Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pigeon Key - Irma

Even driving the Seven Mile Bridge you know there's something wrong. Assuming you didn't know a Category Four hurricane had come ashore with its strongest  winds at the other end of the bridge you could sense something wrong. There's  mats of seaweed everywhere...
...The traffic is relief convoys of law enforcement and utility trucks. I stopped to let traffic by as I have been trying to stay at  50 mph or less on the Vespa. Even though it will go faster I save gas and run I hope less risk of injury at a time when there no medical facilities to help.
As you read this things will be getting back to some sort of chaotic normality in Key West with utilities and some services. But out here beyond the ravages of Big Pine nothing will get fixed for a while. This is pigeon camp the old railroad camp across the wide expanse of water bridged around 1911 by Flagler's engineers. Railroad maintenance staff lived at Pigeon Key alongside the track that ran on the old bridge:
The bridge itself was  supposed to get an upgrade maybe to make it safe for tourist traffic once more, traffic that was most recently transported to the island by boat. AS it is it seems there is work to be done here:

To see how Pigeon Key used to look when it was accessible by road train: Pigeon Key.

By now one has to accept the characteristic new look of Florida Keys vegetation: the hurricane burned look of brown limbs and no leaves:
And yet there are places even on this small island that show no apparent damage. So random....
The very modern solar array looks good. I wonder what it's powering now?

I saw this orb floating between the bridges. A lobster pot adrift and catching seaweed in symmetrical concentric circles:
The Australian pine known suddenly thanks to Facebook to all and sundry as "Fred"pulled through just fine with dignity and foliage intact. In winter the tree is dressed with Christmas lights by some anonymous lover of the season:
The road itself on the new (1982) bridge has striations from cleaning by humans or more likely by Irma.
There are islands scattered off the bridge, products of the digging the engineers did to lay down the cement casements which the bridge sits on. The islands have been trashed too.
Check this one out on the north side of the Seven Mile Bridge nearest Big Pine:
In close up this formerly green impenetrable mangrove island reveals the outline of a structure among the trees:
This is the entrance slope to Veterans Memorial Park at the south end of the Bridge:
Public toilets ( the structure remains though the interior is probably gone);
As was:

The  picnic tables along the waterfront:
As was:
Vegetation totally wrecked and this place was lovely.
As was:
Luckily the water remains the same:

A ride through a burnt out landscape.