On my return from the trip Up North Cheyenne displayed symptoms of restlessness, getting up on her back seat bed and turning around before laying back down, so I took the hint and we stopped after we had paid the dollar toll to enter the Keys at the county line at Alabama Jack's restaurant.
The toll is actually to pay for the long since paid-for bridge that connects Key Largo to the mainland on this back road, the only alternative to the 18 Mile Stretch. Key West Diary: Alabama Jacks.
The weather has been cool and wet, surprisingly cool for August in the Keys. One usually bursts spontaneously into copious sweating in the heat and humidity of August, but not so this year. Most days it's been cool and breezy and frequently overcast. By cool I mean temperatures between 79 and 85 with minimal humidity which is winter weather around here.
One thing that always reminds me I'm home are the endless roadside stops along the main roads in Monroe County. Mostly they're just gravel lots equipped with trash cans, emptied regularly by lowly government workers. It's easy to make a list of what they don't supply, picnic tables, vending machines or toilets, but they do offer travelers an endless supply of vistas the hundred mile length of these islands. You can stop, get out of your cage and walk almost anywhere along the rocky shores of the Fabulous Florida Keys. If you need kerbs, landscaping and facilities to achieve your comfort level this driving experience may not be for you. We live in such an overdeveloped world, some people do find this back to nature crudity not to their taste.
Cheyenne naturally was perfectly at home.
All to ourselves this small piece of Florida. The homemade community of Card Sound in southernmost Dade county across the Bridge has been swept away in the name of improvement. I wrote this essay on it before it was gone: Key West Diary: Card Sound
The Keys in August. Lovely being alone.