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Old 10-15-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
KLRcaptain OP
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MS to Key West , FL A little help......

Any advice/routes/campgrounds ? I'll be leaving this Thursday morning , the plan is to make it to near Ocala, FL the first day then hunt out a campground with showers. Second day should bring us to Key West where we'll be staying at Leo's .

Any advice would be surely appreciated.


Jonathan
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
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East of town, check out Lake Delancy, in Ocala Nat. For. Good camping areas. But hunters are there on the wknds.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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I just did this trip two weeks ago from Diamond head MS.
Where are you leaving from ?
You realize that 7.5 hour trip from ocala to KW is really more like 10-11 hours ?
I can't help with camping ideas.
You are also going to be in Key West during Fantasy Fest which means ....no reservations, no rooms.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:39 AM   #4
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acejones is straight up correct on lodging. Fantasy Fest starts with Goombay Festival this Friday night and will run through to Sunday October 28. If you don't have reservations, hotels or camping, you will most likely not find a place to stay. From Marathon down lodging will be at a premium.

It is 3 hours no matter how you shake it from the last light on the mainland to Key West. Sure, you can break every law on the road and do it in about 2.5, but I wouldn't advise that especially since its Fantasy Fest week. acejones is correct that will take you a good amount of time to get from Ocala to KW. It is mostly 2 lane and mostly 45 mph. Certain stretches go up to 55 and you can push it a bit, but be cautious and don't try to out run the flow of traffic, not worth it. Chances are after you pass 10 cars you might get 2 miles before you hit another chain of cars. Like I said, its FF week and the cops will be out!!!

Several state parks in the Keys to camp on the way down, but I would check on them for vacancy, cooling off down here a bit and people like to get out and camp this time of year, so all the parks fill up quickly. Not much available for camping in KW unless you have a military ID. Bahia Honda is really the closest.

Good places to eat on the way down Sundowners in Key Largo, Whale Harbor in Islamorada, Island Fish Company in Marathon, No Name Pub on No Name Key (right at stoplight at MM 30 and then immediate right onto side street. follow that until out in middle of nowhere and look closely on your left, if you get to the dead end in the Key Deer Reserve, turn around, it will be the first place pretty much on your right) Mangrove Mamas at about the 20 MM.

Robbies Marina at the 77 is a good place for a break and to feed the tarpon!! Big ass tarpon!!!

I would actually recommend you split the ride up down in the Keys. Its better if you are in the Homestead area and take off early in the morning to ride down. Remember we are pretty much in the tropics, latitude 25 is at about the 87 MM in the Keys, the Tropic of Cancer is 23'6", so you are there!! . Afternoons get very hot and its still pretty humid, traffic will be built up and it will be a frustrating ride. I love the ride up and down the Keys, its very neat, but it is slow going there is not much for turns or speed and you will want to stop at some of the pull outs and take pics. Doing that in the afternoon can be brutal even in late October. Suppose to be a cooling front coming, but it still won't affect the Keys too much this time of year.

have fun!!

FLARider1 screwed with this post 10-16-2012 at 08:49 AM
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice guys. We do have reservations at Leos from Friday till Monday . Other than that I'm winging it. Ace , did you go I 10 -I 75 - 91?
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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We'll be leaving from Jackson,MS at 4am Thurs
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KLRcaptain View Post
Thanks for all the advice guys. We do have reservations at Leos from Friday till Monday . Other than that I'm winging it. Ace , did you go I 10 -I 75 - 91?
Going down, I took it easy except the first day. I did Diamond head to Gainesville day 1.
Day 2 to Naples, Day 3 to Florida City, Day 4 to KW.
So mostly I-10 to I-75. After Naples I went on down across the bottom of the glades to Florida City.
Coming back I brutalized myself and went from KW on up to Gainesville on the Florida Turnpike and across through Wild wood (10.5 hours). Next day Gainesville to'Diamondhead. On that leg I had a valve stem problem and lost five hours.
I was on a R1150R. Faster and more comfortable than your KLR. That's why I think you are overly optimistic with your ideas about timing. I would reconsider KW for another time if I were you simply because of Fantasy Fest and all the traffic and crowds it brings.

I just looked at Jackson to Ocala and it says 9H22m. In reality that's going to be closer to 12 hours with fuel stops, food, water, etc. Don't forget you are going to lose an hour over near Tallahassee.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
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Wicked

I do think I'll be putting in some tough days, definitely not doing it on a KLR. Will be traveling on my 07 V-Strom , as for rescheduling, not an option at this point so I'll just be pot committed!
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Vstrom makes better sense. Fastest way is I-10 to I-75, cross over to Florida Turnpike at Wild wood, down to Homestead/Florida City, then on down 1.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:45 AM   #10
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Vstrom makes better sense. Fastest way is I-10 to I-75, cross over to Florida Turnpike at Wild wood, down to Homestead/Florida City, then on down 1.
excellent choice!! Thats how I run into and out of here all the time.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by acejones View Post
Going down, I took it easy except the first day. I did Diamond head to Gainesville day 1.
Day 2 to Naples, Day 3 to Florida City, Day 4 to KW.
So mostly I-10 to I-75. After Naples I went on down across the bottom of the glades to Florida City.
Coming back I brutalized myself and went from KW on up to Gainesville on the Florida Turnpike and across through Wild wood (10.5 hours). Next day Gainesville to'Diamondhead. On that leg I had a valve stem problem and lost five hours.
I was on a R1150R. Faster and more comfortable than your KLR. That's why I think you are overly optimistic with your ideas about timing. I would reconsider KW for another time if I were you simply because of Fantasy Fest and all the traffic and crowds it brings.

I just looked at Jackson to Ocala and it says 9H22m. In reality that's going to be closer to 12 hours with fuel stops, food, water, etc. Don't forget you are going to lose an hour over near Tallahassee.


Made it on schedule believe it or not, but guess what? Rolled into Leos with, you guessed it. Valve stem hissing , must be something on the route. Headed to a local scooter store in the morning for a replacement .
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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Been thinking about you. How was the weather on the trip ?

Can't believe you had a valve stem problem too. Makes me leery of doing another trip down there.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:57 AM   #13
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Thanks bud, weather was terrible on the way down ( which reminds me I need better boots). The weather from Ocala, to Kw was amazing but man is that a haul, my posterior was killing me.

Side note, not sure if it's the economy or what, but everywhere but the large chains have tons of vacancies.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:19 AM   #14
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Interesting about the vacancies in the non chains. Maybe it is the economy. Of course, you would think if that were the reason, people would seek out the non chains, unless the independents are trying to hold their prices. Seems silly to try to hold prices though. I would think an occupied room discounted 25-40 percent would be better than an unoccupied room.
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