Big Pine Key is the center of commerce in the Lower Keys, the approximate half way point between Key West and the city of Marathon which are set fifty miles apart. Driving into Big Pine I found myself behind this pick up truck and I was forced to wonder how he did it. If I were to balance a cardboard box on the tailgate of my truck (which I don't actually own as I dislike trucks) it would promptly fall into the street if I were absent minded enough to drive off with it there. I turned off the Highway before his balancing act came to a sticky end.
The other commercial anchor in the Lower Keys is Summerland Key. Key West Diary: Summerland Key Nowadays Summerland Key has no video store but it does boast a rather decent liquor store with a surprising selection of beers wines and rums.
There are also a few decent walks off the main strip through Summerland. When I first got her Cheyenne was always ready to go for any walks after a lifetime spent on a chain or locked away. Nowadays she is more refined in her tastes and she decidedly prefers city walks.
For some reason Cheyenne proved willing to explore at least a little these trails this cooler time of year so I took advantage after several years away. This trail used to be a dumping ground for garbage of all sorts, old boats, construction material and rusting appliances.
Now the county has cleared the mess away and put down cement barriers to keep out future dump trucks.
These rock paths were originally built to serve planned developments across the Keys. Fortunately only a few of the developments were built, fortunately they were built else I'd not have a home out here! However large areas of mangroves that are in their natural state were left that way only because developments failed. This was an era when canals were cut trough the rock wit dynamite, a process that would never be permitted today.
Had the trails been built up they might have looked like this:
This is Cheyenne country where peop,e and dogs live and walk, a small Summerland community behind a canal parallel to the highway.
South of the Overseas Highway Summerland Keys boasts an airstrip and suburban homes with hangers, but north of the highway the canal opens up access for commercial fishermen.
Returning home to my small island a few miles north between Summerland and Big Pine I live south of the highway away from commercial activities, between a canal and the salt ponds. These are the local anglers I see across my street.
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