Well, here goes the start of me dipping my toes into the realm of blogging. I’ve decided I want to chronicle the travel adventures we hope to have in our small RV (named Trixie) since Leonard’s oh so recent retirement. He is a man in hog heaven these days, with a permanent smile on his face. We made reservations 11 months ago for 2 State Parks down in the Keys that are extremely popular and difficult to get into. It took about 10 days of sitting in front of the computer at 8am when the reservation system came online to finally score the sites and they were worth the battle.
Curry Hammock State Park is on Little Crawl Key, adjacent to Marathon and is a small, relatively new State Park, with only 28 campsites. It faces the Atlantic and has mangroves around three quarters of it so it has great kayaking opportunities. It has been quite windy the past few days so we will have to wait until the wind dies down before we can venture out in our canoe.
Since we can’t go out in our canoe we might as well play tourist, and no visit to the Keys is complete without a trip to Robbies in Islamorada to feed the tarpon. They are lined up by the hundreds it seems, all awaiting a handout…or maybe your
hand itself if you’re not quick enough! What a thrill, but you have to be quick because between the tarpon and the pelicans it is a race over who is going to get fed first.
Today it is still too windy to go canoeing so we have decided to check out Pigeon Key. A friend of ours has joined us for a few days and we will take a boat out to the Key which was used by Henry Flagler in the early 1900’s when he built the railroad down to Key West.
The railroad was considered to be an unachievable feat at the time and was called ‘Flaglers Folly’, but once it was successfully complete it became known as the eighth wonder of the world. Pigeon Key was used to house his workers
while he built the 7 mile bridge and it still has historic buildings remaining on it. When the railroad was converted to a highway in the late 1930’s Pigeon Key was used as a rest stop, and even had a one hour Honeymoon Cottage for rent!
Rather than return by boat we chose to walk back along the 2.5 mile portion of the old bridge that still stands. It was perfect walking weather with clear blue skies and not too hot, and along our stroll we saw tarpon, a shark and a stingray. There were also many people riding their bicycles along the bridge which looked like fun, so next time we will have to bring ours. We have seen many places that would have been fun to ride on. A local watering hole overlooking the water with live music was the perfect ending to the day.
Finally the time has come and the wind gods are smiling upon us and we get to go out on the water. We’re off to explore the mangroves that are everywhere around here and in order to do that we will have to go through the mangrove tunnel! How cool is that.
The mangrove tunnel is actually the passageway between two islands and as we enter it the mangroves completely surround us. At times the passage becomes quite narrow and twisting but the water is quiet and
calm so we can just drift and enjoy the experience. We ended up going through the tunnel 3 times while going out exploring the various areas around the State Park. Twice during high tide when it was calm and
easy to negotiate and once at almost low tide when it was very shallow with a lot of rushing water. That was a lot more work! The nearby lagoon had lots of bird life and we were lucky enough to see a couple of sea turtles.