I’m happy that John is driving me over the Bay. Too much traffic and a large urban area are no fun by bike. We had to get up early since I wanted to avoid the heat (over 90° F again):
We made it over the Skyway Bridge which is an engineering masterpiece:
John dropped me in Bradenton and I was on my way. Bradenton and Sarasota is another urban area and I was happy after quite some miles to take the Legacy Trail from Sarasota to Venice:
The old railway station in Venice still exists:
It was getting hot and humid again and I was happy after another 20 miles to take a right to the Gasparilla Island causeway. After paying toll ($ 3.00 for bicycles) I was only two miles away from target.
Finally I was close to the Gulf of Mexico with splendid views:
Gasparilla Island and Port Boca Grande were important from 1885 to the mid 1970s due to the finding of Phosphate Rock at the Peace River just above Punta Gorda East of Gasparilla. It was this discovery that turned the south end of Gasparilla Island into a major deep water port (Boca Grande Pass is one of the deepest natural water inlets in FL). At the peak, Port Boca Grande was the fourth busiest port in FL. Today Boca Grande is home for many wealthy people with vacation residences.
About 90 minutes after my arrival, Carole made it too. It has been quite a while since I have last seen her and I was really happy to see her. We were having lunch and were checking out the charming town of Boca Grand including the two lighthouses:
Tomorrow Jim Cash will pick me up at the Boca Grande Marina and will set me over to Captiva. It is hard to believe but it will be my LAST day on this trip. I’m looking forward to complete it and I hope that the good weather streak will hold for one last day. Cross your fingers.