Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Long Beach Road, BPK

This a winding road a couple of miles long that finds it's way through a sub division rarely noticed I am sure by people driving rapidly by on Highway One. The turn off is to the south at the northern tip of Big Pine Key (abbreviated locally to BPK). It curves for a couple of miles through the inevitable mangroves:
I am getting a yen to explore New England, a corner of the US I have never visited and until I get to do that these mild corners will have to do.
No good thing lasts forever:
And that red diamond shaped sign indicates you are out of public roadway altogether. This area got a bunch of signs thrown up by a property owner indicating Armageddon awaits any who are incautious enough to penetrate the swamp. I used to walk my Labrador here but she went to her reward and nowadays I have no incentive to cross the line. The occupants of an SUV parked nearby were apparently enjoying the wilderness judging by their laughter. I got back to riding.
The small brown blob up the road is a Key Deer fawn, so if you are going to come down Long Beach Road to enjoy some twisties you might want to consider that you could get into a mainland style crash (just like New England) and go arse over tip. This one isn't so bad, bad enough I'm sure but it's mother was just out of sight in the bushes and she was big enough to kill an incautious rider.
People who live in these suburbs like to be left alone.
I wondered if this might be Afrikaans, but happily they translated it into the world's language for us kaffirs who haven't learned God's tongue. I liked the pineapple, a symbol of hospitality and welcome in the Keys, normally. Perhaps here it was offered as garnish:A long driveway like this gives lots of room to pick off intruders and plenty of time to fire up the barbecue to roast the impudent trespassers.The Deer Run Bed and Breakfast across the way has a rather less apocalyptic greeting:This neighborhood includes some older homes, cement structures with an air of having been around a while. The newer homes are BIG with lots of dinky little windows that make hurricane shuttering much too complex for a simple man like me.
I'm not sure how far the Conch Republic extends. I'd guess the Seven Mile bridge would be a suitable limit, but in pursuit of the tourist dollar people in the Upper Keys have organized their own Northern territory which puts them at odds with the Key Wester who claims the rights to the state of mind. The flag flies all over the place, and very pretty it is too.
If woody lanes and corkscrew country roads are to your taste the Keys probably don't hack it. I read of the impending arrival of Fall (Autumn) in the Far North and i rejoice that I live where winter is just like summer only cooler and drier. I used to dread the onset of winter when I lived in cold wet California.
Winter also has the side effect of bringing back lots of people who are currently elsewhere. These people rely on a chain to carry a message and spare us the ugly, superfluous signage.So there aren't any hills and yellow leaves to speak of, but that doesn't mean it's ugly around here:
And the ocean beckons:
Some people feel it's best to crane their necks to get an ocean glimpse:

These are the homes that enjoy Mediterranean architecture, delightful I'm sure but terra cotta tiles on the roof make no sense in hurricane country. Still, living in the keys isn't necessarily all about good sense. If it was they'd have built the roads crooked so we riders could have enjoyed them properly- year round.