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The Search for the Giant Alligator: A Motorcycle Ride through Florida

A Motorcycle Trip in Florida: Day Five

We spent the entire day in Key West. We take a needed break from riding and walked to the old Cemetery in the morning. This is a unique cemetery; most of the graves are above ground and it feels more like a park.

We walk on to the old downtown and do all the things tourist are supposed to do - Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's, Mallory Square, Duval Street and so forth.

The sunset at Mallory Square is a big draw. It used to be hippies and street people gathering at the old dock to watch the sun go down. The tourist industry has since co-opted it and turned it into something else. The square went from an old dock to a paved, lit, landscaped park. At sunset you're lucky if you can even see the sun through the throngs of tourist and cruise ship passengers. Very soon someone will figure out a way to charge for it.

We decide to walk back to the motel and get the bikes for a cruise around Key West. We cruise up and down Duval and Whitehead Street. This was not as good of an idea as it seemed at first. The traffic was intense and we must have shifted gears 200 times in a mile. Besides sharing the road with automobiles, you also have to watch out for herds of rented motor scooters and mopeds. We end up at a very interesting dump on Caroline Street. It was really nothing more then a lean-to on the street with a kitchen in the middle. The stools all face the sidewalk, which made for an interesting place to continue our cultural observations of the night before.

A Motorcycle Trip in Florida: Day Six

We left Key West early and made a non-stop run to Marathon for breakfast. At this time of the morning, the Overseas Highway is much less crowed and we have a pleasant ride.

The 7-Mile Bridge was even windier then it was two days ago when we crossed it going south. We stop on Indian Key Fill for a break and to view the old Alligator Reef lighthouse. If you know where to look, and have binoculars, you can see almost all of the old offshore lighthouses from US 1. We then ran all the way to Alabama Jack's on the mainland side of Card Sound Road.

Alabama Jack's is a famous juke joint and restaurant on Card Sound Road, It sits in the mangroves just inside the Dade County line. It's the last little bit of the Florida Keys before hitting the wilderness of Dade County and it's a good place to rest and gather your nerve before hitting the mainland traffic.

We got back on Krome Avenue again and headed north, into the nastiest part of the ride so far. We drive through the ugliest parts of Dade County and onto US 27 to Belle Glade, through wind, big rigs, dead pine trees, sandpits, rock mines and manic drivers. Our only break was at the Sawgrass Recreation Area in Broward County. (More airboats and alligators)

We rode on through the sugar cane fields and the wind to Belle Glade for a last gas stop before going east on US 441 to West Palm Beach for the night. This was definitely the toughest day so far.

Travel Pictures

Motorcycle Ride in Florida
Motorcycle Ride in Florida


Fxrguy says:

Great trip. I live in Florida and a lot of the places you describe are places I ride quit a lot but I still learned about a few places. Loved it!
Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM

warhoop63 says:

This is the type of adventure, trip down memory lane that I love. Great journaling of the trip. A wonderful trip, and a wonderful read!
Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 5:47 PM

BilltheDiver says:

Great story and some good pictures! I moved here in the 70's and have been to most of the places you visited. Brings back memories. There are more spots to be discovered like Solomon's Castle and the Linger Lodge. Thanks for sharing the adventure!
Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM

Riverman777 says:

That was a good adventure story. Nice job. I'll bet you guys enjoyed it. I live up around the Crestview area. I'm looking forward to making that trip soon. Good luck and happy trails. michael
Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 7:56 AM

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