Monday, November 30, 2009

Sling Bay

We are at Bahia Honda State Park, on the eponymous Key in the Lower Florida Keys (map).

This is a beautiful park, even if our particular camp site is a bit humdrum. We arrived yesterday around 2ish, and had to wait a good fifteen minutes or more in a line to check in. Between the check-in ranger being the slowest person in the state park system, and the campers in front of us not knowing such basic information as their vehicle license plate numbers, it was a painful process.

Once we got settled in, we pulled the scooters out and explored the park. The swim beach at the east end seemed inviting, so we went back for our suits and I took a swim, which was, umm, "refreshing" (Louise now knows this as code for "too cold for you, honey"). I did not need to say it, though, as apparently it was written on my face. Once I was completely immersed it was fine. I'm sure it would have felt better at the hottest part of the day.

Since we already had the scooters out, we rode to dinner two Keys over, on Big Pine Key, at the famous (if difficult to find) No Name Pub. (The proprietors were not unimaginative -- No Name Key is just across the channel.) Casual food in a kitschy atmosphere, with enormous portions -- we both got lunch today out of our leftovers.

This morning we walked out onto the remains of the east end of the old Bahia Honda Bridge. This was one of the original bridges on Flagler's overseas railroad; its truss construction presented a challenge when the railroad was converted into a highway. Engineers solved the conundrum by building superstructure above the trusses, and putting the road deck on the top, making for a very weird looking auto bridge. Like many of the original structures, it is slowly crumbling into the sea.

Shortly we will pack up and head back the way we came, landing at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo.

Photo by Kevin Labianco, used under a Creative Commons license.

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