December 2 - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Today we rode through the Everglades.

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There were lots of alligators.

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There was tons of other wildlife, too. Lots and lots of birds. Riding the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades is terrific. The traffic is pretty moderate, and there is a shoulder much of the time. The highest point on today's route was 17 feet above sea level. It was a great cruise.

The horror show starts when you get the end of the Everglades. We decided to take SR 997 north for 14 miles to get up to Ft. Lauderdale. Big mistake. There is a shoulder for the first quarter mile. That is to trick bicyclists. It's a two lane road with no shoulder, and heavy, high-speed truck traffic. This was by far the worst road of the trip.

What's amazing is the drivers down here. Most of them don't slow down a bit for us riding our bikes on the road. They give us plenty of room too. That's because they PLAY CHICKEN WITH ONCOMING TRAFFIC! They expect the big semi truck coming right at them to slow down and pull over while they take up half his lane. Time after time, we would get passed by the giant SUV, who would pull back into our lane right before the oncoming truck got there. I was sure the SUVs were going to bounce right off the huge trucks and land on us. This is a very bike-unfriendly area.

We did 102 miles today, and found a fine cheap motel with a restaraunt out front just after the sun set. Perfect. We are next to the airport and just a couple miles from the beach. Jim flies out day after tomorrow, and we have all day tomorrow to box up his bike and hang out at the beach.

This restaraunt out front was something. It looks like an ordinary bar and grill. We go in and sit down and order our food and drink our beer. However, there is more. It is lingere raffle night. This skanky girl comes up to our table to sell us raffle tickets. She is wearing a short sheer negligee and no pants. I mean no underpants. Nothing. I was rendered speechless. I guess the obvious thing I wanted to say was "Hey! You're not wearing any pants!" Jim said "No thanks, we don't want any raffle tickets." She changed outfits every round. In subsequent rounds she was wearing pants. Maybe she forgot them that time, I don't know.

Here is the route for today. We are pretty wiped out, because we pushed it hard on SR 997 so we wouldn't die.

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