Exploring the Keys - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

February 19, 2022

Exploring the Keys

Keys ride #1

It was a foggy day here in paradise and we had to wait awhile for it to burn off before we did any riding. By 8:30 the sun was coming out and it was already warming up. But at least it wasn't windy.

For the first part of the ride, we went north across the bridge to Cudjoe Key. Traffic was heavy and noisy on Highway 1 - both going to and from Key West. We saw that the bike trail jogged across the highway at one point to the other side, but as there wasn't any safe crossing - no lights or means to slow slow drivers down, we stayed on the shoulder of the road. 

It wasn't very wide and was quite rough, but that's the way it is down here. You could tell the state isn't interested in investing money for cyclists that aren't leisure riders and willing to settle for biking short distances on the trails.

A few more miles took us to the next bridge where we found another crossing to the trail. Don didn't want to ride further north today so suggested we go ahead and walk across the highway to the trail, which turned out to be quite nice. 

We turned south now and stayed on the trail which wound through the trees until we got to a road that went to our right. This took us by some homes and out to the edge of this key where it ended at a boat ramp. Once we got away from the highway, it was quiet and very pleasant riding past mangrove swamps. Several people were out fishing in the water.

Retracing our steps took us back out to the highway and the shoulder which we rode over a bridge to Upper Sugarloaf Key where our campground is located. This time we kept going south until we got to the side road we wanted.

Making another right turn, we rode all the way out to where the road ended at the National Key Deer Refuge. At this point there was a gate and we saw that a paved trail continued further which was a surprise.

This was another pleasant, quiet ride as there were hardly any others on the trail. But we didn't spot any deer today and except for a few egrets, no waterfowl. 

The road went for a couple of miles then ended abruptly near the edge of the key. None of these keys are very wide.

Turning around we returned to Highway 1 and went a bit further to Lower Sugarloaf Key as Don wanted to check out a possible road to do on another day. After taking a look at that route, we turned around once more and went back to camp. 

It was nearly noon by now, and quite hot and humid out so it was nice to get into our air conditioned trailer. We've taken to running an air conditioners both day and night just to try to stay comfortable. I kind of miss dry Arizona!

The rest of the afternoon was a lazy one for me - a nap and more book reading while Don did all the hard work by doing laundry and some bike chores. I think that tomorrow we'll bike into Key West and do some sight seeing there.

A foggy sunrise today.
Heart 1 Comment 0
We have a banana tree at the campground!
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This is a very nice section of the bike trail along Highway 1. Not all of it is like this.
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Well, hello there buddy!
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Scott AndersonOoh, what a great pet this would make!
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3 months ago
marilyn swettYeah - real cuddly for sure! There was a cold snap down here recently and all of the iguanas froze in the trees, falling off onto the ground (they weren't dead, just hibernating). People were warned to not bring them into their homes to warm up, just leave them alone or put them in the sun to gradually warm up where they could scurry off to the wild.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo marilyn swettReally? That’s an amazing story. The urge to tuck one of those puppies under your arm and carry it home must be irresistable.
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3 months ago
Riding through the Key Deer Refuge we found this nice trail.
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Wild morning glory vines covered the shrubs next to the trail.
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Good advertising for crab.
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Pelicans are so common here.
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Our cushy campsite at the KOA. Even our own fire pit!
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This is the bridge crossing to Cudjoe Key near our campground. It was a separate bridge for pedestrians and cyclists which is nice but you have to watch out for the fishermen on the sides.
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This is a blimp-shaped Air Force surveillance balloon that's been tethered to its base on Cudjoe Key since 1980. It keeps a watchful eye over Cuba, the Florida Straights and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Today's ride: 23 miles (37 km)
Total: 618 miles (995 km)

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