December 15, 2005 - Thursday
Sarasota, FL To Key West, FL

Up a bit late I decided to make a run to Key West - I probably won't make it before sunset but close to it perhaps. Off I go - summer outfit in force. No warm clothes needed today!

I-75 South until the road turned for the jump to the eastern part of the state. At that turn I dropped a bit farther south and took the two lane through the Everglades. The GPS showed 18 feet above Mean Sea Level for perhaps the whole trip across that section. Flat Flat Flat. I had to chuckle as to a hotel sign back up near Clearwater - "Hilltop Hotel" The hilltop was not more than a five foot rise in the roadway - but that's about all that is about here.

Near Homestead FL the road turned right and I found myself with occasional views of water off to my right or left. Nice colors of blue, green, tan.  Lots of traffic - I just stayed in line and followed the same vehicle for 50% of the 125 mile / 3 hour trek. No sense in passing or being passed.

Like other parts of the gulf since east Texas there were occasional spots of storm damage. It didn't seem too severe but marks were certainly about. Piles of debris waiting to be picked up. Boats not where they should be.

One of the gear mods came in handy today. I added some black electrical tape to the helmet's visor. Two rows (wide) of it going across the bottom of the visor and 1.5 rows across the top of the visor. With the sun setting I simply raised the visor so that the lower band of black tape blocked out the sun. Since, when it is sunny, I also have sunglasses on I still had eye protection (needed due to the kicked up sand from other vehicles) with the visor raised.

At last - Key West Florida. I fllowed US Route 1 to the end - hoping it would be marked with an "End" sign - it was and I grabbed a picture.

At the picture stop, With the warm temps and slow city roads, the bike's temp gauge was up in "normal" range for summertime use. The only  issue was that I smelled antifreeze and saw steam. Yep the bike was puking coolant out of the overflow tube. The cooling fan wasn't running. Gotta get moving to get some air through the radiator. Done deal as I headed towards the hostel. Bike parked, unloaded it's time to walk down the fun street - Duval - for some dinner.

I'm now waiting for some Blackened Dolphil as a cup of chowder just wrapped up. MMMMmmmm..... Good stuff @ Willie T's.  G'night!

Heading through the Everglades / Big Cypress

Not more than five steps from the roadway you'd be getting wet feet.

(this was the last of the signs - 6 Miles I thing was the first)

Hmmm - temptation to take an airboat ride - passed.

Some dead trees

Popping out of the park the land is open and farmed.

Starting the move out to the keys

Bridge, water on both sides, some land.

Sunset on the move

I sit here taking a picture with steam and the scent of motor coolant.....

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