Looking for a bit of local knowledge from anyone who has toured the Keys and Everglades. Planning a 4-day trip in a couple weeks starting in Naples, FL, with some flexibility. The only paid reservation I have is at John Pennekamp SP in Key Largo for the mid-point of the trip. Curry Hammock SP in Marathon said they take ride-in cyclists without a paid reservation, which is great. And Midway Campground in the Everglades appears to have plenty of room and is not expected to be full.
I'm thinking that my route will depend somewhat on any significant wind that would either hurt or help. I'm looking at the following 3 route options:
1. clockwise loop: Naples-Midway Campground NP-Pennekamp SP-Curry Hammock SP-Key West-ferry to Ft. Myers-Naples
2. reverse counter-clockwise loop, or
3. out and back: Naples-Ft. Myers-ferry to Key West-Curry Hammock SP-Pennekamp SP-Curry Hammock SP-Key West-ferry to Ft. Myers-Naples
Here are my questions:
The out and back route would be entirely in the Keys, which would be nice, but I also hear the Everglades are interesting to ride through. Any opinions?
Would you use 700x28 or 700x40 tires based on the condition of the roads and paths?
Is there anything specific I should plan to do or see, other than the typical well-known tourist stuff? (thinking "hidden gems")
Would you bother bringing a sleeping bag, or just a silk liner/clothes to stay warm, assuming the temperatures are in the normal seasonal range? I will have a tent. This is my first attempt at sort of UL touring, so leaving the sleeping bag behind would free up lots of space.
Appreciate any other thoughts or suggestions you have.