Miles: 71.23 Today / 361.15 Total
Elevation Gain: 614 ft. Today /3111 ft. Total
Late start today. I woke at a reasonable time, but just had to keep chatting with Nessa, and it was hard to get out the door, between hearing about her gear, scheming on a bike ride together, and watching her mobile app French class, but I finally did. It was going to be a long day, and I wasn’t anticipating anything out of the ordinary weather wise, but I got surprised.
Pretty shortly after I left Nessa’s house, I found myself on a bike path winding its way through Seabranch Preserve State Park. I rode past some desert tortoises and a bunch of local plant life—nothing super spectacular.
As I exited the preserve, I ran into a cyclist named Serje, from Quebec, who was also fully loaded. We talked for a few minutes, and I learned that he is not following the Adventure Cycling maps. So, as could be prediced, after riding together for a couple of miles, our routes parted ways, and so did we.
The miles after the nature preserve were along the coast to and through Port Salerno and Stuart. After crossing the two bridges over Jupiter Inlet, I spent the rest of the day cycling up Hutchinson Island, which is actually a group of narrow barrier islands parallel to the coast and east of a body of water called Indian River, that is not really a river. I looked it up, and it’s considered a lagoon and estuary, whatever that means.
In the almost 50 miles I rode on Hutchinson Island(s), I ran into just one very small town with a CVS drug store and in dual reactor nuclear generating station (perfect location for dumping contaminated water.)
Scattered down Ocean Drive, the road that runs through the island(s), are one 7-Eleven, no grocery store, 3 little markets, and a handful of restaurants separated by great distances. Everything else was luxury homes, resorts, condos and apartment buildings. I guess if you want food, you go to one of the resorts to get it. You can see where this is going, right? I was hungry and there was no food to be had.
At one point, I got lucky and there was no bridge to connect a couple of the islands, so I had to cross a bridge back to the mainland to the town of Fort Pierce, and right there on the corner was a McDonalds. I grabbed a quick lunch and got back on the road, because I still had a lot of miles to knock down. After riding a little over a mile on the mainland, it was time to cross back over to Hutchinson Island again, and now I was seeing signs for the Navy Seal Museum. Being a buff of all things military, I had to stop and check it out.
When I left the museum, it was 3 PM, and I still had 30 miles to ride to get to my campground. A nice tailwind was picking up, and I was able to average 15 mph, which is some nice speed for the heavy rig I’m pushing down the road. I was flying down the road and loving it, but then it started to sprinkle on me. Then the sky up ahead turned dark. Very dark. And that’s when the lightning started to strike and then rumbling thunder. I kept checking my weather app, and it was saying the chance of rain was 23% now, but 50% in an hour. I had 5 miles left to go, and the sky was now almost black. The adrenaline kicked in, and I was now going 18 mph. About a mile from the campground, the skies opened up and a torrential shower broke loose, with lightening striking all around me. It was pretty darned scary. Within seconds, I was completely soaked.
Drenched, I parked my bike under an overhang and drug myself into the office of the campground. I must have looked pretty pathetic. When I asked if they had any pavilions that weren’t being used, the girl behind the counter didn’t hesitate to point one out to me on the map. The adjacent pavilion was reserved by some people who sat in their cars for about an hour, waiting for the rain to stop, then gave up. They should have just checked the weather forecast. It’s going to be pouring and rumbling all night long.
I set my tent up on the concrete pad, changed into dry clothes, hung my wet clothes out to dry, then cleaned and lubed my chain. Umm…..what are the chances my clothes will dry, with all they water and humidity?
Hoping for better weather tomorrow as I continue riding up Hutchinson Island toward Mims.
6 thoughts on “4/16/23 – Hobe Sound to Ling Point Park”
You & Ed think of the weather as just part of your experience. For me, I would be miserable and not very happy, so that is why I stay home. May the weather be better for you for the rest of your trip.
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The weather is my greatest fear!!! You can control your bike, gear and preparations, but the weather is random and out of our control. I figured out today that rain is good, as long as it doesn’t make you cold. When it rains, the wind doesn’t blow as hard, so I was wishing it would keep raining to stave off the 18 mph headwind. Sick, eh?
I guess that my prayers for no rain are not working, but my prayers for your safety seem to be working! Take care! Mickey
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No rain means more wind, so when it’s rainy and a headwind, I hope the rain keeps coming!
Appreciate the prayers!
Be careful!! I hate imagining you all soaked riding through rain and lightning
That lightning storm was really a scary! Even being under the pavilion, I was still afraid of being struck. Since those 2 days, there hasn’t been any more rain. Maybe I’ll get lucky and avoid it for the rest of trip.