  these amazing people but we had to press on with our travels. We are extremely grateful for all of Rob & Mary’s outstanding hospitality.

Today we cycled 44 miles with temps in the low 80’s. It was a cloudy day until our last seven miles where it rained nicely. We were pretty soaked by the time we got to our hotel tonight. We are limited for campsites in this area. We did find a KOA that was charging $50 to pitch a tent. We chose wisely and paid $10 more for a dry hotel room.

We stopped by two museums on the way to our destination today – Fort Pierce, Florida. Both of them were very interesting, but I must say the Navy UDT Seal Museum was quite spectacular. So many outstanding Navy Seal displays which included historical information. Not only was the inside of the museum fantastic, but outside there were so many artifacts that allowed us to increase our knowledge about the SEALs. We met some incredible people that work there too. They were interested in our bike trip but we were just fascinated by all that was there. This by far was an amazing museum. I was happy that Hank found it on the map and happy to meet the fine gentlemen who work there too.

It was a pretty relaxing ride today. I had lots of comments on my Christmas decorated bicycle. It is surprising just how cheap you can get a few Christmas decorations at Wally World. Most loved the Christmas tree on the back of my bike. It is all about being seen by the cars and if this helps all is good. Hank is somewhat of a bah-humbug and isn’t interested in any decoration on his bike. We are enjoying the warm weather. Only four more days before we fly back to cold, snowy Spokane for Christmas. 🎄

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