Wednesday, March 15, 2017

South Beach Park – Vero Beach Florida


Our road trip today took us across Florida over to the Atlantic coast. We were headed to a place called Vero Beach and ended up at Park called South Beach to gaze at the Atlantic Ocean. 

I suppose this cruise was more about getting in a good long ride instead of going to any specific place. We certainly did what we set out to do with adding another 315 miles to our Florida riding season.

This was to be full day ride for us so we took off around 9:30 am. We took the scenic route along N. River Road (78), (the alternative is along 80) connected with 29/27 and then onto 70 most of the way over to the Atlantic coast. 

Route to Vero Beach

Of course, it wasn’t all non-stop riding, we took several pit stops along the way to stretch the legs and gulp down water. By early afternoon we reached South Beach Park. Bonus, unlike at the Fort Myers beach, parking was free.

Gotta luv places that cater to motorcycles! 

There was a boardwalk out to the beach, and we took in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean with its brilliant turquoise blue water. We were obviously not dressed for the beach in our motorcycle boots and jeans and it didn’t take long before we started to overheat on the beach sand. I snapped a couple of shots of the ocean and then we headed back to where the picnic area was.  

We chose a picnic table under the shade of a cabana to plot our route home. Guess everyone would rather be on the beach than picnicking so we had our choice.

Nearby, there was a group of squirrels acting squirrely. 

They were so fast I barely managed to get one in the frame before they scattered up a tree. 

Heading back home we stayed on the Federal Hwy (1) unfortunately it is all stoplights and the traffic was heavy.  The plan was to take 714 and travel along the top of Lake Okeechobee down through Buckhead Ridge and Moore Haven. 

As we sat at a stoplight we noticed the sign for SE 714, however there was not one for SW 714, the way we needed to go. We chalked it up to how a lot of roads around here are disconnected because of the canals. (Usually a mile or so further up there will be the continuation of the road when it is like that). However, we should have turned because we realized later that it was in actual fact where we needed to turn, just the sign was missing. Chalk up our not so little detour as an excuse for more miles of fun and our extra miles ended up giving us another 50 of them. 

Route Back Home

"I have seen a fork in the road, but a rake was a new one on me"
As we headed along 76, laying in the middle of the road was a rake. Lucky I seen it and swerved to avoid potential disaster, just goes to show you that a motorcyclist always has to be aware of their surroundings. As much as I sometimes get lost in the scenic views and deep thoughts, part of me always pays attention to the road because something like that can be deadly. 

Shortly after missing the rake I noticed one dark cloud hovering above, it was very ominous looking yet the sun was shining beyond it. The road was damp and I just thought that we were lucky enough to have just missed the spontaneous downpour. (very common in Florida) Then a moment after that thought popped into my head something sharp hit my face, at first I thought it was a bug but then another and another. That ominous cloud decided it wasn’t finished after all and split open again as we passed beneath it. Soon it felt like I was riding through a cascade of spikey cactus needles, assaulting me in the face with a ferociousness that only speed can produce. At least we eventually rode out of it and before the chill of being wet would get my teeth chattering the sun shone down with its warm rays to dry me off. 

We connected onto 98 near Lake Okeechobee and followed that all the way down through Pahokee. The small sleepy communities that surround Okeechobee are quaint and the ride was relaxing. As we got to Pahokee, a section of tall palms lined either side of the road like sentries.  We continued until we got to SR 80 which would take us all the way home.

By the time we got to Clewiston the sun was quickly disappearing. We had planned on grabbing a bite to eat somewhere but now I was tired and we still had about an hour or so ride before we got home.  We stopped just to fill up gas and I switched out the lenses on my sunglasses from the day riding to night riding.  

We finally pulled into the driveway at 7:45 pm, a large glass of wine tasted really good….

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...