Today was a great ending to our bicycle tour! Once we got all packed up at camp and had breakfast we pedaled over to the Homestead-Miami Speedway. They opened the track to us and we got to cycle around the oval! It was so cool! You can't believe how high that banked curve is! And it's so steep we were literally running on the sides of our tires!
The entrance is pretty impressive!
Here we go! That's Jim in the neon green shirt.
Down through the tunnel
And up the other side onto the track
There goes Jim (neon green)!
I wish the pictures really showed the height and the steepness of the curve!
Jim coming over the finish line!
Ahhhhh, Victory Lane!
After our speedway experience, we had the rest of today's ride. Jim opted out as he was tired and decided to end his tour with the great speedway experience rather than pushing himself further. I went on and rode another 20 miles. We rode along streets for a short way and then it was back to canals! Ugh! It started out pretty challenging on thick grass again, steadily improved to a mixture of thinner grass and gravel and then much finer gravel than yesterday! Much more like our canal path at home.
Just before that canal empties out into Biscayne Bay, we saw manatees again. Unfortunately I couldn't get any pictures of the manatees, just the birds "guarding" them!
Then we went a short distance on another canal (southern Florida seems to have LOTS of water management canal!) and ended up at Biscayne National Park.
In the park is a wonderful 1/4 mile Boardwalk. Here are some of the sites I saw as I strolled along the path.
Part of the boardwalk goes over the water. Just like the Genesee River boardwalk back home.
We saw thousands of these fish, whatever they are.
This group was swimming over a fish identification sheet someone had dropped into the water!
Then the boardwalk turned into a path that went out into the bay.
Then he flew over to the edge of the path and walked along there for a bit.
And then took off again.
I was walking back to the boardwalk and when I came around a corner, guess who I saw again?!
From the park it was back along a different canal and this one was paved, a little rough with some holes and bumps to weave around, but paved! It felt like I flew back!
After loading the bikes, changing clothes and grabbing lunch we were on our way to Key Largo.
We arrived and checked in and discovered that the actual boat used in the Bogart/Hepburn movie, "The African Queen," is docked next to our hotel! And by sheer luck, since you are actually supposed to make advance reservations, we got to ride in it!
The captain was so knowledgeable and told us so much about the life of this boat and had pictures to show us from the making of the movie. He took us down the canals and into the Atlantic Ocean. We had an hour and a half tour and it was fantastic!
I can't believe we were sitting on the same benches as Bogie and Hepburn!
Then we finished the day with a great dinner at a restaurant on the gulf side of Key Largo with a great view! A fantastic day! Tomorrow we are off to Key West!