Back to Day 49

10:30 AM

Waiting for the laundry to dry. It just doesn’t get more exciting than this. On the plus side, this is a rest day and we slept until after 9:00. And we were able to wash the grit off of everything from yesterday.

Q: How long does it take to lose the butt pain?

A: 7 weeks

Dana trained for 2 years for this trip. I didn’t, but I rode my bike around town for about a month beforehand, getting used to the bike seat and the weight of the panniers. Yet it was just a few days ago when Dana exclaimed “My butt doesn’t hurt!”, and I realized that mine didn’t either. Neither of us had butt pain for the first 30 miles of any day, but after than we started squirming. We have finally stopped squirming. So I guess you need to train for this by doing this.

Not gonna happen again.

Something else we realized – no matter how fast we ride, we end the day averaging 10 MPH. It seems there is always something to slow us down. We get lost. We have to ride off road. We get stuck on drawbridges, we take pictures of little green lizards. And 10 MPH wouldn’t be so bad if you could just do it 5 or 6 hours straight, everyday. But I can’t. I’m not sure Dana can either. Not everyday. It’s been much harder than we thought it would be.

So Dana has been dreaming of an airboat ride in the Everglades ever since he watched Flipper. I guess I have too, except I didn’t know the difference between the Everglades and the Keys. Or that Key West is 500 freakin’ miles from St. Augustine. Or that Florida is a BIG state. Nonetheless, two Flipper dreams will come true today. Life is good.

But now we can’t wait to get home. Dana wants to go to work and get back into his routine. I’m worried about the house, the cats, the kids, the cars. I think Bill managed to lose every drinking glass we own. I hope he didn’t lose all the spare car keys, too – they are so much more expensive to replace. Bill’s car is dead, Katie’s motorcycle is dead. The cats are getting angry. And I NEED to get back to my kitchen! I can’t watch cooking shows on TV without getting homesick.

Something we’ve noticed in the touristy beach areas of Florida: there are more people in the stores and restaurants than there are on the beaches. There are more bikes/surfboards/toys on cars than there are on trails/water/sand. People go on vacation to shop. It makes me appreciate biking – which at this point is no easy feat!

6:30 PM

Eating take-out Chinese food. Just got back from the Everglades airboat tour. We learned how to make a bandage from a cattail:

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and we saw a female alligator protecting her nest

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a male alligator

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a swamp lily

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a spider lily

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pond apples

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lotus grasshoppers

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and Purple Gallinules.

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whose natural prey seems to be the Cheeto – it took one right out of Dana’s mouth…

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Plus water lettuce,  tiny greenback herons, tricolor herons, great blues, egrets, and, well, the Everglades.

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It was a fantastic ride, totally worth doing if you are ever in the Miami area.

Tomorrow we will set the alarm (ugh) so that we can ride to Key Largo on Card Sound Rd. We want to be at John Pennekamp State Park by 1:30 to go snorkeling.

On to Day 51

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