I have run out of land! Actually, most of the last one hundred miles was over water. My plan yesterday morning was to ride half way down the Keys. I was going to stay for a couple days in Marathon. What happened was a great ride and I just kept going! As you ride through the Everglades, land starts to get narrower and disappears. I thought the first bridge onto the waterway at Key Largo was impressive. That was just a little teaser.
Riding down the Keys is very idyllic. Sun, turquoise waters, fishing camps, pelicans and a playlist of Chesney and Buffett. My only real concern was where I was going to stay when I finally stopped. With land starting to get scarce, I would be forced at some point to figure that out. That would come later. I took my time. The Overwater Highway 1 is a nice pace of forty-five to fifty-five miles an hour. Pull outs after each bridge with parking and boat launches. Water fowl diving for fish and fisherman with lines in the ocean. Most license plates are from northern states and motorcycles are all Harleys. Traffic was light though and everything felt at ease.
Islamorada and Marathon are two larger Keys midway through the trip and will be overnights on my return. Return! That is not a word that I have thought much about. Focus on the moment. Half way down you cross a span that is seven miles long. A long gradual curve that links Marathon to Little Duck Key. That is a long time to be riding over water. At no point does it feel uneasy, but it does go on and on and on. High guard rails of concrete and a very tranquil setting make all these passages comfortable. I am sure that if it was pouring rain and blowing the story would be different.
I arrived in Key West around two and just rode around the two mile by four mile island. Stopped at the Southern Most Point in States. A lady offered to snap my picture after a walking tour had left. Feral chickens are running amok and like to crow. They provide a nice alarm clock feature. I have booked a room for three nights and will keep myself busy with a book and some exploring. I will also do some number crunching to add up some mileage. With all of Highway A1A complete on the Atlantic finished, I will also have to start thinking about a return route. When I started this journey I chose Key West as an end point. Mostly, because it is the Southern Most Point and a place I have always wanted to visit. I will have to do some reflection now and begin the second half of the adventure….