The Southeast corner of the US

(Corner #3)

Key West

Key West, FL

December 13th, 1999

When we first started out traveling, Bob had this wonderful plan. He wanted to travel to the four Map namecorners of the United States, with me, Babe (our truck) and our trailer in tow. I think that even before the beginnings of our travels, Bob, like most men, had a love affair with the compass. Women, seem to be much happier just going along in the "general direction" of where they want to go, asking directions along the way, and finally arriving at their destination. Not so, for some men. They have this thing about exact headings on compasses. So it was that Bob had made the decision that he would stand at the exact spot that represent the four points of our great country. Our first point was the North West corner at Cape Flattery which is out on the Olympia Peninsula in Washington. Then, after thousands of miles, were were off to the North East point at Fort Kent, Maine. As we were visiting Fort Kent we found out that this was also the location where US 1 began. So as we stood at the beginning of US 1, one of the oldest interstate highways in America, we decided we would follow it south to its end in Key West, Florida, while at the same time visiting the next leg of our four corner tour of the US. After several months, just over two thousand miles, and many stories later, we camped in Key Largo, where we constantly fought Mosquitoes and small "attack bugs" called no-see-ums. Key West, where US 1 ends, was only a day trip away. Arriving about mid-day, we found Key West to be a beautiful town that was crowded with tourists even at this time in the year. An interesting fact we found out about Key West is that it is virtually bug free. A man we met down there explained that Key West has no standing fresh water and thus no place to breed the little obnoxious creatures of the Keys. Key West, however, was a driving nightmare. Half the population had rented some form of bike and went careening down the street pretty much oblivious to the vehicles on the road. Panic stops became routine as we weaved in and out of the crowds. We did buy a couple of bikes while we were there. They included the Zap electric motors which turned out to be quite nice. We followed US 1 as it wound through the town to its conclusion. Then, of course, we had to take our third corner photo of the South East. (Only one more to go. California here we come.) There were many attractions around us but unfortunately we spent so much time working out the arrangements for the bikes that we didn't get to see a lot of the local color. However, we did see some really lovely historic homes around town, some of which had been turned into bed and breakfasts. And of course the beaches are known to be some of the best in the land. We did take time to dine at one of the restaurants recommended by the locals, by the name of Turtle Kraals, that overlooked the waterfront. The food was excellent and the seafood was very fresh. We found out that there are several trailer parks in Key West but the rates were way above what we had budgeted for. To really do justice to a story of Key West we felt that it would have been necessary to stay there for a while, but because we were able to achieve several goals we had set for ourselves we certainly couldn't leave it out. As we drove back to our trailer park in Key Largo, we realized that all in all it had been a very enjoyable and productive day.

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Good Luck! Have Fun! and Stay Safe!