Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bahia Honda

Thanks to AT&T's Internet black out I get this opportunity to re-post an essay from November 2007. Bahia Honda is coming into it's own as a swimming destination once again now that it is May (2010!). This blog has been around for a while. There is a park in the Keys that sits astride deep water wedged between the new Highway One and the old Overseas Highway. It boasts what some people say is the Lower Keys' best beaches, a campground close to the noise of the Highway and some splendid views.
Last year, along with annual passes to the Tropic Cinema and the Red Barn Theater and my annual newspaper subscription, I also got a year round pass to Florida State Parks. During my lunch breaks I like to ride down to Fort Zachery, the true Southernmost Point and read by the waters of Key West Harbor. At home I like to take a 20 minute ride from time to time and spend a few hours wandering Bahia Honda. When my childhood buddy Giovanni came to visit, we took the motorcycles for a spin...to Bahia Honda.
It was perfectly sunny and warm enough in the direct sunlight to get Giovanni, a tourist like any other not used to Florida winters, into the spirit of the seaside. He loves to travel and take home pictures of places.
Bahia Honda is a sliver of land straddling the Overseas Highway at one of the most picturesque of Flagler's old railroad bridges. This particular structure was so solid engineers decided in the late 30's to run the roadbed atop the girders and the whole thing is still there though unused of course. It would be too cool to keep this, and the old seven mile bridge, open to slow, one way, tourist traffic with lots of parking and viewing spaces, but Florida is not a forward looking state, so the old structures are left to rot and they are rotting very very slowly, a testament to their builders' dedication. Everything is scary and dangerous to the State.

Too many people come to the Keys for the beaches, those long silky strands they would actually find around Fort Myers or Sarasota. It makes some visitors testy to find their expectations dashed, as though its the Keys' fault the tourists fail to do their research. For those of us who choose to live here, Bahia Honda ("deep bay" in Spanish) is a refuge of the first order.
I never used to come here because dogs aren't welcome on the beaches (Rangers make it clear they don't want dogs in the park. Period!) and when Emma was alive I preferred not to waste a minute away from her. That dilemma has resurfaced now I have Cheyenne in my life!

Blackout Continues

My weeklong Internet outage courtesy of AT&T means my blog will be stuck in replay mode. My apologies.
Normal Internet service has resumed at my house but I am out of town the next few days hopefully getting a new/old car to replace the tired out Nissan. I was unable to prepare any essays in advance so we will be doing repeats a few days until I get things organized again next week..