Friday, May 22, 2009

Going to Key West....part 1

Early this morning amidst a thunderstorm, we set out on the long trip from mainland Florida via the overseas highway (Highway 1) to Key West. We figured the storm wouldn't last the whole day and armed with our picnic lunch and Annie, the Schnauzer in the car, we left our RV park in Florida City.

You get to the ultimate destination of Key West on this overseas highway, which connects the numerous keys (small islands) by bridges and causeways. It will be a little over 125 miles one way. It is mostly a 2-lane road going the entire distance.

The first major key is Key Largo and it is the largest. This place is a mass of "stuff" that you would find in any normal town....a Home Depot store, McDonald's, schools, grocery stores, and lots and lots of places to purchase boats or diving equipment. There is also a 4-mile stretch of seashell stands and margarita bars. Rather tawdry looking, but part of the local culture.

This is what part of Highway 1 looks like in the Upper Keys area just past Key Largo.

After Key Largo, the next major location is Islamorada. This is the self-proclaimed "sport fishing capital of the world". Islamorada is home to plush hotels and condos. You can also spot beautiful homes, like these in the photo below, in many locations. Not too shabby!
Here is part of the 7-Mile Bridge, which is part of the longest section of causeway on the whole trip.

More of the 7-Mile Bridge ---

Yes! Even in the beautiful Florida Keys we could not escape the various fast food restaurants, including the ever popular McDonald's. They were good for a bathroom break.

After Islamorada, we went through the town of Marathon and the little keys on either end of it. Then we entered the Big Pine Key area and finally we got to Key West.
Keep reading into the next 3 segments of my postings on Key West......

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