Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Hanging Out

Well, I survived the first week in Key West. Mainly just hung around the place I am staying at, lots of walking around the town, watching sunsets and getting to know the locals. As you can tell from the pictures, the sunsets are amazing.

Key West is an interesting place, full of tourists, especially this weekend with the annual Jimmy Buffet Parrothead meeting going on. The locals are very friendly and have as you can imagine a very laid back approach to life. At the same time, they all seem to work multiple jobs to be able to afford to live here. Plenty of local musicans and artists. Then there are the chickens, they seem to be everywhere in certain parts of the city!

The city has a wild past going back to the 1820s when Florida first became part of the U.S. Over the years it has been a haven for pirates and ship wreck crews, sponge harvesting, cigar manufacturing and tourism. It has always had a bit of a wild west feel to it, similar to the rest of Florida as I have discovered from traveling throughout the state.

Continue to summarize my trip--Went through 8 National Parks, 5 National Monuments, 1 National Preserve and 4 National Historical Parks as well as countless state parks, National Battlegrounds, and other recreational areas. We truly have an awesome scenic country and a treasure chest of sites that have been set aside for the enjoyment of all!!!!!

Next week, I have family and friends from Sandpoint visiting. After 6 months of being away it will be good to see some familiar faces and get caught up. Until then, all the best.

Have a great weekend. Off to see the Halloween costumes!!!!!


At November 1, 2008 5:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mel,
Congrats on your entire journey.
I have enjoyed reading your blog, learning about new places and bringing back memories of places I have been. Thank you for all your efforts to raise money for the Panhandle Alliance for Education.
I have a few questions that I may have missed you mentioning before.
Did you stay in motels along the way or camp or stay with people you met along the way (in addition to your friends and family)?
And, how much does a trip like you have just accomplished cost? (So if anyone is inspired to follow your bike treads they have an idea!)
Once again Thank you!
Trish in Sandpoint

At November 2, 2008 8:26 AM , Blogger melvin said...

I camped, stayed in cheap motels, stayed with friends and family along the way and occasionally with people that I met on the trip. In terms of camping, I most of it during the first couple of months and never really intended to camp out on a daily basis. I did met a number of people who were camping out daily. There is also an organization, named that people join and will offer their homes for showers and lodging. Overall, I probably camped, stayed with friends and family or others about one third of the time and stayed in motels the remainder.

The cost of the trip included food and drink(while I camped some, I did not have cooking equipment with me), bicycle maintenance and repair, lodging and sightseeing and other tourist type stuff. I would guess my costs ranged from $30 a day to over $200 a day depending upon what I did and where I stayed. For example, I treated myself to a number of nights at really great bed and breakfasts in the New England area because they had so much history associated with them and the trip was as much about history to me as anything. Additionally full service campgrounds (showers, laundry, convenience stores, etc.) can charge $25+. I did meet a number of people who would camp in church yards, public parks, etc.

I funded the entire cost of the trip on my own as I really saw it as a once in a life time way to decompress from 35 years of working in the corporate world, have some time to myself and really enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of America. 100% of all funds donated to Panhandle Alliance for Education will go to support the Ready! program and I thank everyone for their support of the cause. It is a wonderful investment in the future of our kids as well as ourselves.

At November 3, 2008 8:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mel - I read in the Canistota Clipper that you had completed your trip already. I couldn't believe it. Congratulations! I've read several of your postings and enjoyed them immensely.

Ray T.


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