Palm Trees in southern Florida

Saturday, March 23, 2019

I Can Get There From Here!

I've lived on islands for 10 years of my life, on three separate occasions... islands where you needed a boat or an airplane to go off the island. I didn't need to go anywhere, I just knew that I couldn't.

This bends my thinking a little. These days I often tell myself, "I could walk there from here." I know I'm not going to, but I could....  Can't walk to an island though.

Papalani St, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

Coast Guard Light Station, Point Robinson, Burton Is, WA

As we've been traveling around, we've been looking at places to make a home base. Some of the places have actually been on a canal or close to a boat ramp. 

Coast Guard Air Station, Barbers Point, Oahu Hawaii

So, many times when that has happened here in Florida, I look at the map & realize that, "I could get to Hawaii from here!"  My wife looks at me funny every time I say that... I don't have a boat & I'm not a sailor, but I like the idea of knowing that I couldAs a plus, since FL is the mainland, I could walk most anywhere from here!

Ya, it's dumb but it leaves a smile on my face.

The google map function on my phone allows me to pick how I want to travel, as long as it's not on a boat. So I can check to see if I really can walk there from here... or take my bike!

Key West to Union, Washington on a bike via google maps

We were at the east side of Lake Okeechobee recently, and I pulled out my phone, started the map app, and took a look at where I was. Son of a gun... I COULD get to Hawaii from there!

At the Lake Okeechobee eastern inlet
looking to the west & the Gulf of mexico

From the east looking at the lake Okeechobee outlet
 heading towards the Atlantic Ocean

View from the lake looking east, this will take you too the Atlantic Ocean

It's fun to think that Florida has a boat highway running right through the middle of it!

Friday, March 15, 2019

A Key West bike

When we were on Key West I noticed the bikes there, it's hard not to.

A local with her bike enjoying the day on a pier

I like the Key West bikes. 

Generally a single speed cruiser, with a basket & often a rack. A comfortable looking seat, handle bars you didn't need to bend over to grab & maybe a bell.

Please don't let my enthusiasm lead you to thinking they were all Key West cruisers. Scooters were a big thing, a real big thing.
I saw e-bikes and all the bikes you'd find in any small town. 
I just liked the Key West cruisers.

I saw three types while we were there. There were the rental bikes, generally clean, a pleasant color and the basket on the front carried the name of the company or resort renting the bike.

There were what looked like brand new bikes, I'd guess a lot of them came with the tourists. 

Last but surely not least were the local bikes.  

A local bike with a cup & cell phone holder 

Like the rest, generally a single speed, it's a flat & slow paced place. There is a comfortable seat and almost always a basket on the front, usually a flat rack on the back (often with side baskets, sometimes folding). The handle bars are easy to reach while sitting up, the cup holder is within reach, as is the cell phone holder.
Sometimes the bike comes with installed tubes for holding fishing poles and it's generally rusty. Not super bad rust but I had no doubt the bikes had spent serious time in the Key West salt environment.

There are bike shops too, all over the place. 
Our favorite was Eaton Bikes on Eaton street, they let us borrow bike helmets & had air out back in case you needed it.

I've got a bike. I bought it for less that $10 at a second hand shop.
It lives outside on the back of our RV.  It works.

But now after visiting Key West I have something to reach for!

Mile Zero, Key West Florida.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Florida Park Shuffle

It's coming on to 1pm at a Florida State Park, time to check out of this site and into the next one!  
The Florida Park Shuffle!

When reservations have to be made 11 months in advance and you're not that together on your planning you take what you can get. It's all done online through Reserve America and comes with an extra fee.

That might mean several different reservations at the same park if you want to stay for a week. It has for us...

Hence the one o'clock shuffle....

You can talk to the people in the office & they can "maybe" get the shuffling part reduced.

Is it worth the hassle? 

The weather in Florida this winter has been really nice.  All the Florida State Parks I have seen have been great along with all of the showers in the parks. The Florida spots come with electrical and water.

Yes, it's worth the hassle!

The only problem comes when you are between state park reservations...

There are other places beside the state parks ....

Middleton"s Fish Camp, Indian River county on Blue Cypress Lake

Middleton's Fish Camp is about 22 miles as the bird flies from the coast where we were staying, about an hour on the road.
No hook ups but it's only $5 per person for a night. Lot's of fishing!

Our two solar panels are keeping the RV 12v electrical system going so we are doing great out here.  It is still winter.