March 8th - 10th
Arriving into Daytona Beach via I95 southbound.
On the beach near Main Street the sea gulls are also enjoying the weather.
Looking through our windshield down Main Street as we inched our way!
Some scenic views on the beach near Ormond Beach.
The shuttle on display in front of the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame Museum
Although John always wants to get an early start on the road, we've been making a habit of 1000 instead of 0900. Maybe with practice we'll be able to get better at the early start thing. After breakfast (oatmeal, raisins and cinnamon) we were off to Daytona Beach with a full tank of fuel and a clean truck. The weather was great! Sunny and warm!
The road south was I95 (I295 around Jacksonville) until we hit construction and a massive traffic jam. John jumped off at an exit and headed west to US1 which was a much faster way to go. We had heard some truckers talking on the CB and simply fell in behind some of them. When we hit St. Augustine, we got back onto I95 and took it to Daytona Beach. On the way, we had to stop at a rest area for Sissy to satisfy her ice cream craving.
Sissy used the cell phone to call our campground (Cape Kennedy KOA) to ensure we had a place to stay. As you know, we are not making reservations anywhere because we could change our plans at the last minute. Whelp, they had one site left and we took it. Bikers, bikers and more bikers were everywhere. We fit right in! We weren't able to get one of those pull thru sites and John did an average job of backing the rig into the tight quarters.
After setting up camp and taking the bike out, we took a few pics and off we went toward New Smyrna Beach. What a beautiful ride that was with Orange groves on both sides of the highway. We didn't ride too much this afternoon, but we did gas the HOG for the trip to Daytona Beach in the morning.
Our neighbors at the campground (Marc and Debbie) were extremely nice and were helpful with directions regarding the best roads to take in and around Daytona Beach. They had spent the last two weeks here riding their black 2001 Ultra Classic to and from, and were very experienced with the traffic.
Saturday morning Sissy ate breakfast (cereal with milk) and we both took showers in the trailer for the first time. We didn't get up early enough to beat the crowds at the campground, but the trailer showers were pretty nice. We may do that more often now that we know how to work the thing. As usual, we hit the road about 1000 to take the bike to Daytona Beach. We headed north on US1 until we reached Port Orange and then it was over the bridge to A1A and north again to Daytona Beach (as per Mark's instructions). The closer we got, the more bikers were encountered. When traffic came to a crawl, we jumped onto the beach and road it down to just south of Main Street.
We had been to Daytona Beach during BikertOberfest before, and John had been to Bike Week before so we knew exactly where to go. Through the side streets we went to Main Street and then parking at a small lot off an alley nearby. We always park at this same spot because it is sponsored by the Police Department and the proceeds go to help out the Daytona Beach Little League.
We spent the entire day on the bike in and around Daytona Beach. Sissy's back got sun burned, but John was smart enough to put sun block on before heading out. Beautiful bikes and people were everywhere. There's one thing about Bike Week; people come in all shapes and sizes. We saw fat ones, skinny ones, ugly ones, pretty ones, clothed ones and not so clothed ones. John likes the latter ones.
In the town and traffic the heat was getting to us so we rode on the beach again from Main Street to Ormond Beach before getting off and stopping by Larry's Big Subs (small deli style restaurant in Ormond Beach) for lunch. There was a cool breeze off the ocean as we rode the hard sand taking pics all along the way. After lunch, it was to the speedway for some sites, but the lot was full and we had to bypass it. Just think, Daytona Beach Speedway was FULL! Again, there were bikers, bikers and more bikers everywhere. We heard the estimates of 600,000 to just under a million from several different people, and we believe it. They were everywhere!
The next morning (Sunday) we decided to stay an extra day and tour the Kennedy Space Center just a short distance to the south from our campground. We skipped breakfast and headed out the door early. Arriving at the gate about 5 minutes before opening time, we were one of the first tour parties to begin.
The Space Center was nice and interesting, but not worth the $26.00 each entry fee. They cancelled one of the tour sites (1 of 3) due to the 9/11 incident and security, but failed to tell anyone about that until the fee was paid and the bus was loaded. Go figure. Well, after a couple hours of riding around in a bus and about 20 minutes looking at the displays, we headed out the gate.
Cocoa Beach was next on the agenda and an afternoon on the beach. We stopped by the local Winn Dixie to purchase some food and drink, and then headed to the beach at a park just north of Patrick Air Force Base. While we were parking, 2 B-1 Bombers were practicing touch and go landings, and that was really neat. They would take off and immediately turn 90 degrees to put their wings into the moon/earth direction.
The beach was warm but windy. We had a great time just relaxing and watching the sites; birds and women, women and birds and more women. Yup, there were regular surfers and windsurfers out and about also. This was one place the bikers were not.
Back to the campground we went after a little burn, for dinner, some chat with the neighbors Ron and Diane (from Michigan), John falling off the picnic table backwards onto his back (don't ask), Sissy closing the refrigerator door on her fingers (again, don't ask) and some catching up with the web site (what you're reading right now). Tomorrow morning will come awful soon after a full day in the salt air and sun.
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