Awake at sunrise we found out quickly that our choice in camping location was not a wise one. Upon returning from the restrooms Amanda informed me that we needed to leave, NOW. The municipal grounds keeper was less than thrilled with our decision to pitch a tent at the park. Sandy and wet we started packing the tent away as quickly as we could, but it was no use.
Heading towards us was a second groundskeeper in his golf cart. A minute later he was scolding us for improper use of an “Athletic Facility”. The tent was nearly packed away by the time he made a ridiculous threat to call the police. [Sidenote: The DOJ weighed in on this very issue.] We were out of there quickly pedaling to the closest gas station to gather our thoughts and a badly needed cup of coffee.
“Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity — i.e., it must occur at some time in some place. If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless.”DOJ on Bell vs. Boise
Nearly outside the town limits of Stuart, we passed a fellow tourer heading the opposite direction. We stopped and quickly exchanged greetings, cards, hugs and stories. Chris Ayers had left Boston in December and made a heroic effort to arrive in warm, sunny Florida for the winter. In nearly 2,000 miles we were the first loaded tourers he has met on the road! We tipped him off about Paradise Farms and Ernest; he gave us a better route north.
A1A was rumored to be an amazing scenic highway along the Atlantic Coast and although parts of it were, much of it was walled off by the soulless for their own person enjoyment. All this despite the ongoing battle on who “owns the beach” Indian River Drive however was that idyllic route; Water on the east and small bungalows dotted on the west side.
Like all good things Indian River Drive came to an end and back on A1A we rode enjoying the bike lane and sunsets all the way to Melbourne, competing with rush hour cars for space on the limited shoulder. Crossing the bridge to Melbourne we were ‘encouraged’ to ride faster by a good ‘ole boys jacked pickup and train horn.