Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dawn's Early Light

I have always made it a habit to walk Cheyenne at least a little when I get home from work. The ride home generally gives me a boost after twelve hours of taking 9-1-1 calls and talking to police officers on the radio and I expend the energy on my dog. These days it's getting progressively hotter after the sun comes up so I am spending more time walking her while it is still cool and pleasant outside.It's frustrating but the oil burning kennel runs just fine, everything works except the odd puff of white smoke indicates problems under the hood. While we figure out how to replace the Maxima I continue to use it as a kennel and Cheyenne is duly appreciative.Cheyenne is a born explorer and I cannot imagine how frustrating her former life must have been. I am pretty sure she was not encouraged to dive into mangroves at will, as I rarely see any other dog owners behaving in this laissez faire manner, allowing their pets free rein.North Ramrod Key is five minutes from my house where there is a failed development ideal for lonely dawn walks. Mako becomes Johnson Street which leads to Ramrod Park, known as the Ramrod Pool. These mangroves, shown below, go under water in rainy season, but God forbid anyone restrain themselves from disfiguring the landscape with silly signs. Might as well warn off any potential trespassers, even ones equipped with waders.
I guess everything is owned by someone but it's not like there's anything to steal here except a glance at the rising sun.
I don't take the time to change in the morning when I get home, Cheyenne's impatience to go walking is palpable, but I still feel rather silly walking the woods dressed like this.
Not half as silly as the half wit who dropped off this wrapper. Considering the nearest Checkers Hamburger joint is in Key West 27 miles away it took some effort to haul this disfigurement this far to dump it under a private property sign.If you look at Google map this path is marked as a street, as though development were imminent. It's not.It is instead a rural spot filled with things to smell.There are a couple of houses out here and I have met at least one occupant. That's me walking my dog in my work clothes. Long pants, Kevlar lined to ride the motorcycle, designed like dress pants so I can wear them at work. They call them sliders because that's what they are supposed to do when you fall off the motorbike. They slide, you don't get torn up. I've met Jack and his rescue greyhounds walking these same paths but I haven't seen him the past few days. He really likes living out here in splendid isolation. Sunrise: plotted and expected but always magical.
Commercial fishermen. I used to crave living at anchor like this and then I did it for a while. I think I am growing old because when I see people "on the hook" all I remember are the inconveniences.
Road ends, more or less. The track out to the Ramrod Pool was getting so bad the county actually trucked in some gravel and made the roadway quite usable. Amazing how they find the money in these difficult times.It's a rather bare bones "park" and don't expect anyone to berate you if you bring alcohol to this spot. I usually bring a swimsuit but I am the exception in that I don't care to drink when I swim.
I also tend to clean up after my dog. Amazingly enough there is a trash can out here, emptied regularly by a county employee. The place is actually quite clean, on the whole.
People come out here and it is a well known dog swimming place so Cheyenne has lots to smell. She hates the water and I don't encourage her to learn to swim as she is much easier to keep clean when she isn't wet with salt water...
There is a community of people that hang out here and drink and set the world to rights with very loud music. I like the pool at this hour when it's just me and my busy dog.
The views west towards Summerland Key and the tall Niles Channel Bridge are magnificent.
The pause that refreshes. What are you doing at 7am on a weekday? Harried and hassled are you getting ready to go to work? I really enjoy working nights and no one believes me.
It's the start of a new day's work on the sea for the Old Man and his fishing boat. He picked up a crew member who parked his truck on the other side of the pool.
And after waving cheerfully to me as they putted by, they left to see what the day would bring.The county has also spent money to block off trails to motor traffic all around the Lower Keys with these bright yellow barriers. The gap is for pedestrians and bicycles. Cheyenne is walking on the by pass created by assholes in trucks who need to drive absolutely everywhere...
...and save ten bucks by not using the dump at Cudjoe Key.
I am going to miss my V-6 Maxima, but my wife says, very sensibly, if oil production is going to peak in two years or less we need to go economical with a four cylinder sedan to replace it. It is our comfortable long distance car and we need a sound replacement. I hate buying cars.
Cheyenne won't know the difference, she'll still have a bed to nap in after her exertions.
Sleep, tired Nature's sweet restorer. The face of a chauffeur who is thinking of his bed.
It is altogether too bright at 7:40 in the morning and all sensible people should be composing themselves for sleep.