We looked dubiously at the arches of the old Flagler Bridge and decided that rather than messing with the Bimini shade and taking it down to increase clearance, we had gone quite far enough up Bow Channel.
This was our destination, the Sugarloaf Kampground of America
Family fun in the sun, and this sort of camping will continue all winter long, with considerably more people in place. They are tough Keys visitors, for they swim in winter.
It was a perfect day on the water, a bit windy perhaps for open water swimming for wussies like us, but boats on the water seemed to be looking good from ashore.
A boat with no sun canopy could fit through the narrow arches...
...with no modification. Though running a bridge at higher than no-wake speed is neither legal nor sensible. It's where people wreck because they can't see.
The homes of Cudjoe Gardens look better from the water than they do from the street.
This is the Florida that dreams were made of when the middle class was permitted to dream.
I grew up in large homes, not on the water like these but they frazzled my mother no end with all the cleaning so I got an aversion to large. Besides which I am just a government servant so 800 square feet is plenty for me, especially after living on a boat.
Homes for me are like motorcycles. I look at big fast rides and wonder how often I'd have to change the tires and brake pads and how much gas it would guzzle and how many tickets I'd get. The smaller the motorbike the more I get to ride for the money. "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fastly than a fast bike slowly," is my adopted motto, especially where speed is relative. The same for homes, a modest little shack in a nice climate is excellent.
I look at these massive homes and instead of awe at their size I wonder how even ambitious successful people cope with the complexity and upkeep. And most of them are only used a few weeks in the year.
And with those and a few more reflections about a good boat, fine weather and decent company, Chuck, wearing his boating hat as Captain Crabmore drove us away from one paradise to another.
One last look back...
... Where we ordinary mortals get the pleasure of the view with none of the headaches of ownership of a slice of the American Dream. It is humble but mine own, my 800 square foot fish camp, on a canal far, far away.
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