Fort Pierce, FL
worse day with ease.
I got my best sleep late, but the trains kept coming.
Farmers get started early. At 0630, I heard a tarp moving noise and a door slam from the north. I thought I was burnt, so I go my boots on and hydrated. A did the old baby deer methond and laid still. I peaked out from under the tarp, and discovered a good fog was around. Maybe I was not seen. I guess the farmers dropped off some hay or something.
At 0700 I heard a nose that sounded like grates moving.
I got out soon after. The fog was burning off.
Sometime or another during the night I lost my contact in my right eye.
I could make out a old house about 200 meters east of the gate. I never saw anyone around.
Time to tend to the giant tarp. Even though i did not want to spend timing taking pics, I just had to get rid of some of this tarp.
I stretched out the tarp and cut off about 4 feet from the 20' side. This was easier to fold up, took less space in my pack, weighed less, and did the job just the same. I left the excess tarp there with the mattress in case someone else needed it. I would not consider it trash to pack out.
a couple of days ago, after pulling the tarp out from under my gear, I decided to fold here up and sit on her. When looking for a place to stealth camp, I would fold her up and put into my back pack. Of course, when stopped for a spell, it took on its true purpose in life. Lastly, I'd fold the tarp in a fashion to cover up the rear bag and other pouches.
I packed up and heading out quickly. Around 0845 that is.
I parralled the train tracks for a few miles. it was a suburban setting. the overcast was not going away.
I soon found the A1A. I was starting to make good time as I rode along the coastal highway of South Ocean Dr. I started to ride through condos and motels and such. It was odd terrian. No cheap motels or run down stores.
My notes do not have the town I pulled off of, but I stopped to eat, but it was too early for the shops to open. I talked to a grounds keeper for a while and he gave me directions to a beagle place that was the next bridge over. I was conerned because the winds had picked up something terriable.
I made it over the bridge, but it was nasty. I stopped at the beagal place and got a wiffi feed and checked, and got my bearings. Looking back I should have planned things out a lot more, and at least wrote down some junctions and such. I was 2 hours by cage from Miami.
I left around 11:18 I left and quicly found highway 1.
After some rain delays I started to slow down more and more by the time I got to the Palm Beach area.
Ok, well that's emough of city traffic and tall buildings.
I topped off the fuel with 2.5 gallons for $9.08 fee. I was just less than a tenth of a gallon away from going on reserve.
Time for the Mighty DR to do her Interstate thing. I soon was starting to like the engine and gear ratios of the MC. 55mph-70mph in 5th gear is fuel effiecant, yet spirited when needed to accelearate. Granted, in a head wind, not so much.
Again, I shoud have done some more planning.
Don't forgot that I navigate by a AAA map, and my nexus-7 nav app.
So around Lantana, FL I headed west to the I-95. It was raining off and on but nothing heavy. I stopped puting my helmet on the seat, because, while pulling the tarp off, the helmet fell off and got scrathced. Opps. It was out of view, and I forgot it was there.
Ok, so I'm making solid time of the 95, then the entire atmosphere of the tour changed.
Weather. A big factor in this tour. And day 11 was big time.
It rained so hard the droppets hurt my arms. I did not have the outer layer on.
So I had to stop. It happend to be Fort Lauderdale.
I had the tarp in my back pack during this down pour, so things look fairly wet. It was stupid not to have my stuff covered up better while riding.
Note the orange pouncho not doing anything productive.
Looking back now as I contine to type this day 10 post, I actually started this post a couple of days after this day (I'm writing this now on the 18th of March), I do not know why I did not stop and famirlize myself with the roads and such. Green Horn.
So I stopped here around 1428.
Within moments I was lost after leaving this parking lot. It took a good 20 mintues to find a intersate of sorts.
I ended up getting on the Florida Turn Pike. This is not my avenue of approach.
1. I'm not destination riding.
2. I'm trying to be as frugal as possible.
Toll roads are for cagers. That, and 600 mile/day big bore bikes. You know, the ones with 19" tyres.
So I took the lane that allows you to pay up ahead at the big rest stop.
Ok, so after 10 miles or so, I pull over and go inside. From what the two women told me who worked inside, I'll get a letter in the mail for the toll.
Great, I got one of these when I was in SOCAL. Note to self, tip off the main base for a letter from Florida.
Ok, if the heavy rain from before did not change the dynamics of the tour, this did. And how.
I decided to make the best of it, and stay on the turn pike south as far as I could go. Granted, I did not consult my map.
If anyone has been to one of these hub stops, you'all know they are big. Well, I went the wrong way. North. Worst yet, no rain and the DR was making good time. I saw a sing for Orlando. I was like, no way.
So I got off. this time paid the toll. Maybe $3 tops.
I don't recall where I got off at, but I got back on the 95 south, but fast.
And then the Sunshine state in the middle of the dry season, rained again. Nice, this prompted me to get off again, and hard.
A hard tack eater would have been fine, but at the time, I was fairly conservative in riding. I was not too wet to embrace the aqua man inside me.
Gang, the town was Corral Springs. To make a side tangent. Many parts of Florida are not the Deep South. In latidude, yes, but not culturally. Coral Springs was... well let's let wiki describe the town.
"Coral Springs is a planned community
. Prior to its incorporation as a city in July 1963, the area which is now Coral Springs was part of 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of marshy lands..."
planned city is right. Who was too cookie cut and had no old growth to it. And worst, no cheap motels to keep a mimiliamist like myself and the DR from taking shelter from the rain.
Looking back, I should have said to myself. "This is cager town, time to just get a bearing south. and just go.
But, I did not. I rode around for 40 minutes in the rain (light rain granted) in the town looking for a cheap hotel.
I stopped at a IHOP to try and get some help. The waiters told me about a La Quainca down the road after some turns and such. I ended up staying and eatting. The chow was wonderful. I had the omelet and pancakes. Amazing. I had not eaten at IHOP for many years. I thought the food was not good... until that early evening.
So I took her directions. Which were excellent,
and ended up staying at a $125 night La Quancia Hotel. Ohh, that's got to hurt the projected $50/day esitmate I had. I was projecting over $150 for the day!
My notes are fuzzy on the time table here. When I start to destination ride, the journal entrys are neglected. But it was about dark.
So that night in the hotel, as I dried off my clothes and such, I was taking things mighty persoanl with Florida. Not a fan of this region. I wanted to see the Everglades, but with all this rain I knew the mosquitoes would be agressive, and I was not happy with the money I had spent in this state already. I could spend more time in a more southern comfort regions.
So I used the wiffi with the room and decided to cut across Gator Alley, and go to the east side. Paritcuallry, Golden Gate, Florida. Why? Iit being the first town after the Gator Alley (I-75) makes it through the Everglades wilderness. The forcast called for rain, but I sure as hell could not stay in this hotel for one more night.
So a great morning. Leaving form a stealth cramp is a great feeling. You just saved a bunch of money and you did not get beaten up and or muggued or thrown in jail in the process.
But a bad evening... But it could have been worse.
So total miles:
$4.79 Beagal place
$1.89 cliff bar (I should start buying in bulk)
$?? impending toll in the mail
$153. Damn, that's got to hurt. I should have broguht a BMW to go along with that number.
Mr. Franklin, ok, once in a while you can hang with me on this tour,
but Mr. Grant, you will never hang with the likes of Ben Franklin again. And I'm not Whistling Dixie.