Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 75, low 65 )
Burrrrr.. It was cold our first morning in the Keys. It got down to 49 degrees and was the coldest since we’ve been coming down here, It already started warming up and will be approaching 80 in a day or two.
We left the Everglades at 8:30 Thursday morning. I think that might have been a record for us.
The wind was pretty strong when we left the Everglades, and it was predicted to be worse in the Keys. We knew we were going to be crossing many bridges, some high, and some pretty long. We considered staying another night, but there were no available spaces at the campground and the winds were predicted to slow down in the Keys by the time we were to arrive. Unfortunately, the prediction was wrong and not only did the winds not calm down, they actually got stronger.
Driving a high profile vehicle in the wind is no fun, especially when driving over bridges with nothing but water on both sides. It wasn’t bad until we got to Key Largo (which is the first of the many Florida Keys). Our first bridge to cross was a tall one, but thankfully it was pretty short and the winds weren’t bad. That was the bridge Al was most concerned about.
I was more concerned with the very long 7 mile bridge. The Weatherbug App told us the winds were 33mph with 44 mph gusts. Yikes.
The next picture is the 7 Mile Bridge. It was a little intimidating. :) One lane each way and passing is allowed. I don’t quite understand why they allow passing on this bridge, but they do. You can see the high portion coming up. That was the part we were concerned about.
Crossing the 7 Mile Bridge wasn’t too bad, despite the winds hitting us broadside. The traffic was flowing slower than normal, so we cruised along with no issues. Al did have to grip the wheel pretty tight, and that bothered his shoulder a little.
Despite the winds, it was still a beautiful drive.
Once we approached Big Pine Key (which is only about 15 miles from our rv site) the traffic slowed down to a crawl . We inched along for quite a while. We were so close to home, but couldn’t get there. By this time, Al was getting a little grumpy. :)
We crept along and finally ended up stopped at the beginning of another bridge. This was when the wind really picked up. Our coach literally rocked back and forth sideways, like a cradle. Thankfully, we were stopped because it was a bit unnerving even at a standstill.
We finally got to Venture Out, got partially settled and then Al decided he deserved happy hour after his stressful day. I agreed.
We are so happy to be back in the Keys, but there are record visitors this year and it’s pretty crowded even down on Cudjoe Key where we stay. February is usually the busiest month, so we’re hoping it will be better next month. By April most of the snowbirds will be gone and it will improve greatly.
Our first sunrise in the Keys was nice.
The wind is still blowing strong, making it feel colder than it is. Everyone (including Al and me) are wearing long pants and jackets. It is warming back up, but it’s going to be windy for the next few days.
We went into Key West yesterday afternoon to go to Home Depot and with the intention of walking around Duval Street for a little while. It’s always fun to people watch down there, but there were too many people and not enough parking places, so we gave up and came home.
The plan for today is to go to the local flea market on Big Pine Key (about 10 miles up the road from us). They have wonderful and inexpensive produce there, and there are always cool things to see.
We’re hungry for a hogfish sandwich, so that might be on the agenda for lunch.