Manifest Destiny – Week Six & Seven, The End.
- After waking and checking out, I sat at Carolines waiting for the UPS man. Thankfully Dimecity and UPS came through around 1.
- Fueled up on coffee from an awesome shop next door called Flat Track Coffee. It’s a bike and coffee shop plus they got dirt bikes on display.
- Got my clutch cable installed and the bike back to 100%, then got amazing BBQ at Kerlin BBQ.
- After an afternoon siesta we went back out a crawled around East Austin bars with Caroline and her boyfriend, Preston. Music everywhere. I fucking love this town.
- Woke up hurting and solved the issue with breakfast tacos. Full Austin culinary trifecta met: BBQ, Chili, and Tacos.
- Said goodbye to our hosts and hit the road. The first 100 miles out of Austin was crazy foggy. It cleared up just in time for Houston. Riding through the Houston metro area was as fun as shoving red hot rail road spikes into my eye sockets. A feeling of relief hit when Houston was to our backs.
- Soon the swamps and bayous came into sight as we got off I-10.
- The road to our camp sight for the night wound directly along the Gulf coast and at one point had us on a ferry. Dolphins swimming in the waters.
- We set up camp at Rutherford Beach. Free camping is allowed directly on the beach. Not bad.
- Hunger hit so we rode into the town of Creole. I use the word town loosely. There’s 3 houses, a gas station, restaurant, and general store. Sadly the restaurant was closed. I was so looking forward to some Cajun food.
- The general store had Po Boys and beer so the problem was easily rectified.
- We went back to camp and drank our beers on a large drift wood log on the beach staring out at all the oil rigs. I counted 35 of them.
- The Stars came out and we chased constellations and galaxies until the mosquitoes ate us alive.
- The fog rolled in real heavy last night and visibility was terrible. As we made coffee on the beach we heard random noises running to us. Suddenly 2 wild corgis appeared. It was all fun and games till one pissed on my tent.
- The ride out was ominous and damp. LA-82 wound through bayous and along the coast. Soon the sun had cleared the mist and we hit highway. The rest of the ride to New Orleans was typical highway bullshit.
- Soon the Big Easy was in sight. Halloween in New Orleans!!!!!
- We scrambled to get costumes and worked with what we had. The end result was “Shitty Daft Punk”.
- We joined in the insanity that is Halloween in New Orleans and went off the wall. We met up with a friend who was in town and chaos ensued.
- Hurting badly this morning and were slow to leave the Hostel.
- Straight shot out I-10 to my grandfathers in Destin, FL.
- Stopped only to check out the NASA Infinity Science Center. Didn’t go in but they had a lot of great stuff to check out outside for free.
- Nothing great about the ride.
- Made it back to FL. Tomorrow we are going to decide if the Keys are a go.
- Slept forever but woke up and decided to hit the Keys versus coming home. We’re shooting for a 10k trip. Also decided to rent Jet Skis. Boatercycles!!! Too much fun.
- Grabbed fresh Gulf oysters after fun in the bay.
- Family time for the rest of the night.
- Headed FL-98 the entire ride. It got really interesting after Panama City. My grandfather referred to the area as “old Florida” and he’s right. Very chill and sleepy.
- Hit a small storm outside the campsite and waited it out at a gas station.
- Camp was at Manatee Springs State park. I had heard there were manatees there but were told by the staff we were too early.
- We didn’t find manatees but we did find tons of armadillos. It’s crazy how tame they are.
- When I scoped the site out yesterday I had no clue there was a swimming hole but was pleasantly surprised when we found it. Insanely blue water.
- After an evening swim we made dinner and just relaxed at camp.
- Just after eating, an armadillo came by and became my new best friend. Hopefully I did not contract leprosy.
- Some deers joined us for our morning coffee.
- Zig-zagged our way through central Florida. Nothing but awesome 2 lane country roads.
- Shorter than usual ride to our next camp at the Myakka River State Park. Luckily we snagged the last available site.
- Quickly set up the tents and went on the hunt for gators. Tried to get an airboat ride but the tours were done.
- Found tons of gators but as soon as you get close to them they slide in the water making it hard to snag a good pic.
- Rode the bikes through the park and hiked a trail to find more gators. They’re everywhere.
- Sat by the lake for sunset then headed back to camp.
- Up and on the road at the crack or dawn. Watching the sunrise from the bikes is a great experience until it’s in not b/c you can’t see shit.
- Another day of just ripping and not taking many pics from the bikes. The trip is coming to an end and we are feeling the need to stop less and snap pics.
- We hit rte 1 sooner then expected and were on Key Largo pretty quickly.
- Coincidentally we both burnt out our headlights at the same time. Weird.
- Camp is at John Pennekamp Coral National Forrest. The hardest decision today was to snorkel on the reef or kayak in the Mangroves. We went with reef b/c with all the coral bleaching who knows how long we will have coral reefs.
- We got on a boat with a shit ton of other tourists and headed out to sea. The waves got real choppy as it looked like we were headed to a storm. The reef was much farther out to sea then I expected.
- In the end we had an awesome time. Tons of fish to see but no sharks. The Barracuda were gigantic.
- Back on shore we changed and headed into town for Cuban food.
- Back at camp it rained on us as we chilled in our tents.
- Snorkeling and Cuban Sandwiches will knock a man out cold.
- Headed out rte 1 and had to get in rain gear until Marathon Key. Nothing but blue skies and aqua waters the whole way to Key West.
- Set up camp on Stock Key in a mixed use Campground. Not a terrible place put were sandwiched in with RV’s. Only one other option for camping here so we’ll take it.
- After camp was set up we rode into Key West and explored. Had to hit the Southernmost Point. Crazy to think just a few weeks ago I was staring at the Pacific in Big Sur.
- Strolled up Duvall St and got Key Lime Pie.
- Found a proper Hemingway Daquri and sat in a tropical courtyard soaking it all up as the realization that this run will soon be over.
- Walked up to sunset pier for the last sunset of this trip. After 35 years it still gets me every time that big ball of light and energy lowers behind the horizon. Going to miss catching all the sunrises and sunsets across this crazy big country of ours.
- Ripped the bikes back to camp and played a round of pool before realizing that we were hungry. Upon a recommendation we hit a local seafood spot for Key West Pink Shrimp and Conch Ceviche. I’m slowly turning this MC site into a food blog. Eat it bitches. Gotta get local foods when you can. Isn’t that a huge part of traveling?
- Properly full and drunk we stumbled back to camp. Last night in the tents.
- Awoke early enough to catch the sunrise from camp one last time. Still can’t believe this trip is almost over. Where did it go?
- Packed and headed back up rte 1. By the time we hit Marathon Key the weather turned and the rain gear was on until Tavernier. There the sun was out and we stuffed our faces on a proper Cuban breakfast.
- Just north of Key Largo, as we approached the mainland again, we got back into the rain gear just in time.
- We were soon properly introduced the the Florida super highway. Anywhere from 8 to 14 lanes of nothing but impending death. I saw the grim reaper and for me he is not the shadowy apparition of a hooded skeleton w/ his scythe but an elderly Asian man in a BMW speeding down a South Florida highway. Quick tip: the lines in the road are optional to follow. Feel free to weave in and out as you feel.
- Radke suggest we detour to the Thunderbird Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale. An insanely large Flea Market/Drive in w/ a gigantic arcade and Ferrari Museum. What a place. We wondered around for an hour or so forgetting about the death race happening out on I-95.
- Eventually we had to go for it and made it up 95 to Jensen Beach where Radke’s mom lived. She wouldn’t be home till later so we killed time in a bookstore. Eventually she was home and we went and crashed.
- Left Jensen Beach ASAP and rode to Sanford, FL to take the Auto Train to DC.
- The cost was $250 for one rider and bike. We had got them on the Amtrak site yesterday.
- They ask that you arrive with your vehicle between 11am-2pm. We pulled up at 11 on the dot and were first. What followed was a lot of waiting. At 12:30 they called to load all vehicles in line.
- Bikes loaded and more waiting. By 3 we were on the train and at 4 heading north. The train rules! So much room. The lounge car was open and we went straight there for beers. We got called for dinner in the dinner car and I have to say it wasn’t too bad.
- We sat in the lounge playing cards and working on this post tying to destract ourselves from the election.
- Last rip of the ride tomorrow and it will officially put us over 10,000 miles! We estimated 9k before leaving so we were a bit off.
- Around 11:30 we climbed back to our seats to sleep.
- Rough sleep thanks to the couple fighting behind us. Assholes. Who wakes up at 12:30 to argue? With the train being mostly empty we just moved. Figured out a way to sleep in the chairs but if you got the cash get a sleeper.
- Woke up feeling like we were in a different universe. From the scenery, to the weather, and of course the election outcome.
- Train was only a half hour late arriving. We had the bike in about a half hours time after arrival and got in rain gear. Not excited at the homecoming run but looking forward to seeing my dog and friends.
- No time was wasted getting back to Philly. The rain came down harder and harder the closer we got to the city. Regardless we made it home.
- 45 days
- 10,000 miles
- 19 States
9 responses to “Manifest Destiny – Week Six & Seven, The End.”
Published - Jun 23, 2016
Everyone had a blast and Jessie killed it. I hope Mid Ohio is ready for us.