Day 211, I still did not make it to Key West..

It baffles me. Here I am about 180 miles from Key West. I drove 190 miles to and from Scranton in the same day weekend after weekend. Yet I can’t seem to make it all the way to Key West. Only the first hour of the drive is on the interstate, the next three hours are on roads with lower speed limits, traffic and traffic lights. That is probably the reason. Or maybe that is the reason I tell myself.

Today I went to Key Largo. I drove the Card Sound Road for the first time. If you have ever driven into the Keys there is a way to skip the beginning part of US 1. Going on Card Sound Road requires a dollar for the toll and a few extra minutes since the route is less direct. When I got into Key Largo I stopped at Florida Bay Outfitters to discuss renting a kayak for the afternoon. The rate was reasonable, the equipment looked good and the people were friendly. How can you go wrong when the stars are all aligned like that?

I went to lunch then returned to the shop and completed the paperwork and headed out into the bay. When I left the wind was blowing briskly from behind me. I understood that would mean I would be kayaking against that wind on the way home. The open water section of the paddle was a little over a mile. After the open water section was behind me I entered the mangroves. In this video you can see the mangroves and the water, notice the silence (except for me narrating). I finished paddling through the mangroves and headed back towards the dock.

My course back to the dock was directly into the wind. The waves were about 1 foot (no big deal in a boat) with some slight white caps. I got a little spray with each wave that hit the front of the kayak. During part of the ride I was accompanied by a pair of bottle nose dolphins. They swam with me and around me. I have to say it was really neat. I would have shot some pictures but it was too rough out in the middle of the bay.

When I got back to the dock they told me I still had two more hours of rental and that I should go back out and paddle some more. That is what I did. I stayed close to the beach so that the land blocked the wind and reduced the waves. I saw some Tarpon swimming under a dock near a restaurant. The restaurant feeds the Tarpon so they hang out under the dock waiting for dinner.

After finally being done with the kayak, the rental guys said that they had a shower and a changing room. I was excited about that since I was wet from the ride across the bay. The shower turned out to be an outdoor shower with only one water temperature. Hmmm, I must have missed that memo. I took a quick shower, real quick.  After the shower I had a beer and waited for the sunset. There are pictures on the bottom of the sunset.

I had dinner at the restaurant next door. The wings and the beer were good. The calzone was bad. Not really bad, just not what I am accustomed to getting in NJ. Maybe it is the water, maybe the flour or something. I ate the cheese and not much of the dough.

I’m back at the condo in Weston for the night. I have one more full day left in Florida. I am thinking about going fishing tomorrow. I just am not sure where.

Enjoy the pictures,

Namaste

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