A street address won’t get you there. In the Florida Keys where scenic distractions constantly vie for a driver’s attention, locations are given by mile marker, or more specifically, by how many miles north of Key West on the Overseas Highway a business, park or residence is situated.
One’s directional options are primarily north or south, so the simplified address system makes sense. John Pennekamp State Park where we enjoyed reef snorkeling and one of our many afternoon picnics is at mile 102.8 (east side). Robbie’s Marina, host to titan tarpons which breach dockside waters to snag dangled fish from the fingertips of thrill seeking tourists, is on the west side at mile 77.5. The Seven Mile Bridge runs from miles 40 – 47. The entrance to Bahaia Honda State Park, the longest beach in the Keys, can be found at mile 36.8. And Mile 0 can be found on a street corner in Key West. Maps, restaurant menus and hotels all identify themselves with a Highway 1 mile marker.
My biggest concern while driving Highway 1 was usually whether to look to the east or west of the road: sunrise or sunset side. I know. What a quandary…
Did we still get lost? Of course we did, although the best unplanned wandering on this trip occurred amongst mangrove trees in kayaks (from Robbie’s at Mile 77.5).
I found the mile marker system to be quite effective though. It simplified driving to where I could simply enjoy the sea breezes, the endless sunshine and the glorious blue green sea. Whether we landed on the sunrise or sunset side of the highway made little difference when the road traversed an island and the endless ocean was often but steps away from either berm.
More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook