We had a couple unexpected visitors last night as we slept beachfront sans tent fly under the stars. Raindrops came and went about 3am, however just a sprinkling so we just pulled the fly up.
The other visitor? Black rats. They are, according to the ranger, an invasive species that live in the marshes and are a huge nuisance. No kidding. At one point we peaked out with our headlamps and saw four scampering around on our bikes. One of Tom’s bike bags was chewed through. Finally after moving the bikes and taking almost all the bags off and hanging them, they left us alone. Whew! Black rats. Who knew? 🤷🏼♀️
When we awoke we walked to the beach which we had it all to ourselves and spent time watching the sea and shore birds find breakfast. Grateful to take our time, as we just had a short ride today and we had a few miles “in the bank” so to speak, we were soon on the hunt for a cup of coffee as well. Plus our family Uber was making better than expected progress.
We stopped for coffee after packing up, then split a grouper sammies for lunch. Post lunch we teed up for The Seven Mile Bridge.
We were enjoying quite the tail wind fiesta, the scenery and cruising right along about 15-16 mph (even on our mountain bike tires 🤣) on the two lane bridge that actually IS seven miles long when all of a sudden we noticed a bright red semi truck hauling a tanker trailer was approaching. In our lane. 😳
Was he really passing a Mustang on a two lane bridge at 55 miles an hour in a no passing zone? We were riding on a wide shoulder but didn’t know how far he was coming our way or how his rate of speed, the surface wind and the fact that he was approaching close in front of us instead of behind us would affect the handling of our bicycles. Or worse, did he even see us?
I held onto my handlebars as tightly as possible while Tom loudly asked him where he got his CDL. Tom also noticed the driver wasn’t looking at us and instead in his side mirror to ensure he had clearance to pass the Mustang. The truck zoomed close by as we hugged the side of bridge wall. The incident lasted less than 15 seconds but I’ll never forget it. Aside from that, Seven Mile Bridge was a piece of cake and we are looking forward to crossing it again on Monday. In a car.😊
Way back in Marathon, Texas we told ourselves we’d take a pic in Marathon, Florida in the Keys. It seemed so far off but today we passed that milestone.
From Marathon to Marathon, and more, with just 50 miles left to the Southernmost Point.
Baha’i Honda State Park was our camping destination. When we checked in, the Ranger put us in “overflow” camping (on the rocks, no shade, next to the highway and to expect “visitors”, meaning black rats AND raccoons) but it actually worked out so perfectly.
We had a beautiful view of the cove after sunset and hung out at a picnic table in the shade at the beach for almost three hours where we ate a Snack Shak dinner, popcorn and rehashed the last couple months.
When the sun finally set we hustled back to the “hill” and set up our tent.
Our family Uber (Anne, Gordon and John) came within 100 yards of passing us tonight, they on US1 and us camping on “the hill” by the highway. We were FaceTiming each other from our tent using our headlamps as a beacon in hopes they would see us and honk. Not sure if we connected but we loved the thought. We cannot WAIT to see them tomorrow.
Loose ends: If you look closely at the pic of Tom riding on Seven Mile Bridge above you’ll notice something is missing. Yep he made an accidental donation of his Bentonville Brewery hat to Miami Dade County as we cycled through Miami. Looks like we will need to go back, Dan and Christie! 🍻
Tom also has the trip record for best Wordle solve at two guesses and I have a streak of 65 days going. Gin scores are 8-5; Greg, Tom is going to need more lessons.
My sleeping pad has a hole in it and needs to be blown up throughout the night and Tom’s back bike tire has had a nail rolling around inside of it since Tallahassee.
Finally I’m going to need a new crown since my 40 year old one finally popped off on the first day we saw the Gulf of Mexico. I saved it for a souvey. These are just quirky things that one thinks about while riding for hours on a bicycle.
Just 36 miles to the Southernmost Point tomorrow. We’re going to take in every mile. Thank you for the prayers, encouragement and follows.
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