After taking some photos at the 0 mile marker sign and chatting with a former bike tourer we turn our route around and started the 125-mile trek out of the Keys back to Homestead. Riding until nearly dark we made it to Summerland key where we pitched the tent behind a coffee shop. We didn’t make it to our goal Big Pine Key, but we were only a few miles and a short ride away.
At the National Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center we got a marked map of all the common locations of reported Key Deer sightings. Biking into the island our eyes were peeled for the miniature deer, we saw some wildlife but no deer. Riding back to US-1 we took a back road through a neighborhood, were along the treeline of someones yard we spotted our first Key Deer buck!!
We would be remiss to pass the gorgeous Bahia Honda Key without stopping. Lunch was enjoyed with views of the gulf and the old Overseas Railroad Bridge. We rode north over land and bridge chasing the birds as we crossed the over the fishing bridge. Storm clouds were building as we stopped at Robbies Marina to see the Tarpon and we were given the advise and an unofficial blessing to setup camp under a pavilion behind the marina.
The storm passed in the night and we were grateful to be secured and out of the wind. In the light of day we re-explored the marina. We rode into Key Largo under the threat of rain and crossed the bridge to the mainland under a downpour, with wind blowing the rain sideways. Needing groceries we chose to ride into Homestead on US-1 versus Krome Ave. Dodging cars and riding a 6-inch shoulder was all the convincing we needed to get back into the rural area.