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Small World Moment

Hank – We had oatmeal and tea for breakfast. I used the electric stove with our pan to boil water. We left a thank you card for Sergio and Eliana. Following Hwy 1–where else are we gonna go?–we got on a paved trail that runs next to it because it was smoother. Later on we switched to the bike lane because it was smoother and easier for cross traffic to see us. We alternated as needed the rest of the day.

We stopped by the Divers Museum intending to go in when Kathy noticed her rear tire was soft. I found a large staple in it and pulled it out. Funny enough, that didn’t cause the flat. There was a steel wire from a vehicle tire, hence the slow leak. I replaced the tube. 

We checked our time and decided to skip the museum because we wanted to stop at Robbie’s as recommended by Jake at Son of a Pizza in Homestead. We planned to stealth camp at Long Key State Park because it’s closed. The campground was destroyed by Hurricane Irma last year. So we figured to sneak in and spend a night for free.

We stopped at Robbie’s and it’s definitely a tourist destination. While we ate at the restaurant there were pigeons hovering about in the trees above us. Kathy and I both looked up at the same time as one above us swooped down towards us. It looked liked it was coming for Kathy but it flew past us and onto the roof directly behind us. It gave Kathy a fright. Understandably so because I thought it was gunning for her too.

After our late lunch we walked around and decided, yep, it’s a tourist place. On the way out we spotted two touring bicycles out front. Maybe we’ll see them again.

With ten miles to go we pressed on to Long Key State Park. When we got there we found it was open but only the campground was closed. The ranger said we could try camping illegally along the highway or get to Curry Hammock State Park, another ten miles down the road, and camp there.

We got back on the highway. I called the park and they said we could camp in the day use area with another cyclist since the campground was full. And since we’re on bikes and we’re kind of stuck we could come in after they close but go to the office the next morning and register “but that’s not normally how we do it.”

We thought it would be good to get on the trail on the opposite side of the road so we’d be out of traffic. That turned out to be a bad idea. A sign warned us that the trail ended in 100 feet. We came to the end of the pavement and a chain link fence. What the heck? So we backtracked and got back on the road. We rode into the sunset with our lights on. The sun got lower and lower and finally ducked under the horizon. We arrived with little light left in the sky. The other cyclist introduced himself–Richard Humphreville–and we immediately knew there was something familiar about him. We stayed at his house in New London, CT back in September. It’s a small world, folks.

The no see’ums were out in force so there was no time for catching up. Richard got in his tent and we quickly pitched ours and got inside. Once organized we took showers and got ready for bed. Dinner consisted of popcorn and a Smirnoff drink for Kathy and Chex mix and a hard cider for me. Since we had long day today, tomorrow we only have 21 miles to the next state park we’re camping at.

Kathy – So our ride was hot with the sun shining and temps in the 80’s. The 100% humidity made us sweat like crazy but the ocean breeze was pretty nice to help cool us somewhat. We rode 61 miles today and crossed lots of bridges as we traveled through many different islands in the Florida Keys. It is a cool place down here. I love how we can see the Atlantic Ocean from our left and the Gulf of Mexico on our right. Pretty amazing to be riding on bridges with only water around us for miles. I’m liking the Keys, but don’t think I can talk Hank into moving down here. It was a good day for riding which ended a little later than we anticipated. However all is good with a warm shower and being able to see a sky full of shiny stars. Pretty peaceful evening to finish off our day.

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Location where you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com

Bahia Honda Key State Park

Hank – I woke early and found Richard was almost packed and ready to go. We chatted a while and I learned he stayed with Rob and Mary, also our Warmshowers Host, in Melbourne Beach. Wow, the world keeps getting smaller. I told Richard about getting a walk-in site at Bahia Honda Key State Park. He headed out early with plans to camp there too.

I knew Kathy didn’t sleep well last night so since she was asleep I let her get some rest. I walked over to the beach and watched some early morning kayakers and kite surfers. They were having some fun.

When Kathy woke we had a peanut butter/banana sandwich for breakfast since we have a light day ahead of us. I went and settled the bill, $22, while Kathy was getting dressed. We were on the road by 10:30 am. Since we only had 21 miles we decided to stop in Marathon and hang out for a bit. We had a strong tailwind so we made quick time. We stopped at the Overseas Pub and Grille for lunch. I had a hard cider and Kathy had a mimosa while we mulled over the menu. The place was very quiet and there were only a couple of customers sitting outside. An older gentleman pulled up on a cruiser bicycle and stepped up to the bar. Next thing your know we’re best friends with Hugh Baker. Hugh mentioned he’s a local barber and Kathy asked if he worked just down the street because she saw a sign that says, “Hugh is here.” Yep, that’s him. Hugh lives on a sailboat and has done so for the last 27 years. He plans to sail to Guatemala in April live down there because his money will go farther there. He was amazed to hear about our adventure and bought us a round of drinks.

While we were talking a guy pulls up in a Cobra sports car and goes inside. A little while later a woman walked by us and said, “Whoever owns that car, I’ll marry you.” Without missing a beat Hugh says, “C’mere, honey. I own that car.” What a jokester. Since Hugh was so much fun to be with I paid his tab as well as mine. We said our goodbyes and got back on the road.

We were soon crossing the Seven Mile Bridge. I’d heard horror stories about this bridge but I didn’t think the traffic or conditions were bad at all. The shoulder is wide enough for me. And maybe Kathy and I are just used to riding next to fast traffic. On the north side of it lies a long section of the Overseas Railroad build by Henry Flagler during the beginning of the 1900s. (We learned about Flager while visiting St Augustine).  The old railroad is also part of the Overseas Heritage Trail but there are sections missing so it’ll be a long time before anyone will be able to cross it.

We arrived at Bahia Honda Key State Park around 2:30 pm. I told the woman behind the desk of my phone call a couple weeks ago where I was told we could get a walk-in site as long as we show up before 3:00 pm. Mona told me that whoever said that is incredibly wrong and said there were no sites available. She gave me a list of private camp sites and said I had to go to one of them. After a little more chatter she lit up and asked, “Is your name Hank?”  I said it was and she said another cyclist got a camp site for us. It was Richard. He showed up before 1:00 pm and managed to claim the only camp site that was coming available today. So he told them we were sharing it. Whew! What a relief that was. Mona gave us our site pass and sent us on our way.

Richard was there and he was about to give up on us. He thought maybe we rode on to Key West or something. We pitched our tent. I strung parachute cord between to poles to hang our food up high because Mona said the raccoons are very aggressive here. We were leaving camp to go eat at a restaurant. Richard had a bus schedule. We walked out to the bus stop on the highway right next to our gate and rode to Big Pine Key. We found a good restaurant, Milagro, close to the bus stop. After dinner and some drinks we caught the bus back. Kathy and I got our showers in and then called it a night. Since Richard was low on food for tomorrow I gave him a Clif bar and a banana. He appreciated that very much.

Kathy – We ended up riding 23 miles today. It was super easy. Another hot day in the low 80’s with the sun shining brightly sure made those cold drinks taste very refreshing. I was enjoying our ride so much today that I didn’t want it to end. That seven mile bridge was pretty amazing too. Having water surround you is very calming. Enjoyed all our conversations with the people we meet today too. It is just so peaceful and beautiful down here – not sure I want to leave. 😉🌴☀️

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Location where you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com