Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bicycling from Ft. Lauderdale/Davie to Miami/Everglades Campground(Dec. 14)

45.07 miles in 3:22....(977.64)....
Dec. 13...We are a couple of days ahead of schedule ( not really since we don't have a schedule), or should I say we have a day or two to burn ( sun burn is what I'm talking about), or should I say we just decided to stay an extra day at this campground, because Pam really liked the place, and we had a really neat porch/patio set up, with lots of plants she liked.....Anyhow, we spent the entire afternoon lounging in the sun, reading and dozing off, and such things. When the direct sunlight started to fade behind the palm trees, we cleaned up and headed east, into Ft. Lauderdale Beach, a place that Pam had never visited. We parked just south of the main drag, and walked for about a mile along the beach walk, before we sat down at the Drunken Taco, and had a frozen strawberry margarita at happy hour, and ate some supper, at an outdoor sidewalk cafe type of place. As we walked after dinner, we decided to stay and watch the Ft. Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade, which was being held on the Intercoastal Waterway. It's a good thing that we didn't want to get home, because just about every drawbridge in the city was up from 6:30 - 9:30 for the staging of this parade. We ended up in a riverside park, right next to Los Olas Avenue. There was a crowd, a band playing, and a two hour parade of every type of boat. Everything from paddleboarders to ocean going vessels that you could put a football field on, all decorated with millions of lights, loud speaker systems, spotlights, huge video screens, and packed with people having parties, floated up the river, and a great time was had by all.
Pam went for a bike ride today and discovered this bird.  No clue what it is

One of our little friends at our campsite


Doesn't get much better than this!

All the bars and restaurants decorate their palm trees



Looking across the canal at the decorations

 I'm just going to post some of the boats from the parade without comments!  Enjoy!

This was the first boat in the parade and it was HUGE!  With a huge sound system and a DJ!










And boat #100 and the final boat was.....Santa!!

That's him by the flag, waving to everyone!  Ho! Ho! Ho! South Florida style!

December 14.... I had a short ride today, on a totally different path of travel than two years ago. On the previous trip, I was along the Atlantic coast, and stayed in a motel in Lauderdale, rode through downtown Miami Beach and Miami, then stayed in a motel in Little Havana, before continuing on to Homestead. This time, we are twenty miles or so inland from all the coastal excitement, and are having a much different ride, almost along the border between Miami/Dade metro area and the Everglades. My ride was pretty normal, very calm on a Sunday compared to what it could have been on a weekday, and pretty short compared to most riding days. I headed due south on a four lane called Flamingo Road. What I never realized before was that Ft Lauderdale is basically a northern suburb of Miami. I was never out of commercial or residential area for the entire ride. The campground we are staying at is basically southwest of downtown Miami, so I covered the entire length of the metro area today. After sections of commercial, residential, and industrial roads, most with bike lanes, some without. The roads I was on with the most traffic were the ones without the bike lanes. All I have to say is I'm glad it was a Sunday afternoon. Two years ago the Miami traffic was death defying, over on the coast, and today it was heavy in places, but I get the feeling it was nothing compared to what it is on a weekday. A crazy thing that I wanted to mention, was the amount of money I have seen laying on the roads since I've been south of Daytona. I have taken to stopping a picking up the coins when it is safe and convenient to do so, and I have been picking up about 75-85 cents a day. Quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, usually in intersections. I pass up almost as much as I pick up. Coins everywhere. It's almost like they throw coins out of their vehicles for good luck or something. They are everywhere. If I focused on it I could double my take, I'm sure, but some free pennies are just too good to pass up when you're retired like we are. I have a coin jar of the most beat up coins you're ever going to find. 
With 5-10 miles left on my ride, I came to a sign that said Redlands Agricultural Area, and metro Miami just came to an abrupt end. The buildings disappeared, and the roads narrowed, and the fields bearing  tomatoes, avocados, beans, sugar cane, and who knows what else mixed in with the nurseries and Palm tree farms. The Miami/Everglades RV resort is smack in the middle of this agricultural area. Twenty miles from Miami Beach, 35 miles from Key Largo, eleven miles from the Everglades, it is centrally located in the middle of no where and everywhere. When I got into the park, Pam was already at the pool soaking up some rays, so I joined her. The weather turned for the better two days ago, and our days have been 72-78 degrees, with no change from that in the next weeks forecast. After a cool start to our Florida excursion, things are finally the way they should be. Amen.

Micycle bicycle poses with the gator that greets everyone at the campground!

Our site at the Miami Everglades RV Resort

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