Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mangrove Possum

A few pictures of recent walks in the mangroves. Not many left to go.


My wife taught Adult Ed and English as a second language in Marathon for a few years. As we lived on Cudjoe it made for an easier commute than driving to Key West, equidistant but packed with slower stretches and more cars. Plus, she was fond of pointing out she got to commute the Seven Mile Bridge.

So when she had her final Physical Therapy appointment for shoulder surgery she took me along to learn a few moves to help her along. I also got the chance to wander Rusty around the back of the strip mall in lovely bright summer sunshine.

I never did get much of a grip on Marathon, beyond understanding the basic geography of the town stretched along ten miles of Highway One. I remember when they created the city and it seemed rather excessive but the reality os the islands here are pretty narrow, so the length of the town I guess helps the tax base.

Residents who choose Marathon often like to make the point that they prefer not to mix with the weirdos in Key West which may have been true the ty years ago. However these days I don't think Key West is full of weirdos un less you count fashionably attired snowbirds driving exotic cars as weirdos. 

These days the divide between the cities seems to come down to working class, Marathon, versus idle rich in Key West. It's a broad generalization as all such must be but there is more truth to it than some might like. 

Marathon has an excellent harbor for boats to stop in and not many destinations close by for day trips. The fishing is as good as anywhere but Key West has terrible anchoring geography combined with lots of offshore islands and reefs. It all seems rather ironic. 

I was put in mind of some grass growing under your feet by the billboard truck above and the weird juxtaposition below was a reminder that you never know what people are thinking or how they think.

Goodbye Marathon, it seems a pity I never knew you.

Through Key West

It was lovely yesterday in town, a little warm, but not too humid and a slight breeze to keep us cool aboard Gannet 2, Rusty and I. While walking I spotted this fast moving scooter.
Silent, clean unobtrusive and people hate them for being just that. It's hard to walk distracted with these eco warriors racing down the street. Then if that's not funny enough residents get annoyed by noisy infernal combustion scooters buzzing through narrow streets.
There's no pleasing people. If you think I deserve to be strung up for my heretical support of e-bikes take heart. When I see a lovely old VW  micro van all I remember is watching my own Westfalia entering Gallup, New Mexico with snow on the ground everywhere and my bus on a flatbed with Emma the Labrador sitting behind the wheel with the dignity only Labradors have, while I rode in the tow truck cab looking forlornly at my credit card. 
It turned out it was a cold start choke that failed but that was just one of many breakdowns, blown gaskets and pistons breaking crankcases. I spent as much time by the side of the road with that van as I did later with a two stroke Vespa. I'm hoping my Promaster future breaks that streak. 
Meanwhile as the end of the month aproaches I like how the rest of the country celebrates my birthday with pumpkins and skeletons.
This year I plan to spend it with Webb Chiles in South Carolina. I've told him if he does more than mention it he will meet a gruesome fate. He is quaking I am sure. While the rest of the country gets dressed up I pretend to ignore the day. 64 this year on All Saint's Eve.
I labeled the photo above Marlboro Man on my Instagram account but I'm not sure I captured his true level of total coolness. I never looked like that while riding a motorcycle. Sigh. There are others parading on Duval also trying to achieve the nirvana state of cool:
In the dead zone you can find faint signs of life on this, the 200 block of Duval but the cruise ship stores are all still closed and empty. Realtor signs make them look a tad less desolate. 
Some people do actual work on Duval Street. Rather them than me; I'm retired (cackles maniacally as he fades into the distance).
I am convinced, despite all signs to the contrary that the future of urban two wheelers is electric. Even Key West will get it one day soon I have no doubt.
I like walking and I get grief for not being enamored of bicycles (thank you Webb, I will rent one while at your place), but these pedestrians were star struck by...chickens.
 Me? I'm struck by my van and my dog who loves me. My wife was at the dentist so she only gets an honorable mention...