May 31, Key West, FL – Well, I packed up and went downtown to get gas, filled out the form and mailed my first envelope. I asked the clerk at the post office to hand stamp it with today’s date. I was so nervous it was like the first day of a new job when you want to get it all just right.
The weather was very overcast and in fact I got a few rain drops as I headed out of town. Of the four times I’ve traversed the highway to Key West, this is the only time it was completely overcast. The colors turned to dark shades of green and gray. Everything was so subdued it made the white and yellow lines on the road stand out like neon signs.
Yesterday I met a guy at the southernmost monument, who was sweeping up and offering to take pictures of people around the monument. I talked with him a bit and learned he is artist. He told me he lives on an island, eeks out a living by painting, and cleans up his island. He said, “What else could anyone want?” I think each of us has a similar desire to live simply, earn a living, and to give back to the community.
It took me nearly 4 hours to travel the 120 miles of the Overseas Highway with just one rest stop. The speed limit is 45 mph most of the way. Stoplights and construction take time as well.
The rest of the trip took me at much higher rates of speed as I traveled up Florida’s turnpike and I-95. Let me tell you about Miami drivers. They are the most self-centered, disrespectful, dangerous motorists I’ve ever encountered. They drive at very high speeds and cut in front of anyone whether their is enough room or not. They think they can do whatever they please and if you get hurt, too bad. So if you ever ride through there, remember this warning and drive as considerately as you can. Anticipate they will cut in front of you and leave room for them to do without hitting you. Keep your cool and you’ll be fine.
I ended up at the home of good friends, Karen and Buffalo. They have a small farm and raise Belgian draft horses. (Karen and I were married for a time long ago.) We had dinner and caught up on the latest news.
Tomorrow’s route takes me to NC.