Key West "Trial Run" - Off we go!

Trip Start May 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Leo's Campground

Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, May 22, 2008

In preparation for our trial run to Key West, we cleaned the Eagle inside and out which took 2 days. We are happy to report that everything worked properly, once we figured out how turn stuff on. We then had to fit it out with things we would need, bedding, cookware etc.

The tyres on the Eagle had plenty of tread but were old so we decided not to risk and blow out and get 4 new tyres (the dealer had put new tyres on the Truck as part of the deal). Two things happened on the way to the local RV centre, first I discovered I could not see around the Eagle from the Beast... that cost us $80 for wing mirror extensions and secondly, much more disturbing the Eagle's brakes did not work!!! Scary enough in flat Florida, but 8000lbs worth of camper pushing us down a mountain road would probably cut our trip short.......

So 2 days and $2000 later we were road ready.... Ouch!!

On the day of departure we left at "0 dark 30" much to Brent's horror, for the 8 hours drive to Key West. 130 miles of it would be on the famous overseas highway originally built as a railway link to Key West in 1912, after hurricane damage in 1935 the State of Florida decided that it would make it a 2 lane highway. So the perfect chance for us to create a 100 mile long traffic jam behind a bloody caravan!! Actually the Beast does really well and pulls the Eagle with ease over 75mph (wait until we get to mountains!!)

We made it to Leo's Campground incident free and began our first "set up" which all went well. It was hot as hell in Key West and the A/C worked great - THANK GOD - and we ARE SO HAPPY WE OPTED FOR A/C we can't even tell you...the tent is DEAD AND BURIED!

Key West is pretty small, so camping options are pretty limited and even more so with water & electric hookups. After some research, we decided to try Leo's Campground It was cheaper than anywhere else (but still $50/night) and within walking distance to downtown. It had about 20 RV spots and some tent camping spots on a little creek. After our first trip downtown, we decided to rent bikes since parking the "Beast" was next to has the turning radius of the QM2 and doesn't even fit in a regular parking space! Bikes it was....

Our friends Kelly and Hung were coming to join us for the weekend, so we decided to go check out the island and hit some bars in preparation for their arrival.

Key West is famous for it's carefree and liberal attitude, but it also has allot of unique and colorful history. The island is very pretty, with clear turquoise water and awesome houses and architecture. The place is really laid back and you can run across a drag queen on a bicycle next to the biggest, meanest looking Harley Biker you ever saw.

We decided it would be "fun" to circle the island on our first bike outing, so we ventured out and took off to our left....and almost killed ourselves by the time we got back to the Beast! IT WAS FREAKING HOT! Did we tell you how much like our air conditioning?!?  We stopped for some lunch at the famous Hogs Breath Saloon and later that night we checked out the "wilder" bar scene and took in a couple of hilarious drag shows at 801 Bourbon Street and the Bourbon Street Pub...we had a blast getting drunk and watching the shows. We also went to Sloppy Joe's to find a place for Kelly to dance all night to live 80's rock and roll.

Kelly and Hung joined us on Friday night where we proceeded to try to kill Kelly with multiple bike riding incidents (thunderstorms, heat waves, 10 mile rides, etc.) and making her dance to Bon Jovi and Cheap Trick at Sloppy Joe's She really WAS ready to kill us all after making her bike the entire island! We also went snorkeling for an afternoon.

So, after putting the Eagle through it's paces with four very drunk (and hot) people all weekend, we hadn't had any problems at all - everything worked great. Until... I was woken up at 0432 by a drip in the eyeball from the bedroom speaker. Upon figuring out that I was actually alive and it wasn't a dream, I discovered we were in the midst of a hellatious torrential downpour and it was rain that was actually dripping in my face. NICE! So, first thing upon getting back to Cocoa Beach was to buy some roof sealer and stop that little problem!

Key West was a blast and a good trial run for us. We had to make sure we wouldn't kill each other living in a little box the size of our former bathroom, and it seems that it's not such a little box that we can't think what would have happened if we had really gone "tent camping".
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