On August 18th when I started this trip in Halifax, Nova Scotia I had absolutely no sense of any connection to a “last day” of what has turned out to be a 3,600 mile/5,700 kilometer 84 day bicycle ride. Key West, of course, was my destination then as it is today, but it existed back then only as a remote point on a map. For all that it figured in my consciousness when I set out I could have just as easily been riding to Tierra del Fuego or, for that matter, the moon.
And now I’m here on the cusp of the end. The connection has been formed, one rotation of my bike’s pedals at a time. For whatever it is worth, I now have a string of memories that carry me at 10 miles/16 kilometers an hour down the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, past beaches and capes and rocky headlands, through farms and forests and small towns and great cities, and punctuated by ferry rides, tent and table-top camping, and a variety of motels and other lodging, some nice, some not. Those memories also include visits with friends and family and phone calls with my wife, as well as a lot of time just being alone with my thoughts. It has been a great trip, and I can be satisfied that, within the context of my life to date, to the extent that I wanted to do something epic I have done just that. I have nothing to complain about and no regrets.
So I’m the blue dot, and in a few hours will ride the last one percent of my total mileage on the road. That distance is a little more than five percent of my Florida miles
and puts me about two-thirds of the way along the Florida Keys.
My last night on the road was spent at Bahia Honda State Park, where I braved the bugs and raccoons and slept once again on a picnic table-top.
I had ridden almost 68 miles/110 km to get here yesterday from John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. That ride included crossing the Seven Mile Bridge on the Overseas Highway.
The bridge is, in fact, seven miles/11 km from one end to the other. How about that? Another amazing thing on a ride that’s been full of amazing things. And today I’ll be in Key West.