Fort Lauderdale - Moore Haven - Palatka - Miami
We are not yet at the beginning of our story as a motorcycle travel team, but our plans for the future are very ambitious.
We are embarking on the quest to explore this great country that is perfect for bikers. Here’s one of our first big trips.
On the morning of the 20th of February we set off from Fort Lauderdale and headed along the US 27 North towards the town of Clewiston known as "America's Sweetest Town". In the 1950s and 1960s it became home to the largest sugar plantations. Clewiston is a small picturesque town definitely worth visiting when passing by.
Further on we rode past the scenic Okeechobee lakeside. The stunning landscape captivated us so deeply that we missed our turn onto Road 70.
Our next stop was in Moore Haven. There had been times when it was a busy town nicknamed Little Chicago, but after several devastating hurricanes it lost its flare and today it is a small, sleepy town on the shore of the picturesque Okeechobee Lake which is, by the way, the main source of fresh water for Southern Florida and the Florida Keys archipelago.
After that, we headed our bikes along Road 76 and entered the city of Stuart, famous for the friendliness of its people and the tastiness of local food. So we took the chance to fill our stomachs and our bikes before heading further north, to US1 Route. Soon after this idea turned out to be a bad one. We got stuck in a vicious traffic jam for several hours. Discussing this situation later, we could see that we should have gone down Road 70 towards Fort Pierce.
When we were finally released from the gridlock, we turned to the A1A State Road, which was just perfect: no congestion and no stop signs. We could smell a fresh ocean breeze and were enjoying ourselves so much that we really felt like following this road up to the State Road 404, but we had to turn towards Melbourne to get to Interstate 95.
Riding down I-95 until Street 100, we reached the largest Harley Davidson dealership. To our dismay by the time we reached it, it had already closed for the night. Still, we couldn’t leave just like that, so we literally fell to our knees and proclaimed our eternal love to the two-cylinder monsters we worship!
It was getting dark so we directed our iron horses towards the small tourist town of Palatka on the bank of the Saint John River. The place is famous for its “pirate” past. It was there that, centuries ago, pirates hiding from the British, Portuguese and Spanish fleets used to restock their supplies of food and water as well as hide their loot. Today the town is famous for its food. The local steaks are unbelievably good! Thanks to the developed infrastructure of tiny cozy motels, visitors get a perfect opportunity to rest and refresh before continuing on their road adventures. So that’s exactly what we did.
The next morning we visited the Tang memorial dedicated to the loss of the USS Tang (SS-306) and the 51 other World War II submarines with crews of 500 US Navy officers. We never had any idea that Palatka was the very place for the training camp of the Navy submarine men!
After a substantial breakfast we went on a cruise around the beautiful lakes of Central Florida and inspected the picturesque landscapes and ranchos.
While Route 19 is widely believed to be a motorcyclist’s paradise, we found Route 40 much more scenic. As we rode along we could see the green waves of the forestry and the blue waves of the local lakes. The real beauty, however, awaited us on Route 41 South which is famous with locals and bikers as a route with the best landscapes. Thousands of motorcyclists come to the area to enjoy the unforgettable views!
We managed to see all of the most interesting places before it got dark and continued on the road towards the Skyway Bridge. This bridge is really a must-see attraction. As we rode along the Sunshine-Skyway Bridge against the sunset, and our loudspeakers emitted the sounds of “Stairway to Heaven”, we experienced a perfect moment.
As it was getting darker we entered a roadside eatery dubbed “Cracker Barrel”. At first we felt a bit doubtful about the place but we soon changed our minds. The food was great, and the interior with its rocking chairs Sp the outside veranda and chessboard corners, made it feel like home. We couldn’t help but play a game of chess after supper.
After that diversion we climbed on our bikes again and headed south towards home sweet home.
We planned to avoid all the possible traffic problems, so we went along Road 72 through Arcadia town, where we took the opportunity to refill our gas tanks. We continued on our way along the US27 South 595 East and were home right in time for tea! While sipping fine English tea in the company of teammates, we shared our thoughts on the trip.
There are men who come just to get away from everything as soon as possible. It’s the opposite with us: we go away because we have something to get back to: our families and friends, people who share our hobbies and support all our endeavors! It makes us think that perhaps bikers are the last American cowboys, men for whom family, home and children are not just empty words.
See you again on the roads of America!