I was the only one who asked to ride the extra miles to the ride start this morning, and afterwards a few of the others said they were kicking themselves for not riding with me. I am so happy that I did the riding because the rest of the day was chopped up with stops and ended up being about 18 miles which would not have been enough for me.
When I got on the main road to Sanibel I found my self on a 55 mph route with no shoulder and barely a white line. The traffic came in spurts, but when it came it was not good, and the drivers were not happy with me on their road (I could tell by the horn honking). In not too long I saw a cyclist on the other side of the road who appeared to be on a bike trail. From my angle I could not see the trail, just the cyclist. At the earliest possibility I crossed over to the trail which took me a ways and crossed me back over the road where there was a good wide shoulder for biking. I followed the separate bike land through the toll gate (no toll for bikes) and onto the bridge. Our leader really should have told me about that bike lane and the 55 mph road.
The bridge looks a lot worse that it is -- biking it was simply gradual and not difficult. See that wide shoulder for biking.
As I came down the bridge I stopped to watch a dolphin playing in the water below. Dolphins are my favorite animal and I pretended s/he was putting on a show just for me. I tried hard to get a photo but all I got were a ton of pictures of the water. My eyes were my camera for the show. I took a photo of another pelican instead!
Once over the bridge and after the dolphin show I was on the causeway to the island. I stopped where I thought the van might be meeting the group, but it was way too early to wait so I continued on to the island, rode around a little and waited on a bench for them to arrive.
Once the gang was all there we made our way to our lunch stop. I have "connected" with Tom and Marlene and we seem to end up in the same place at the same time quite often. Tom reminds me of Uncle Bill Scutter -- his accent, (they are from North Carolina and have a similar draw to Uncle Bill) his round face, his outgoing nature, his extreme friendliness, and his need to laugh!
Sorry the alligator photo is sideways but I don't have time this morning to figure out how to change that -- gotta leave for breakfast and luggage pick up soon. That's Dorothy riding on the rough surface road in the Ding Darling (I was pleasantly surprised to find that the road was not dirt and gravel as it sounded like when our leader told us about it), and that is a Little Blue Heron at the water's edge.
We arrived at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island a little too late to enjoy much of the ammenities that the plush resort has to offer. There are 248 acres that the resort is built on and around. The villas are numerous and our room is more like an apartment than a room. I will post pictures later as I am running out of time this morning. I don't want my luggage to be left behind!!!!