640 + 18 Miles Down, 152 To Go

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16400 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33194
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I left out of Hard Rock Hotel after a swim & waffle breakfast around 10am refreshed & rejuvinated. Geez those beds are amazing.

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I flew through town and had a lot of fun zipping through the various side streets probably a little too fast. A couple times a big, broken, tire-popping, section of concrete would sneak up on me but the hydraulic brakes on the 2016 Cannondale Touring Ultimate (go bid now!) did a fabulous job of breaking my momentum. On the way, something happened and cops/ambulances/fire trucks swarmed my location. I thought I was in serious trouble for being too attractive on a bicycle but the helicopter soon arrived to haul someone away who was bleeding profusely. Very interesting.

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Side-note: Hey, Miami… Sidewalks are for people who are not in cars to use for safe passage. Not an easy anchoring point for all your crap.

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Before I knew it, I was almost to Shark Valley and took a moment to visit the Valujet Flight 592 memorial which is on the same road. My brother is a pilot so I couldn’t help but empathize with the families of those who perished here.

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As I rolled into Shark Valley, the park ranger signed my vest and I headed into the 18 mile trail loop full of piss & vinegar. The headwinds on the return trip were a price I had to pay for being so haphazard. The trail is gorgeous and in the heart of the everglades. Wildlife and motion were every direction and there were at least 30 people enjoying it even with the inclimate weather.

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At the far end of the trail is a tower with a long ramp that takes you up high enough to see way over the everglades and enjoy some gorgeous panaramic views. (Which I know only has to be like 3 1/2 feet in those flat plains but higher is nice) If you ever want to take a day and goof off in South Florida, this is definitely worth checking out. It’s right next to a Miccosukee Indian Reserve with some a cool trading post and restaurant but 18+ miles from any other civilization.

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Finally making it out of the wind, I started riding around looking for a spot to camp when I realized I was really hungry, thirsty, poor, and it started raining. I saw a little place called “The Pit Bar-B-Q” and stopped in for some water. The two brothers working there generously offered me food, drink, and a place to set my tent up out of the rain. I had to thank God for leading me to such a hospitable place in an otherwise desolate area.

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Again, If I had money on this trip, I would likely have totally missed this experience. It isn’t the easiest thing to do but it forces you to rely on God and good people which is something all too often overlooked.

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Tomorrow I’m heading through Homestead to Key Largo where I plan to explore the Nike Missle Site & look for a ship used in one of those old black & white movies my wife likes. (no she’s not 60 she’s just weird)

I will make time soon to post the skipped story from Otter Springs and a few gear reviews but I’m too tired right now. Good night!

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