Day 1 Keywest to Marathon

Started at Mile 0 at the large buoy. Waves crashed over the wall and soaked our ankles. Pulled over to the side of the bike path, something blue caught our eye. Land crabs scattered towards their dirt holes in the mangroves. Some were the size of golf balls. Others had claws that belonged on a buffet line. Ive heard the daddy long legs spider has a more venomous bite than the black widow but its pincers aren’t strong enough to break our epidermis. These fist-sized crustaceans undoubtedly have a strong enough pinch to not only break the skin but two locals remarked to avoid biking by them all together. Their legs are razor sharp and may puncture tires. I hesitated reaching into the crab’s holes. Pieces of crab shell littered the street. I caught Krusty on a bike bridge. He was scampering towards a drainage pipe until I blocked it with my tire. He quickly went underneath me and presented his claws, en guard! ‘Tic tic tic’ came from his pointy legs as he circling our bikes and underneath our feet. Nate lowered his foot and held him tight. I squeezed the lower carapace but it was not out of range of his singular large claw. My thumb throbbed. I grabbed each claw and held him, until the photo was taken. Sent him on his way (threw him over the bridge).


Nate left his helmet at home. Really?! On a bike trip. He resorted to his hand-woven Nepalese headband. It only PROTECTS him from the cold.

While sitting underneath the 7-mile bridge, I dangled my legs over the edge and stared into the misty blue water as it met the sky at the horizon. My eyes were tired. The 50-foot high ledge had missing wood planks and was 5 degrees cooler than on the sun beaten bridge. A patch of seaweed seemed to Swim. Nate shouted, “sea turtle!”. Two more appeared, wading near each other.


Outside the Slice of Paradise pizzeria an iguana and crab had a tussle. The iguana leaped over the crab onto a branch as Krusty’s cousin snapped at him. Iguanas are scaredy cats. Kyle and Michelle made a medium pepperoni pizza for us for free. Exactly what was needed after 24.5 miles of riding. They offered me soda but water is my drink of choice.

Slice of Paradise

Pepperoni ZaThe strength of the wind gusts pushed our bikes towards traffic. Nudging us closer to the honking cardestrians. Some shouted, “Green Mann!” as they passed….I heard the second ‘n’ in their exclamation. The wind also kept birds suspended above us, perfectly still like airplane mobiles strung to the ceiling.

The electrical lines crackled above us. I hear it’s from dust making contact with charged air.

Overseas Outfitters filled our tires and donated two tubes. We biked past disheveled bridges that were once railroads built by Henry Flagler. He developed most of east Florida but if you want to learn use Wikipedia!



The blanket has dried paint on it so I went to get another which had less white chips attached. The second story apartments aren’t a homeless shelter or halfway house but help those without home and those in recovery. Marcos and Jr are kind. They try not to curse in front of me. I mean the say “f*€@” less when we’re present. Marcos is the house chef and whipped up an omelette over toast with peach pie topped with whipped cream.

In Independence Cay there is no sex, drug use including alcohol, stealing, and more Christian moral principles. Jr served in the army and claims to have PTSD, I don’t doubt it. He got agitated easily over a couch that had to be moved so I lightened up the mood with a Miami bath salt joke. Marcos is a certified arborist and compared free trimming stories with Nate. Our bikes are locked up indoors. Their vegetable and herb garden is outdoors under a PVC & mesh tent. One tenant resembles Danny Trejo, strongly.

Nate had a heart to heart with Jr on the patio. Jr shared graphic stories of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Headquarters, this is bravo one actual. We are receiving heavy fire. Request for a CQ (close quarter) battery strike on quadrant 6.3 by 8” this military jargon translates to I need a black hawk to fire it’s 40mm guns on the nearby enemy. FYI: Soldiers carry weapons. Airplanes and ships carry guns.

Angels surround us, God protect us.

Nate fixing Mike’s pannier.

Under the bridge.They found us.@MikeandNate: #MikeandNate stopped by Slice of Paradise (pizza) in Sumerland Key donated a pizza. Michelle and Kyle r so nice MILE24

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