Another adventure for the books………………………………………….
The adventure started around October or November last year. My friend Jim called and suggested we haul our motorcycles to somewhere in Georgia then ride them down to Florida City, FL. to visit a friend of ours that lives there in a motor home. The plan also included some camping out on Key West for a few days. I agreed, and the detailed planning began. Many of our initial plans didn’t make the final cut but the following is the story of how things turned out.
Jim lives in Bellwood, PA and started his trip on February 1, 2019. He traveled to the Carolina’s and stayed overnight. The next day he made the trip to Robin’s Air Force Base near Macon, GA. I departed Fisherville, KY on February 2nd and traveled directly to Robin’s AFB. I drove my truck and towed my motorcycle on a trailer. Total miles for this part of the trip was approximately 516 miles.
We stayed the night on the AFB in Jim’s enclosed trailer that he used to haul his trike (Three wheel motorcycle) and it’s trailer in. On Sunday morning, February 3rd, we loaded our stuff on Jim’s trike trailer and headed south to Ormond Beach, FL which is just north of Daytona Beach, FL. Mileage on the motorcycles was 342.2. We stayed at a Red Roof Inn and had a very nice dinner at a local Applebee’s.
The following day we started south from Ormond Beach to Florida City, FL and the RV park where our friend Stan had his motor home parked. We thought it would be nice to stop at the Kennedy Space Flight Center that was along the way but the price to get in and park was extremely high for the short time we had to look around. So we drove up to the entrance and just stopped for a couple pictures.
Top pictures is Jim, his trike and it’s trailer. Bottom pictures is a closer look at the entrance to the complex. Mileage for that part of the trip was 342.9 miles.
It was great seeing Stan again. We initially met during the Rolling Thunder trip in May of 2017. I had not seen him since. A lot has changed in Stan’s life but bottom line he is now an official “Snow Bird” and spends his winters in southern Florida and his summers touring the north in his motor home. Back to the story. We unloaded our gear and stowed Jim’s trailer and went out to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner.
Here is Stan’s motor home that Jim and I called home for 2 weeks and his jeep that we used to travel around when the weather was not so cooperative.
Tuesday we got up, had some breakfast and coffee and chatted awhile. Then Stan and I went to the pool for water aerobics. This was a very special thing for my daughter. I am constantly teasing my son-in-law about Quiche not being for men. So I guess she thought my doing water aerobics was a little feminine.
I don’t think the company I had in the pool was that bad. As a matter of fact they were a delightful crew that had a lot of fun seeing a new comer struggle but were very helpful in getting me on track.
Tuesday afternoon we went out for a motorcycle ride around the area to get oriented to things. A beautiful day and a wonderful ride. Traveled a total of 24 miles on back roads around Florida City and Homestead area. Back to the motor home for dinner then watched the State of the Union address.
Wednesday we went to the shooting range in the morning. I rode with Stan in the jeep. It was easier to transport the guns in the jeep. Met a friend of Stan’s over there and did about 3 hours of shooting. Then we all went to a barbeque place for lunch. Stan and I went over to the pool for the afternoon while Jim relaxed at the motor home.
Thursday morning we rode up a little north of Miami to visit Marsha, a friend that had graduated from the same school as Jim and Stan and around the same time. She was a very gracious young lady and provided a beautiful lunch for us.
Here is a picture of the spread.
Here is a picture of (From left to right) Stan, Me (Dan), Marsha and Jim. In the event Marsha reads this, I will again thank her and her husband for the wonderful hospitality. They are both fantastic people and it was an honor and privilege to meet them.
Had a nice leisurely ride back to the motor home. Total miles for this trip and the day was 131.8.
Friday we rode out to an alligator farm and stopped at two different national parks in the area. I’m not going to bore you with all the pictures from this outing. We had another great day and put 31.1 mile on the bikes. This evening we went to the RV park Tiki bar and listened to Jim sing a few karaoke songs. He was the best performer there.
Saturday was a down day. Just hung out around the motor home, did laundry and fixed a couple grounding problems on Jim’s trike trailer. Then went to the Olive Garden for dinner.
Sunday we joined up with some other bikers from the RV park and rode out to a biker bar called Gilbert’s. It’s out on one of the closer Key Islands.
Top picture is some of the motorcycles that were at the bar and the bottom picture is the inside of the bar. All the bars in the area were Tiki type bars that are open on all sides. Most all have some from of live entertainment.
Total miles for Sunday was 40.4 miles.
Monday we got up and started our travels out to Key West. We stopped along the way to visit a friend of Jim’s daughter. She took us to a restaurant for lunch at the end of the 7 mile bridge.
Top picture is the three of us with Sandra. The bottom picture is 7 mile bridge. The hump you see in the distance is about half way across the bridge. When you cross the bridge you can see an old bridge to the right that used to be a rail line out to Key West. The movie “True Lies” was partially filmed in this area. You can see parts of the bridge missing like it was in the movie.
We got to the Naval Air Station (NAS) on Key West and had a bit of an issue. We had not been told that we needed all our safety gear to ride our motorcycles on the facility. I was missing a long sleeve shirt but had one on the bike. Stan was missing some things but he had them on his bike. The problem was that Jim had not brought a helmet. We tried looking around for a place to buy things and but there just is no where in Key West to buy a motorcycle helmet. So, before it got too dark we decided to head back to the motor home. We encountered light rain on the way out and heavy rain on the way back. Fortunately in that area the rain doesn’t last long and you dry out quickly when it stops. We got back to the motor home around 7PM. A long day and we put 253.1 miles on the bikes.
Tuesday we were a little tired so we stayed around the motor home and relaxed. Went to Walmart in Stan’s jeep and did some shopping.
Wednesday it rained all day and turned cooler. We stayed in the motor home and looked at everyone’s pictures on Stan’s large screen TV.
Thursday we rode up to the Coral Castle. As the story goes a small man from Eastern Europe came to the United States and worked awhile in the coal mines. He developed respiratory problems so he moved to southern Florida. His girl friend that he left in Europe dumped him so he focused all his efforts on building this coral castle. His efforts were amazing and many rumors abound as to how he accomplished things. He even got a mention on Ancient Aliens.
Here is just one picture of the interior of the castle. The stone sticking up in the back ground actually has cross hairs that when you look at it from a sighting point on the ground you can tell by the position of the moon what season it is. You can google the Coral Castle on the internet if you want to learn more about it. It was very fascinating to see.
We then went to “Baker’s” stand. They are a particular group in southern Florida that has stands with baked goods and produce. Jim and I each got a milk shake and Stan bought the best sticky buns I’ve tasted in a long time. Then back to the motor home with a total of 18.8 miles on the bikes.
Friday we took a ride out to Islamadora. We had not had time to take any pictures of the beautiful water or anything else on trip out to Key West. We stopped at a shop on Islamadora and took some pictures.
The top picture is the three of us in front of the big crab. The bottom picture is looking south east over the Atlantic Ocean.
On the way back we stopped at another biker bar named Alabama Jack’s.
Got back to the motor home and put 93.8 miles on the bikes. Friday evening we went back to the Tiki bar at the RV park where Jim got requests to sing again.
Saturday the 16th we packed up and said good bye to our very good friend Stan. Can’t thank him enough for his hospitality. Then we headed to Ocala, FL. We wanted to stay west of Daytona as there was a big race this weekend. We met an old friend of mine Lynn who I haven’t seen in about 20 years.
Lynn took us out for dinner at the Outback. Was great seeing here and we made plans to convince my wife we should travel out to Texas to see her when she gets home.
Total miles on the bike was 328.
Sunday we got back on our way north and got back to Robin’s AFB near Macon, GA just after noon. We got our gear re-arranged and made a decision not to hang out at the AFB for the evening but to start home. I got home a little before midnight. Jim made it back to his stopping point on the way down and stayed overnight. I had 279.7 miles on the bike for the day and 517.4 miles on the truck. Jim made it back home safely the following day.
In conclusion, it was a wonderful adventure. Put a total of about 1887 miles on the motorcycle and 1033 miles on my truck. I missed home and Kathy. The only thing that would have made the trip 100% perfect is if she liked to ride the motorcycle as much as I do and she would have made the trip with me. In any event, another event in my life I can brag about.