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[ST] Four Corners Report, Part 2

>From July 18:

Greetings from the road!

I left home last Friday, heading for Key West and corner number 1 of
my 4 corners ride. It took me 3 days to cover the almost 1300 miles,
arriving on Sunday. There was nothing terribly special about the ride,
except that it was hot! I got lots of strange looks from people who
saw my in my riding gear. And I lost count of the number of times
someone asked me "Isn't it hot in that?". Snappy answer number 1: "Not
when I'm moving". Snappy answer number 2: "Well, better sweaty than
bloody I always say".

After arriving in Key West, I spent some time gathering the
verification information I'll have to collect at every corner. First,
there was the phone number from one of the places on the map from the
starter's packet. After that, I needed to get a gas receipt indicating
the station was in Key West. Item number 3 was a picture in front of
something that said Key West. Most people use the Southernmost Point
in the US marker. There was quite a little line of people there when I
showed up, so I decided to come back Monday morning and try to ride
the bike up on the sidewalk right next to the marker. Before I left,
I'd have to note the odometer reading, sign the form, and put
everything in the mail. The postmark would officially start my 21 day
clock to complete the tour.

Monday was VERY humid, but I got started early. No problems getting
the picture, although the sheriff gave me a dirty look as I was moving
the bike around to get the perfect shot. I dropped everything at the
post office, and off I went. It took me forever to get out of the Keys
between the road (mostly 2 lane), the weather (in and out of rain,
usually lastly no more than a mile or so), and the traffic. I spent
most of the time stuck behind a trash truck. Yuck.

the rest of the day was uneventful until about 3:30 or so. It ahd been
getting cloudy, and the clouds had suddenly gotten dark. As I was
scanning the skies, trying to figure out how far I might be able to
get, I saw several lightning strikes. Not having the protection of a
car around me, I pulled off the road at the next exit. After about 30
minutes, the worst part of the storm seemed to move past the road so I
saddled up and tried to make some more distance. Of course, as soon as
I pulled onto I-95 there was more lightning. I can usually take the
hint--eventually. I pulled off at the next exit and got a room for the
night in Cocoa, FL, 363 miles from my start.

Today was day 2. I got up early and got on the road in an attempt to
make up for the early end to yesterday. My goal was to make it to
North Carolina. It was another hot one, but it didn't feel as bad as
any of the days heading down to Key West. Today was just droning on
the interstate, making miles. One thing I saw today that cracked me up
was a caravan of 6 or 7 Geeks on Call cars heading down the road. You
know the ones, right? The VW Beetles with the black fenders and the
white doors? I don't know why it made me laugh, but it did. I saw
something else that was really pretty cool. As I was riding across a
river/lake/inlet I saw a bird flying low over the road. As I got
closer, I realized it was a hawk of some flavor and it had a fish in
its talons. Very cool.

Anyway, today was the longest ride so far, but I'm feeling pretty
good. A short ride tomorrow into DC and a brief stopover at home. I
get to say "Hi" to the family, do some laundry, clean up the bike, get
the things I forgot the first time I packed, and then it's off to NH
and Maine on Thursday. The goal is to get to Madawaska, ME, corner
number 2, on Friday. We'll see if I've overestimated my abilities or
underestimated the distances. In the meantime, it's keep the shiny
side up and the rubber side down.
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