Tempus Fugits , that’s for sure! It is exactly 2 months since my last post. Time seems to be going by faster when I’m busy – and I’ve been busy. This month alone my calendar shows twelve days with some appointment, meeting or activity. It used to be rare that there would be more than three or four. I sometimes think I’d like to return to my former sedentary, insect-like, hermit life so time would slow down again. But that is not going to happen – I’m having too much fun living rather than just existing.
On the 13th of this month I had another birthday – such event no longer a joyful occasion. I now have accumulated a number of years on this planet equal to the number of trombones that led the “Big Parade’ in The Music Man! It is so hard for me to believe and accept that I am so ancient when I still feel so good physically and my mind appears to be functioning as well as ever. But, the calendar does not lie!
I can vividly recall wondering if I would ever be able to accept the concept of years in the 1950’s, because as far back as I could remember the years were always in the 1940’s. It seemed so alien to me. I can remember reading George Orwell’s “1984” when 1984 was far off in the future! Now that ‘far future’ year is 30 years in the past!
Anyway, I took a weekend trip to Key West from the 12th to the 14th – just to get away and to avoid brooding over the March of Time! The last time I visited Key West was 1967! Yikes! So long ago I can hardly believe there were automobiles back then – but obviously there were, ‘cuz I sure didn’t walk 170 miles!
For those not familiar with the Florida Keys or Key West I’ve borrowed the following from a Wikipedia article:
“The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost portion of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern part of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba.
—- The total land area is 137.3 square miles (356 km2). As of the 2000 census the population was 79,535, with an average density of 579.27 per square mile (223.66/km2), although much of the population is concentrated in a few areas of much higher density, such as the city of Key West, which has 32% of the entire population of the Keys.”
The map below shows the distance I drove – from Pembroke Pines (in the upper right) to Key West (in the lower left). I would guess that the distance form Key LArgo, the first large island on US Route 1 off the mainland to Key West is about 115 miles – – many, many tiny islands connected by bridges. The longest bridge is approximately seven miles long – noted on the map.
I made this video of the Seven Mile Bridge while heading back home on the 14th. It is a weird feeling driving along on this two lane highway, knowing that for many hundreds of miles on both the right and left there is nothing but water!
I spent the weekend strolling around on the beaches, fishing piers and the quaint neighborhoods. I also drove through most of Duval Street, the main shopping street which runs from the southernmost point of the island – also the southernmost point of the continental United States north about a mile to the northern end of the island. I had my video camera going while driving through this famous street and then returning to my motel. That was an interesting experience. The traffic was so heavy and slow that I think I could have walked the length faster. I’ll include that video in my next post.