Tag Archives: Florida Keys

The Other Keys


Here’s the little key deer. That palm was only about 3 feet tall, so the deer is tiny. When full grown, they only weigh between 50 and 70 pounds and are about 2 feet tall at the shoulder.



A close up of the picture below.


Another view of that missing span in the abandoned bridge. You can see the road in use on the right.


Bahia State Park was really pretty.



There’s the Overseas Highway (i.e. U.S. 1) in the background.



Here’s an example of a missing span on the abandoned bridge. You can see the pedestrians on the part that hooks to the island.





The beach was beautiful, but TONS of seaweed. You can kind of see the green water here.



Here’s me in my sun sleeves walking in the shallow water. It got to just over my knee before I got to the sand bar. You can see the sandbar behind me.


Bob zoomed in. I’m standing on the sand bar.


Me on the sand bar waaaaay out there. You can see the guy closer in is in water to his waist.


The water was a pretty green color. I wish my camera caught it better.


I took this from the pedestrian bridge. You can see the roadway on the far left, where it hits the island in the distance, and how it veers right over the next bridge and on to the next island.


Another view of the Overseas Highway. I took this from the pedestrian bridge.


This is the end of the pedestrian bridge. In the distance you can see the hump in the bridge which is where we were when I took the earlier picture. This is also where the powerlines cross the road and the poles move from the gulf side to the ocean side of the road.


Can a contrail cast a shadow? We weren’t sure what we were seeing. Any ideas?



Here’s Bob with part of the Overseas Highway behind him.


This guy was huge—easily 3 feet long.


See what I mean about shallow water? I took this from the pedestrian bridge. We could easily see the plants waiving with the current.


Here I’m standing on the pedestrian bridge. This is a picture of the actual roadway. I think that pipe is the source of fresh water for Key West. It takes 6 days for the water to make it from the mainland to Key West.



I snapped this pic as we drove by. Its an example of how the abandoned bridge that runs parallel to the Overseas Highway is falling apart. Here, a tree is actually growing out of the concrete.


Another exampel of the abandoned bridge. Here, birds have made themselves at home. This section of the bridge is inaccessible because sections on either side are missing.


See? The power lines are really annoying. Also, the water is a bright green color. Here it looks more blue, but it is not even remotely blue. Its pure green.


The water between the Keys is pretty shallow. Where we walked the bridges we could almost always see the bottom. The brown spots in the distance are even more shallow spots. Dang power lines!


I took this from the crest of the hill on the Seven Mile Bridge. You can see the abandoned bridge on the right.

The Other Keys

3225 miles traveled.

Today we explored the other keys.  We started by driving to mile marker 78 (78 miles from Key West) to Robbie’s Marina where we hoped to get a tour of Indian Key.  No such luck, the winds were too strong and the tours were canceled (It was mid 70s but with sustained 20 mph winds).  I wanted to see Indian Key because it has the ruins of a 19th century town.  It was a thriving place in 1840 when Seminole Indians attacked and killed everyone who didn’t flee.  It’s been deserted ever since.

Instead, we drove to the Seven Mile Bridge and walked along the pedestrian bridge as far as we could go.  I have to say, almost the entire length of the Overseas Highway that is over water, there are abandoned bridges running along right next to it.  Some of the abandoned bridges look fine, in other places they look like they are about to collapse.  I have lots of pictures of this here.
In many places the abandoned bridges are open to foot traffic and people stroll along them or fish.  However, they aren’t open all the way.  Before too long, there will be barricades and the next section of the bridge will be missing.  It’s kind of creepy to see a huge bridge with a section missing right out of the middle.  I have pictures of that, too.

The Oversea Highway also has power lines running along it. I have to say, the power lines are annoying because they get in the way of pictures.  I don’t know how they filmed the movie True Lies without interference from the power lines.
After the bridge, we spent some time on the beach at Bahia State Park.  The beach was long, white, and soft, but it was also full of dried seaweed.  The water was warm and it was shallow (knee deep or less) for 20 or 30 yards from the shore.  It was wonderful for walking and playing.  I really loved it.

Finally, we stopped on Big Pine Key to find the Key Deer that live there.  They are very small—about the size of a 50 pound dog—and they are a subspecies of white tail deer.  We saw two of them and they were little.  The first ran across the road in front of us and its shoulders weren’t even as high as the front of the car.  The second one was maybe 1½ feet at the shoulder.  It was standing under a palm that was only 2 feet high.  I have picture here.

I’m excited about tomorrow.  We’re going to the most inaccessible national park in the United States:  The Dry Tortugas.  Stay tuned!

Driving through Florida

3,070 miles, so far.

The last couple of days have been all about the driving.  I thought Texas took forever to drive through—the length of Florida felt just as long.  I wish there was more to see from the interstate, but they kind of all look the same.  Trees, some crops, grass, maybe some wild flowers.  To see any of America, you have to get off the interstate.  Since we were more interested in getting from point A to point B, we didn’t.

We stopped Sunday night in Naples, Florida, and did the laundry.  We didn’t get around to dinner until nearly 9 pm.  Luckily, the Bob Evans was still open.  Don’t laugh—Bob Evans is our favorite place to stop on the road.  It has really good beef vegetable soup and we love the bread—whether they have cherry, banana, or blueberry.

On Monday, we were back on the road and headed for Key West.  It was a beautiful drive, but nothing like the road portrayed in the movie True Lies.  The road and bridges are narrow with only one lane going each way.  That means the driving is a little stressful.  This is especially true since the traffic is nearly bumper to bumper and the speed varies often from 35 to 45 to 55 and back again.  Despite that, it is really beautiful.  The water is a unique, deep aqua color.  I’ll get pictures for you soon.

We finally arrived at the hotel late Monday afternoon.  We spent a couple hours by the pool just relaxing and we had dinner at the hotel.  We’re looking forward to exploring Key West over the next several days.