Day 5 [Key West – Bahia Honda Key]

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Distance traveled: 28 miles]

[This is SO much easier, typing with all fingers instead of just my right thumb! LOL!]

As I mentioned in the update, after we went 5 miles, we had a flat on a bridge!

But I am getting ahead of myself….FIRST we said our good-byes at Keys Presbyterian. Pastor Bill Welzien and Elder Tim Warner were super, and it made for a great start to our mission tour. Be sure to check out KEM, Keys Evangelistic Ministries, and their work at Mallory Square every week.

All packed up in the morning, and Earline is yet on the phone [to many of YOU!].

Packed up at KEYS

I have heard some rumor about a discussion on Facebook about Earline’s Bling-Bling cap…where do YOU stand?

Earline cap

At least, I guess, we’ll be more visible on the road! Ha!

Leaving Keys….EARLINE! Remember to shift down so you can make it up the driveway!

Shift down

We stopped at a convenience store just down the road, and I had chance to share our mission with Manuel, who was a “conch”….that’s someone who is a native to the Keys.

Manuel

And then I let this gentleman borrow my air pump to try and pump up his tire….unfortunately, the tire didn’t hold the patch, so it wouldn’t hold air. Pray for him and his tire!

Fix tire

Then 5 miles down the road, we had our OWN flat tire!

Jon fix flat

As I mentioned in the Day 5 UPDATE, Earline helped me carry the trike (it was the back tire) back off the bridge, where could disassemble the entire back end, panniers, tires, and all, and discover what was wrong.

It was a weird flat…the hole was a slice on the TOP of the tire, on the inner surface. It looked to be a defect in the tire, where wire became exposed and sliced the tire.

Here’s the cut in the tube [the Flat Attack goop in it TRIED to fill the hole, green goop all over, but it was just to big to seal]:

Slice in tube

And here’s the BRAND NEW tire right beside where the slice was in the tube:

Wire on tire

Hmmmm!

Finally got things switched out with one of the used tires I had brought along, and we got back on the road.

It was a beautiful day – sun was powerful, but there was a cool breeze that made for a pleasant ride.

Now this IS the Keys, so there are LOTS of bridges….in fact, we learned that there are 42 bridges, the exact SAME number that we rode over on our way down the Mississippi River back in 2010.

Sometimes we had to ride on the shoulder, even though there looks to be a separate bike path to the right:

Earline on shoulder on bridge

That’s because sometimes the way was BLOCKED!

Whoops, a fence

Apparently this is a work in progress. Many times there WERE separate bike lanes and paths, but other times….not so much. And I understand that the 7-miles bridge does NOT have a separate bike path, so we will be ON THE SHOULDER of that one.

Sometimes the path would even be separate from Hwy 1….but most often it would be right next to the highway.

Separated from Hwy 1

On this day, we happened to go thru Big Pine Key, which is actually a sanctuary for the Endangered Species of Key Deer….I understand the current population is only several hundred deer. Many are apparently killed by automobiles, and the speed limit thru here is only 35 mph at night.

Deer sign

The story of these deer is an interesting story. Read more here at NWF.

OOPS! Were we speeding through here? Nope, I guess it was the two motorcycles that just passed us.

Police stop motorcycles

Then Earline freaked out when she saw this….“Are we going over THAT??!!??”

Old bridge

No, but apparently in the past this WAS the bridge that people used to use. Here’s what we DID have to go over to reach our campsite:

Left, not right

[The one on the LEFT, NOT the one on the right….hmmm!]

Got settled in just before sunset, and grateful for a pleasant day’s ride. As I mentioned in the update, we are staying tonight at the Bahia Honda State Park, just on the west end of the 7-mile bridge. As we were setting up our tent we had the opportunity for many minutes to talk with the Redmonds and the Dunns who are also camping here tonight, and they asked many wonderful questions about our ministry, and our efforts with the Deaf community. It is the opportunity to share with nice folks like this that makes our mission that much more gratifying.

Through God’s grace,

jon

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