Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mile Marker 80

Looking back at our recent and rather fun RV trip I dug up some pictures of a dog stop on Matecumbe Key.

There is a little pull out on the Gulf side of the Overseas Highway. It's equipped with green cement picnic tables and massive gumbo limbo trees for shade.

And from time to time, dogs.

So much so, the dogs have their own facilities.

These pictures were actually inspired by this extraordinary gate across the street.

Chuck said this compound below put him in mind of something far more exotic than simple Keys architecture. A distant hacienda of some sort no doubt.

Like so much of the Upper Keys, salt water appears within reach but not really. People like their access inaccessible around here.

Time to go home, perhaps an hour and a half away.

At first it looked like the exit was blocked to the south and no amount of backing was going to get the RV out whence it came, but it was just a narrow gap in roadworks to be resumed later.

On the road again, lounging in our Lazy Armchairs watching the sun go down.

It wasn't a bad sunset as these things go.

What an extraordinary way to travel through the Keys.

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Bay Point

It is said that a good parking space for a Floridian is a shady parking spot. It's a sentiment with which I heartily agree.

I like the triangle of green behind Baby's Coffee for occasional dog walking and the water glimpses are an added pleasure for me.

The restaurant called Knuckleheads that came and went in a winter several years ago left behind a nice building. It's complete with a generator and now it has clean grounds and plants in pots.

I'm not at all clear where the customer base is for a large operation here, half way between Big Pine and Key West, and that's probably one more reason why I don't run a restaurant, the lack of vision thing.

These Harleys stopped at the coffee place and set out for Key West looking good, if understaffed, please note.

Cheyenne through all this was busy grazing the superb lawn in the park.

I started groveling to see if I could get a better angle.

And wasn't I surprised when I got up from groveling to find two dogs bearing down on us. " Is your dog friendly?" she asked. Huh? "I have yet to find an aggressive Labrador" I said when I had recovered from my astonishment at the question.

You'd think dog people might get a clue from a dog that is standing in a field grazing and happily minding her own business. Pooh Bear behaving like Eeyore. And in case it isn't obvious from the pictures she isn't at all aggressive.

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Simonton Beach Revisited

The idea that Simonton Beach might one day soon be an attractive pace to visit was given a boost a few long weeks ago when the city commission sold a franchise to a potential shop owner who wanted to open a beach business here.

I can't wait for that to happen and I keep coming back to this tiny little square of sand hoping to see something good. It happens I did see the Echo catamaran leaving the harbor hauling some tourists no doubt and looking very good in the early morning light.

The cliff face that is the Hyatt overlooks the beach and you would be amazed how many calls we get from guests complaining about bums fighting or cursing on the beach.

Perhaps you wouldn't be amazed. Some tourists do brave the rummy characters and take a look at Key West Harbor from the little finger pier.

The pile of dinghies and d├ębris just makes Key West look like crap.

And these derelicts don't help at all. Of all the places in Key West that people worry about their safety, Simonton Beach is the only place that gives me the creeps. These aren't homeless by circumstance or crazies abandoned to the streets.

These are drunks and drug addicts who can't be moved along because it is daylight and the beach is open to all until eleven pm so we are stuck with their sorry asses sprawled about on the sand.

They are rude loud and obnoxious and the sooner the city gets going on the new beach bar or store or whatever it is going to be, the better. This visitor in her expensive room overlooking the zoo seemed thoroughly unimpressed and who can blame her.

Cheyenne ignored the lower forms of life and contented herself with a dead fish which seemed more appetizing than the people on the sand.

I wish I could recommend Simonton Beach but I can't. Not until something drastic changes.

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Boat Ramp At Big Coppitt

We have been developing predictable patterns of weather lately, rather in the way summer thunderstorms rake mainland Florida this rime of year. Mornings are lovely and calm, like this:

The ramp is a free public facility with some parking and access to the water for boats on trailers.

For Cheyenne the seaweed that had accumulated at the ramp was the source of greatest interest while I played with the camera.

There are trash cans and sign boards reminding boaters and anglers how to behave on the water.

Much of the information is not really necessarily for locals.

With neither boat nor pole all I had to do was stand and stare and marvel at the beauty around me. Big Coppitt, Mile Marker Ten to the west:

Not all waterfront homes are expensive, but all homes here are subject to loud jets taking off and landing from Boca Chica Naval Air Station. It's worth knowing that jets fly low over here for anyone thinking about living on Big Coppitt.

Some people keep their boats in the bay and the add a picturesque touch.

Some are commercial boats:

It is a beautiful spot here, at this informal park.

What I like about driving Highway One is that it's possible to stop almost anywhere alongside the highway. And when stopped to get a great view almost anywhere.

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