Vincent arrived at our place in St. Augustine after a long Saturday and Sunday of riding I-95 from NYC. After cooling down we had a nice dinner. We awoke Monday for an early 7:45 departure via the quiet shore route A1A. With the ocean on our left, we watched the sun rise and a few hours later cut inland to avoid the traffic of July 4th at the beach.
We made the halfway point at noon, right at Lake Okeechobee, so we stopped for local catfish and frog’s legs:
Another few hundred miles later we were sitting in a friend’s Key Largo home, cool and refreshing.
We rode to our Sugarloaf Lodge room the next morning, 2 hours down, and crossed Seven Mile Bridge, as well as many mini crossings:
We rode around Key West for the afternoon, hitting some of the local tourist stops:
Vinny got real with the locals:
We ate shrimp, steamed clams, oysters, conch, and lobster during the 24 hours we spent in Key West. Despite all of our trepidation on the heat and humidity, not to mention the holiday weekend traffic, everything turned out just fine. There were virtually no people at all on the Keys & we didn’t hit a single traffic jam in either direction up and down the chain. There weren’t even very many cars as you can see by the video. When we called the restaurant to ask how late they’re open on the 4th of July, they said they would normally stay open till 10 but they might be closing at 9 because of how quiet it was.
Although the heat during the peak of the day inland was pretty aggressive, wearing two Frogg Togg towels and continually slurping from my CamelBak helped keep me feeling okay. Once in the lower Keys, there were plenty of ocean breezes to keep us cool. Also, despite several tropical storms from which we could see the lightning and hear the thunder, we never actually got rained on the entire trip.
Three days, a thousand smiles, low speeds, outstanding.
Finally, it wouldn’t be complete without a few practical jokes: