Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The End of the Road

It was decided upon on last Thursday that Jeff needed new shoes...something he liked, something comfy, and something that he wouldn't fall and bust his ass in.

I had a coupon for a sandal store in Big Pine so we set off across the 7-mile bridge and beyond.

The shoe shopping was quite successful.
He picked out a pair of new flops to replace the ones lost in the muck at Molasses Key and a pair of Columbia moccasins with special grip technology.
But maybe now his shoes won't make him fall down.
I guess this post could have been called, "Baby's Got New Shoes," but our day wasn't over yet.

So with our main task completed, we set off to do a bit of exploring.
Instead of taking the left that would take us home, we took a right and ended up in the parking lot of the Looe Key Tiki Bar...someplace we've always wanted to go. But since the biggest reason we wanted to go to the Tiki bar was for some of it's renowned live music and there wasn't anything happening this early in the afternoon, we decided to forgo the bar tab and drive through the residential area surrounding New Found Harbor instead.

I think we are like most people who come to the Florida Keys in that we very rarely stray from US 1. For the most part, everything is on US 1 and a good part of the 120-mile stretch is hardly wider that the road itself with water visible as far as the eye can see on both sides. But there are the occasional roads that meander off to one side or the other. After exhausting the navigable choices on Ramrod Key, we wandered back up the road to the Torch Keys and took a left. Here we found close to 10 miles of mostly uninhabited "back road." At some point even the power lines stopped, indicating that if anyone did live this far off the main road, they were doing it without water and least in the traditional utility company sense.

So what did we find at the end of this road?

There was an encampment of sorts..inhabited or not is anybody's guess...made up of several dilapidated buildings, rusting vehicles of all ilks and sizes, and a very funny street sign...

And beyond that was literally the end of the road.

I stopped the car and we got out for a few minutes just to have a look around and a photo op.

We quickly discovered we were the only warm-blooded, carbon dioxide-exhaling, mosquito bait for several square miles as we were descended upon by a swarm of vicious, blood-sucking, Dengue fever-carrying beasts.

We hightailed it out of there...and back to US 1.
That was enough exploring for one day.