#62 Rain on the Florida Turnpike

Key West Trip
March 18-25, 2007
Day 5
282 miles
We awoke to heavy thunderstorms. Checked the weather channel, rolled over and went back to sleep. The large cell coming in from the Atlantic might blow past in a couple hours. Mid-morning we packed up and waited for a clear spot to show in the sky, then we rode toward it.

It was a good plan, but, alas, not to be. About a 1/2 mile down the road, we got poured on. And all the water already on the roads caused for solid sprays every time we met vehicles...and we met a lot of large trucks on our way to Convoy Point!

The rain slowed to a drizzle by the time we pulled into the Biscayne NP entrance.

Yes, the GPS (Garmin 2730) is waterproof! It has made it through several downpours between Virginia, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, etc. so I am not concerned about it's rain-worthiness.

The Visitor Center was a pretty interesting place at a cool location, but we didn't take a lot of time exploring. We were more concerned in heading back west before the next storm brewing over the waters of the Atlantic came ashore.

Nice to know the reflective properties of my gear is doing its job! Check out the strip of tape I put on my helmet. Look for the stealth tape on the luggage in other photos.

Nice mosaic with coordinates documented.

Since we still had hopes of outsmarting the rain (ha, ha), we only "stuck our big toes" in Everglade NP.

When we pulled into this parking lot it was still drizzling and the area we parked in was at the edge of a huge puddle. None of the cars were parking there so we felt safe parking askew at the edge and taking up two unmarked slots. When we came out about 20 minutes later the puddle had drained away and the bikes looked rather awkwardly parked. Good thing the parking lot wasn't even 1/4 full. I guess rain makes for a slow tourist day in the Everglades.

During a light spot in the rain, we leave the visitor center and head north.

It looked like the rain was all south of Miami. We thought if we could just get on the north side of Miami, we'd have a safer and more enjoyable ride. That theory held all of 20 or so minutes. We jumped up on the Florida Turnpike in Florida City to make time getting north. We were already behind schedule since we slept in during the morning thunderstorms. The thunderstorms were very unpredictable - unless maybe you were a meteorologist or a local. It seemed they were developing just offshore in the Atlantic and moving inland at their whim.

What this meant to us...

Heavy, heavy rain then clear weather, then heavy rain, then a bit of sun, then rain, then ... oh you get the idea.

What this means to you...

No pictures. Though I'm usually not shy about taking pictures while moving down the road on Fleeter (many of the ones you see, I took that way), I didn't feel it was very smart to take the camera out of my tank bag in the rain, on the turnpike (fast traveling road), with wet bulky gloves...

What I saw, but didn't get pictures of...

1. Miami-Homestead Speedway on the way to Biscayne NP. I don't follow such things, but it appeared they were gearing up for something big.

2. A panther crossing sign as we left Everglades NP. I looked, but didn't see any....panthers.

3. Migrant workers picking zucchini. This was interesting because as we rode by on the way to the Everglades I decided from the smell that it was squash in the fields. But I didn't know for sure. Then on the way back from the Everglades, I saw the big baskets full of zucchini squash. The nose knows!

4. KEY LIME MILKSHAKES?! I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't warm enough to encourage a stop at ROBERT IS HERE produce stand. I was intrigued by the advertisement for KEY LIME MILKSHAKES. Next time, I'm stopping to try one! http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3712492976

A borrowed photo from the Internet......
5. And last but not least, the HARD ROCK CASINO. Anyone who has watched ANY TV in the last couple of months would know it if you saw it. I had no idea where it was and wasn't even thinking (or interested) about it. But riding along the Turnpike, there it was ... big as ever. Oh well, probably not worth mentioning, but I did. If you're still clueless (or don't watch TV or listen to the news on the radio... This is where Anna Nicole Smith died.

W arrived at the Best Western in Titusville before 8pm. We got checked in, unpacked, and ate at the Durango Steakhouse onsite. Life is good.

Not a bad day at all for all the rain.

Learned today:

1. If I lace up my Wolverine boots REAL TIGHT, and don't wiggle them around a lot, they are mostly waterproof. This is a good thing!

2. The Florida Turnpike is worth the $10 or so to avoid Miami traffic. I recommend taking it when south of Pompano Beach though we were on it from Florida City all the way to Fort Pierce. (Unless you want to go to Miami?!)

Night in Titusville, FL

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