Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 80, low 68)
We had to make yet another trip to Key West to go to Home Depot. The trip on Wednesday brought a lot of excitement.
When we’re here in the Keys, I have learned to always bring my camera because you never know what you will see and that is particularly true in Key West.
We headed south towards Key West and the first unusual thing we saw was some kind of issue with 3 large motorhomes and cargo trailers parked on the side of US 1. They were in the northbound lane, along with tow trucks, police and various people standing around. The Overseas Highway or US 1 varies from narrow strips of land, to bridges, to large pieces of land. This happened to occur on a narrow strip of land where the ocean was only about 25-30 feet from the road.
One of the motorhomes was a large tag axel Travel Supreme. There was a huge triple axel cargo trailer painted to match, that was sideways along the side of the road. It appeared that the mangroves in the water may have been the only thing that kept it from going into the water.
This next picture was after it was hooked up to the tow truck.
You can see it’s a triple axel trailer. It was very large and I’m sure very heavy.
The other two motorhomes also had trailers attached and appeared to be ok.
We surmised the trailer broke free from the motorhome. We don’t know why. We didn’t see any sign of a blow out on either vehicle, but there were cables hanging loose from the motorhome, as if it had pulled loose. People load these cargo trailers with a lot of toys.
Could the hitch have come loose because the cargo trailer was too heavy? The biggest hitch I’ve seen for our motorhome only had a 10,000 pound capacity. Surely these carrying all these toys weigh more than that. I guess they probably can be beefed up, but we sure wondered if this was the cause. What do you think?
That was the first excitement on the way to Key West. The next was Key West Sky Dive. We had driven by this place for years and decided to check it out.
It was such a quaint little place and perfect for the Keys. It’s located on Sugarloaf Key, which is about milemarker 18. Everything on the Keys can be found by the mile marker. Key Largo is around MM 100. Key West ends at MM 0. We are located on MM 23.
The Skydive center was located in a remote area with bad roads and lots of potholes to dodge.
These pretty motorcycles parked there must have had to really be careful on the road.
You can see the runway which runs right along the water (of course everything does here).
The runway looks a little bumpy to me.
I wonder how many skydivers land in the water? There were three planes on land (I hesitated to say tarmac) and one in the air.
We’ll have to go back and watch them skydive. I don’t think we’ll be doing any skydiving this year.
Our next interesting thing was found as we were leaving the airport.
Al saw this huge wooden building so we drove up to check it out.
It was obviously very old. There was a huge nest on top but we didn’t see any nesting birds.
This picture gives you a better idea how tall it was.
There was nothing outside to tell what the tower was. This was in the ground right beside the tower and I thought maybe it would give me a clue. Notice the word Perky?
Looking up, it looked very much like a huge bat house. This picture was taken from underneath looking up. See the wood slats? That is exactly like they have on bat houses, but we saw no guano so we nixed that idea.
It was such a cool tower so I knew I would be able to find out more info online. Here is what I found.
“Tall pine wood structure is a failed experiment in enviro-bug-control. Mosquito problem, bats imported to solve, bats flew away. Richter Clyde Perky hired a guy to build it in 1929, using plans from Charles Campbell.”
Apparently the bats didn’t like it because they flew off, however it was a great idea for controlling mosquitos in the Florida Keys, don’t you think? It’s amazing that it has withstood all the hurricanes since 1929, including the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 that mostly wiped out Flagler's Railroad.
It’s such a quirky place that it is listed on Roadside America. Here is the link:
After we left that area, we continued to head towards Key West and about the time we passed by Boca Chica Key, we started seeing F/A 18 fighter jets blasting by and circling with their landing gear down. It is always a huge thrill to see them and they never fail to give me goose bumps.
Three jets circled right in front of us. They were going pretty slow for them because I was able to take a photo. Usually, you hear them, look up and they are long gone. What a sound they make as they are taking off! It’s thrilling.
They were obviously landing. Al mentioned if we had been eating lunch at Geiger Key Fish camp, we would have had a birds eye view of them landing. Geiger Key is home to world famous hogfish sandwiches and is one of our favorite places to eat in the Keys.
We hadn’t considered Geiger Key for lunch, but as soon as we thought of it, we both started getting hungry.
A minute or two after we saw the jets, we saw yet ANOTHER interesting site. Along another narrow strip of land was a large old sailboat on the side of the road laying on it’s side. Obviously it had been pulled out of the water. There are a lot of derelict boats around these islands and they are trying to get them cleaned up. Unfortunately, we had passed it before I could get a photo and I forgot when we went back by on the way home. It was gone the next time we went to Key West (and Home Depot).
That was the end of our exciting things on our way to Key West. We went to Home Depot and returned the freezer we had just picked up the day before (long story) and by that time we were really hungry and someone mentioned hogfish…… So you know what happened next.
Geiger Key Fish Camp, Rv Park and Restaurant. It’s a pretty nice little hidden RV park right on the water if anyone is interested.
We got 4 nice filets with a ton of fries and a tiny bit of coleslaw. It was delicious and we had extra for dinner later.
Every time I mention eating hogfish, some asks about them. They are also called hog snapper but are really a member of the wrasse family. They change colors under water. They go from light to patchy orange color. The males turn black and white.
The meat it white, not fishy, and delicious! Here is a picture of a rather large one. Probably 18-19 pounds I would guess. This is a male.
We came home, took a rest after our big meal and then and worked around the house for a while. We’re still settling in to our new home and there are still plenty of things to do. We had a few fun nights in Key West and ended up getting run off last night with an approaching storm. More on that later. Key West is always a fun place to go.