What a great campground! Spent four days there but unfortunately, there was no room after that. The Keys in general are a very busy destination and I was lucky to get what I could. Plus Bahia provided me with that much needed shade and when I asked for a shaded site, was given prolly the best one on that row with a complete canopy of shade.
The truck in this pick was volunteers who needed a place to park their truck and seeing I had lots of room, why not?
And if your wondering where all the Hippies went? I think they became vollies down here.
Before I set up at Bahia, I carried on thru to Key West, possibly another 40 miles west. I guess I still had a picture in my mindís eye of something a little more quaint. But my thoughts of KW are from a good forty years ago and by the looks of it, it has changed a bit. Still very pretty in spots but just waaay too busy for me.
The wind was still blowing for the first two days and, unfortunately, the water vis was cloudy. But on the 3rd and 4th days things got clear again and I was able to see some sea critters. Got a quick shot of a Manatee
in the flotsam clogged harbor and missed shots of a huge Tarpon jumping and a Ray swimming by. My local pets at the campsight seemed to be three Ibises that just sat on the railing and didnít seem interested in my crackers,
and small lizards (Geckos?).
We see the Turkey Vultures up in Canada in the summer but I have never seem this.
Locals said there are usually Iguanas in the trees but maybe the wind was keeping them elsewhere. Or maybe they killed them all. They told there is a small war on for this invasive species because Bahia Honda is home to the nearly extinct (I think I heard them say) Miami butterfly, which is a very tiny little guy who likes to lay his eggs on one type of plant only and, you guessed it, the Iguanas are eating all these plants. I had actually not seen these cute n cuddly reptiles yet and my new neighbours (from Vancouver, if you can believe it) said they had seen them back across 7 Mile Bridge where my recent friend Brad had his Save the Old Bridge info center set up. So I took a ride back to Marathon and there they were.
Picked up this Rum as a novelty really. And to share with new neighbors.
Turned out to be quite a good product.
They say people go there for the sunsets and I certainly took my fill of em in pictures. But they were spectacular. So, I present to you a shyteload.
And maybe even one great cloud pic.
I was really getting into the good weather and the calm seas but four days was all I could get at that campsite or any other state site. All booked. Too bad.
Then there's the elections. Ya gotta wonder if they are taking their elections seriously around here.
So I ventured across the Seven Mile bridge again and checked out a private one. There were plenty of openings but not a lot of shade. Decided to go for it and was originally gonna book another four days but when I rode into the place Big Gal threw a tantrum. More like a big WAAAAAAA. Right then the gasket in the crossover pipe blew out and the trip was put on hold.
So, what was I gonna do? A good hundred miles from the Miami Guzzi dealer with a sick bike. Again! There was a bike shop a quarter mile up the road so I dropped in. And, again no help for the Guzzi owner. They dealt with mainly Harleys which do not use gaskets between their pipes. Rode on down to the local auto parts dealer to see if they had any gaskets or wrap material and came up emptyhanded. The only thing close was a tube of Permatex Copper which had a 700 degree F rating. Worth a try altho, again, the pic on the box showed a valve cover gasket.
Took off the header to find it missing one small lockwasher on one side. The gasket at the y pipe had a big chunk blown out of it. I used the goop liberally, reassembled and let it sit overnight. It held at idle and I had decided it was time to get out of the Keys as BG was again not running all that well. Just at the 2 to 3000 range making me think that sync and tps was out again. Rode to Key Largo and stopped for a critical decision. I had wanted to avoid Miami like the plague but now with the quick fix having failed as I thought it would, I called Unique Superbikes who I had had previous discussions with about valve cover gaskets, and told them my situation. After an amount of back and forth it was discovered that they could get the exhaust gaskets overnighted from New York. Then they called me back a few minutes later to say that (of course) with all the power down, so were the New York Computers. But they urged me to come ahead because they had muffler wrap and were sure they could help me.
So, on I went into the building traffic and a Friday afternoon Miami rush hour traffic. It was only the last three or four miles that got real nasty but after a half hour I was thru it and on the doorstep (literally) of Unique Superbikes. These guys were crammed into a small side street right down by the harbor with their bikes parked on the sidewalk. And talk about exotics!
But they worked miracles. Again literally. I gathered they were basically Dominican and their mechanic didnít even speak English.
But he knew his stuff, worked his heart out and repacked the pipes with wrap. I would have loved to had them do the valve cover gaskets, valves, sync and TPS but, unfortunately I was literally running out of time. At six thirty I headed out into the still heavy traffic after picking up the valve cover gaskets and paying a $39 bill. The pipe work was warranty.
Got twenty miles to the west, saw a Ramada and grabbed it and the next morning was running to the west coast. The cruise and higher speed travelling was great but as the day progressed I could feel the bike running like poo and 2 to 3 and idle. It was almost stalling at idle. Really didn't feel like snapping pics and there wasn't a lot to snap anyway cept for these big burns going on south of Lake Okeechobee.
You can see some of it there in the distance. Coming up from Miami I drove under these smoke clouds that reminded me of the wildire burns I had encountered back in August in Colorado. Curious.
Another motel and another morning had me doing my valves, replacing the gaskets and test riding to find marked improvement but still with that sync problem. Rode on to Tampa Bay thru Sunday hoping for a camp site but, hey, what was I thinking? This coast, as most of Southern Florida has so far been more like one gigantic city than anything else.
Across the bridge to St. Petes
and I know I paid too much for this place.
I am now resolved to visit Guzzi in Tallahassee but I will be finding out this morning weather they are open on Monday.
Anybody want to buy a bike?