Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Riding Home

How many times do I ride past Mile Marker 20 and not spare a thought for the vegetable tempura platters eaten under the stars on the patio here? So for once I stopped on my headlong flight home after a night at work, and took a picture. This is one of those times of the year as we approach the summer solstice when my ride home gets well illuminated before I reach my house. The sun beats me to it and the sky is turning from gray to blue and clouds, summer clouds, get tinged with pink.
If ever one doubted that electricty powers the Keys all one has to do is check the power lines inflicted in every panoramic picture. My photos are not photo-shopped, this is a diary, not artwork.The moon is past full but still able to compete with the sun at dawn. Henry Flagler's old bridges are hundred of years old and the cement arches are as strong as ever and completely ignored unless the bridge has been turned into a fishing pier.The big white pipe alongside the new bridge transports water from the depleted South Florida Aquifer to Key West.These pictures are of Kemp Channel after the man who got the turtle named for him who is buried in Key West cemetery. Kemp's Ridley is it's English name and what Ridley has to do with it no one knows. True story. This picture looks east at Summerland Key.There is a bit of a tide flowing which is revealed by the ripples on the water.Looking west at Cudjoe Key. This picture would be perfect with a few large lumps of tar and an oily sheen on the water. Give it time...Mangrove islands floating past my commute.
New bridge (1982), water pipe, Flagler Bridge (1911), clouds (2010).The light by 6:30am is almost fully day. To me this is the dangerous time to be on the road if you have any passing ambitions. There are many drivers, stupid people, especially in dark colored cars who think that because they can see out that they are visible on the darkened road even without their lights on. Turning their lights on in the half light would be too sensible. I have a dread of passing and slamming head on into the Grim Reeper lurking around a darkened car.Now you know this is a pretty road, because it has a Federal label. The next channel north along the highway is Niles Channel and separates Summerland from Ramrod Keys. The forty foot bridge gives great views across the Flagler Bridge and south to the open water.
My home is down there in the mangroves on a canal somewhere. Cheyenne is lying there by her dog door wondering why I'm not home already. My wife says she is waiting for the sound of the motorcycle by 6:30 each morning. This day, thanks to picture taking, I'm late.
This is the view north from the bridge, where I will be walking Cheyenne in about ten minutes.My wife is upstairs sawing logs. Cheyenne is ready to get in the car and go smell a mangrove.

The last two hours at work are usually quieter as the bars have closed on Duval Street and officers are report writing and we dispatchers are ready to get out of our chairs and go home. I like my commute, I enjoy the views and I look forward to sliding between the sheets and sawing up my own logs. But getting this sort of greeting beats it all. Work is truly done for the day when her nose is in my face.