Lake Clear's intrepid cyclist Floyd Lampart arrived at a Key West, Fla., post office on Tuesday, the second of four post offices he plans to visit on his 12,000-mile trip around the lower 48 states.
"Things are going good," the 67-year-old said via phone from the post office. "I expected to be down here right at about this time, and that was right on cue. I don't know what the future is going to bring, but it's going to be a long haul before I can get to my next post office up in the state of Washington."
Floyd has pedaled 2,759 miles since leaving his home on April 4. His goal is to visit the most eastern, southern, western and northern post offices in the lower 48 states. He reached the first on April 11 in Lubec, Maine. Key West is the second.
Floyd Lampart, of Lake Clear, poses outside a Key West, Fla. post office Tuesday as part of his 12,000-mile bicycle trip he planned around the lower 48 states.
From there he plans to travel to San Diego, then up the West Coast to La Push, Wash., to visit the most western continental U.S. post office. Then he'll go to the northern-most post office in Angle Inlet, Minn., before heading home. He hopes to be back in the fall.
"It can be a little daunting to look at the big picture, so I look at it (as if I'm) building a boat," he said. "Today, I'm going to put this plank in. Tomorrow, I put another plank in. Pretty soon it starts looking like a boat."
Lampart seems to be enjoying himself. He said everything has gone pretty smoothly and he's met a lot of nice people.
For instance, he said, Monday evening he arrived at a campground after the nearby stores had closed. That left him without food.
Luckily for him, a family visiting from Switzerland found out about his predicament and invited him to dinner.
"So I went over with them and had a nice chicken Swiss kebab steak dinner with salad and bread and wine," Floyd said. "We had a nice evening of it."
Floyd is also getting acquainted with the south Florida wildlife.
"Down there, they have these iguanas," he said. "There are these free-ranging iguanas, anywhere from 4 inches to 2 or 3 feet long. You get some big lunkers. I was on a bike path yesterday, and there was one feeding along the side of the road. It was like a Komodo dragon. This thing was almost 2 feet long. It saw me at the last minute and went skittering off."
He's also encountered a lot of roosters in Key West, at least in the vicinity of the post office.
"You can hear them all over the place," Lampart said.
He was entertained by these exotic and farm animals, and is an animal lover himself. This trip is actually a fundraiser for two causes related to animals. He hopes to raise $20,000 for a sprinkler system at the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake, which houses dogs and cats, and $100,000 for a new veterinary clinic at the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.
He's already raised close to $10,000 for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society. People who want to make a pledge can visit the shelter's website (www.trilakeshumanesociety.petfinder.com) or contact his wife, Martha Lampart, at 518-891-0319 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/PedalForPawsBikeRideBestFriends.
Wednesday was Floyd's first day off during this journey, during which he's averaging about 75 to 100 miles per day. For this next leg, he plans to head to Fort Myers, Fla., and then make his way to Houston to visit his son, Carl. While there, he plans to have his bike serviced and tires changed.
"They've done very well. I've had no flats," Floyd said. "I haven't even added air to them, to tell you the truth. Over the last five weeks, they've done remarkably well."
So has his body.
"I feel good," he said. "I haven't had any medical issues. A few aches and pains in my knees but nothing more than I think would be expected for an old fart like me. A couple aspirin and it seems to be fine. No major issues. No pulls. Nothing like that. I think it's a healthy lifestyle."