El Turista de Cayo Huesto
I made a couple of day trips down to Cayo Hueso to do the "Tourist" thing. The Spanish originally named Key West...Cayo Hueso. The southern most house is called Casa Cayo Hueso. I took the bike the first time from Boot Key Harbor (since I have a folding bike I can take it on the bus). The ride is 46 miles for Three dollars one way. At current keys gas prices you would need to get over 60 miles to the gallon in your SUV!
I didn't take the camera this trip as it was exploration day of the island and not the tourist traps. Besides, I was already dealing with the bike.
- The Key West cemetery is the highest spot on the island at 16 feet above sea level.
- The hurricane of 1906 completely devastated 594 of the 600 buildings on key west at that time.
- The oldest wooden frame house in Florida (circa 1829) withstood the hurricane as did the Hemingway house.
- Lots of names have changed in the past 27 years but for the most part everything is still the same. I do remember Mallory Square as more casual in the '80s and less of the “Give me your 10 dollars, I'm better than a movie” attitude. Really, seriously, 3 acts said the same thing then I went to do something else.
- In the years around 1900 the population of Miami was 100, Tampa 1000, and Key West 10,000. This was the motivation to bring in the rail road.
- Miami was called Miami, then Fort Dallas, then changed back to Miami.
- You can get from Key West to Marathon for $3, Marathon to Florida City for $2.35 and then to Tampa for $37 on Amtrak. (Idle talk at the bus stop) That is NOW prices not 1980's prices. This is funny since I looked at flying in to PC from KW for a visit. ($2100!)
- Record high = 100 cold = 41
- I saw a funny sign at the cigar store. Cuba 90 miles, Wal-mart 125 miles See pic below
- I have come to the conclusion that all the free range chickens are to feed the free range 6 toed cats. Hemingway's cat has multiplicified (I know it is not a word).
- Cuban refugees are still landing on the shores daily all along the keys!
Below are the pictures from “Tourist Day” at Key West taken while anchored in Bahia Honda.
I took a tour of the Hemingway House
Even Hemingway had humor. Seems after his wife spent almost 3 times what the house cost to build on a swimming pool (divorce was immanent), He took the urinal from the old Sloppy Joe's building and placed it as close as he could to the pool for his cats to drink. You can google and get the whole story.
I now have a conch shell to celebrate the sunsets!
Mallory Square at sunset:
Sunset wouldn't be complete without a cup holder
Perspective shot found on the net
Cuba 90 miles Wal-mart 130 miles
The kid lying down is actually part of the display and not real
Christmas tree island and elliot key "west" anchorages from Mallory Square
A little about the alure of Key West:
Almost 30 years ago I was on my way to buy a Hans Christian sailboat and move to the keys with the then girl friend. We were going to offer dive/sail charters to make a living and allow us to live in paradise. Life changes for the good and bad. I sure would like to have had that boat! A Hans Christian 43.
You can read about the state of the keys in the 80's here..http://www.conchrepublic.com/the_beginning.htm
For those of you that feel confused on the time frame that is mostly due to “Island Time”. I have started typing the blog in Openoffice when I have time and posting it when I have internet. This can lag several days since “when I have time” is more like “when I have patience”. I often come back and update a post so feel free to reread them the first week. A good example is typing this right now the voices in my head are battling “I could be snorkeling, and having lobster for dinner”, “I could be fishing”, “Tomorrow the air is going to be good for fly fishing! or Heading to the Dry Tortugas"... you know what, typing lost, CYA.