Posted by: mckenzie68 | June 20, 2010

Key West, the southern most point of North America and our journey … June 17 or Day 60!

Rae and I got up around 0730 and took our time getting ready for the ride to Key West.  We had decided to do Key West as a day trip rather than staying down there, and we were both pretty excited about the ride.

We rode down with our helmets and jackets on despite it already being 33 degrees Celsius…and there was a heat index of 44, so it was just a wee bit humid!  The traffic was very heavy and made it difficult to watch the scenery,.  You know me, safety first!  So we left lots of space between us and the vehicles in front…but still, even with all that traffic it was a wonderful ride.

The Keys are all joined by the Overseas Highway #1.  As you reach each island, you see that there are no shortage of hotels, fast food, touristy stuff, and construction…so the various keys (or islands) weren’t the highlight for us.  But!  The little stretches of land, and bridges that link the islands made all that touristy stuff worth while.  The crystal clear blue green water, birds, bright sunlight – mother nature was giving us a treat.

We arrived at Key West after covering the 90+ miles in about 2 hours.  I found that ride to be one of the most calming I have ever had for some reason.  Really it should not have had that effect as the roads where crowded, it was hot and I was in super crab mode.  Any of my friends and co-workers know all about super crab mode…not good!  Yet still, it was a great ride to me.

We headed immediately to the southernmost point monument.  When we got there, we met one of Key West’s finest…who was really rude about a parking spot.  Not wanting to create an international incident, we moved our bikes.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

We decided to get out of the heat and have a little brunch, so we stopped in at the local Subway and had a nice meal…oh I love air conditioning!  We spied a great big Muskoka Chair and ran over to take some pictures, then headed off to the beach.  The temperature was now about 37 degrees and humid, so taking a dip was the BEST!  We parked by Higgs Beach, changed and then jumped right into the bath tub warm waters of the Florida Straight.  While frolicking in the water (yeah I know) we could not help but think that Cuba was only a short 90 miles straight south…weird.  We could have stayed all day, it was that wonderful, but we had to start our return trip to Key Largo.  So we showered, washing off the sea water, changed and decided to leave the gear in our saddlebags!  We slathered on some 70 SPF sunscreen, donned our sunglasses and rode away!  It was so weird, scary, and somewhat invigorating, not to mention it made riding in the heat so much more tolerable.  It made a huge difference for us both.

This began the north leg of our trip, and in a way I feel sad realizing that this was the halfway point (mileage wise)  in our trip.  The ride back to Key Largo was just as amazing as the ride down, and I took some pictures as we rode across 7 mile bridge.  What a drive!  We did stop at the largest lobster statue, seems to be a theme on this trip! Pictures of large things I mean!  LOL

Ray

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