Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Long Key to Bahia Honda, Florida
March 30, 2011
35 miles

Due to a constant breeze off the ocean last night, we were able to get some good sleep. Our gear was actually nice and dry when we woke up, so we decided to pack everything up right away and hit the road without breakfast to beat the midday heat.

In this section, the bike trail separated from the road is in great shape. The path is lined with brush on both sides and allowed us to ease our nerves. Riding so far without the threat from traffic was a good change of pace. About fifteen miles from Long Key, we reach Marathon, the first real developed area we came to this morning. We found an open air restaurant right on the water that advertised breakfast. We made it inside just in time to get our orders in before they stopped taking breakfast orders. Eating under a cabana style roof with the ocean right outside made for an enjoyable breakfast; plus eating breakfast after riding a good distance is my favorite way to get the morning going.

We had to grab some groceries in Marathon, and ended up dilly dallying in the grocery store because the day was hot and air conditioning felt great! After Marathon, we rode over the seven mile bridge, which, as you guessed, is seven miles long. It was a bit unnerving to be suspended above the ocean on a bridge with cars whizzing by for almost a half an hour. Luckily the shoulders were wide enough to make crossing safe. While crossing the bridge, we saw more sea turtles swimming below us. They are so huge and swim so fast for turtles. It is great to see them. We have heard that they are more visible right now because mating season is right around the corner.

After an otherwise uneventful ride, we arrived at Bahia Honda (bahia is pronounced bay-ah) state park. After we set up camp and got our gear organized, we checked out some beaches and then found a nice bay for snorkeling. We ended up spending the rest of the evening in the water. Within a few minutes walk from our campsite, we were able to find a bunch of cool fish and other ocean creatures during or snorkeling. We saw some huge sponges, a black and yellow angel fish, a few different species of trunk fish, and had a school of some yellow striped fish followed us around to eat what we kicked up off the bottom. Snorkeling might be my new favorite thing. As soon as my head is below the surface, I feel like I am in a completely different world, and that world is full of so many cool things I have never seen. Before sunset, we went back to camp and made burritos to eat as the sun went down.


Slash the iguana at our breakfast spot in Marathon

Old Railroad bridge with sections cut out to allow for larger ships

From seven mile bridge

View from halfway across the seven mile bridge

Sea turtle!

Nice bike path.

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