Looking at the thermometer on my phone I was quite surprised to see it was supposed to be a modest 83 degrees. Faced with a six mile ride home I wondered if it might not actually be closer to a windless 95 degrees.
I was as far south as I could conveniently go on Old Stat Road 939A on Sugarloaf Key, at the spot where the old road used to cross a tidal creek in he mangroves:
Only when I was here I drifted through the channel feeling far from civilization. This boater was playing a loud stereo that blasted 1980s dance music across the tops of the bushes making it seem like he was whistling to keep his spirits up as I watched the white canvas square twist and turn along the channel.
closed to motor vehicles.
Once upon a time internal combustion could get you this far as I wrote in 2007 :
Starting back in the mid afternoon heat I paused in a shady spot for a moment to take a picture that looked like this:
...but felt like this:
I really prefer walking to cycling but Cheyenne has been reluctant to come out on this trail in recent years, even in the cool of winter so as an exercise in getting some exercise this seemed a good destination for my bicycle. I did walk a bit just to enjoy the peace and quiet of not being in control of a vehicle for a short while.
A friend sent me a few texts and I marveled at how connected we are, not a stunning revelation I know, but still the ability to be connected all the time in this age of electronic wizardry still catches me by surprise sometimes.
Here i was walking past a huge water filled hole in the track, surrounded by sodden discarded trash miles from any apparent neighbors and yet in my pocket not only did I have a phone, and several books but also a flashlight and a camera, a pocket calculator and an internet portal as well.
Humans have had bicycles - velocipedes - for more than a hundred and twenty years, two hundred if you don't need pedals and tires to count them as proper bicycles, yet I was born decades before a portable phone was even a possibility. I still marvel when I use it in any of its guises, from book buying to seeing my way in the dark, never mind taking and publishing these pictures.
Trash is a constant companion, here a pile of apparently household items including a coffee maker and a purse rotting under the rain and sun.
After getting off the dirt and back onto Highway One at Mangrove Mama's I turned east and crossed the bridge to Cudjoe and found myself on the newly built section of the Overseas Heritage Trail.
Overseas Heritage Bicycle Trail is the page with all the information about the trail that will one day connect Key West to Key Largo, all 106 miles of it. And at least on Cudjoe Key they've done a really nice job converting the old Highway One roadbed into a partially shaded path separated from the modern roadway by a tall thick hedge.
The views are quite spectacular.
And where the trail crosses a street its separated from motor traffic. It crosses Highway One at open crosswalks which in winter require a fair bit of patience as traffic is heavy.
The trail is a mish mash of solutions, and not all islands have this level of separate facilities. Not all the old Flagler bridges have been turned into bike paths unfortunately so sometimes bicycles have to ride on the shoulder of the Highway.
However around here this new trail makes riding quite a pleasure.
And by the time I got home I was ready for a shower and a nap. My dog, abandoned for two hours had other ideas so after I parked the Trek I had to load up the Labrador for a walk. At least she enjoyed it.
And then it was all too soon time to go to work. I am lucky I love night shift as I can still take full advantage of daylight the nights I work.