Touring - Keys Tour
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I just got back yesterday from a 5 day solo tour from Coral Springs Fl to Key West Fl and back and thought I would post a trip report. I don't have a bike computer but I'm guessing the milage is 450 to 500 but I had bike problems the final day and had to take buses back from Miami Bch. reducing the total by approx. 50 miles.Day 1 was all about everthing going wrong but I enjoyed it anyway because of the euphoria of starting on my first solo tour.Leaving Coral Springs at 1pm on Wed. July 3rd I took a westerly route through the suburbs to Rt.27 which runs along the edge of the Everglades and encountered several rude people/drivers.I think they must have been jealous I was leaving town for the holiday please tell me people from Broward aren't always rude (lol).As I reached and stopped for a snack a rainstorm struck but it passed quickly.Near the Dade Co. line I picked up Krome Ave. which continues to follow the Everglades around Miami.Unfortunately this was a narrow two lane road with no shoulder and I hit it at the evening rush hour with a ton of dump trucks and cars speeding by at at least 70 mph.It was so dangerous that I rode largely on the rocky grass shoulder the next 17 miles to the intersection with 41(Tamiami Trail)where finally a decent shoulder started.Needless to say I didn't make good time on my road bike in this situation but the views of the Everglades were nice. I continued down Krome to just before dusk where I found a spot to camp back off the road next to a chain fence about 10 miles north of Homestead.I am guessing I did maybe 70 miles which was good considering the late start and bad road conditions.I think the secret is I only took a few short rest stops. I will post days 2-5 in two more posts .
07-08-02, 05:04 PM
You certainly did have a time with the insect life. No-seeums are the little stinging insects and they hang out on the coast when there's no wind. And with all the rain the mosquitoes are at the height of their population growth spurt. Hungry suckers too! That funnel cloud you spotted was probably a waterspout. They are of no danger to anyone except ships or boats in the area but they have been known to form close to land and come inland on occasion. I think they're fascinating and I love to watch for them when there's an easterly windflow.
I bet you'd get a lot more out of this circuit if you did it in the winter.
oceanrider I plan to do a lot of touring,hiking and canoeing etc. this winter but can't hold off until then so will continue this summer and fall as well.The secret to tent camping in Fl in summer is to set up and get in tent before nightfall and stay in the tent the rest of the night and quickly packing and leaving in the morning.I usually ate plenty before reaching camp so I rarely ate there. In Long Key S.P. I finished packing and had a snack in the rest room(it was nice and clean)a tip I picked up from a hikers journal.Have fun on your Cali trip and hope you can make a later tour perhaps this winter. Carl
07-09-02, 07:42 AM
Can't hold me back in the winter for sure. I know I'm a summer Florida touring weenie but I figure I paid my dues. My last camping trip was when I was 8 months pregnant, sleeping on a cheap vinyl air mattress in Orlando in August with a two year old to chase after as well. My ex husband just didn't get it when I suggested that it just wasn't the time for a camping trip. Ever since then I've been pretty sour on summer camping. That was a loooong time ago but it was a traumatic experience!!!:( so I hope you'll forgive my weenieness here.
To tell you the truth I really can't blame you on the summer camping .I probably got only 4 or 5 hours real sleep time on the last trip.It would start out so hot I would be sweating even in my well ventilated tent and by early morning I would then be chilled and have to grab my sleeping bag. In the Keys the RV camping parks were outragously expensive more than an inexpensive motel room.Also all the state parks and RV parks seemed to be located in swampy mangrove bug prone areas.Hostels may be an affordable alternative and there are ones in Fl. City and Key West however I have never stayed in one and would probably have trouble sleeping if noisy or crowded .Oh well I just tried to minimize my camping time and maximize my riding time.
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