Skip to main content

Catching Up: 2011 Florida Trip - Part 2: Drive to Key West

(Editor's Note: While there's some slow time in the few week's before we have a new addition to the family, I'm trying to catch up on blog entries that I wanted to post or started but never completed.  This is another one of those entries.)

Day 2 of the Florida Trip was the haul from Tampa to Key West.  It was more interesting than the ride from Raleigh to Tampa and a lot more photos this time as well. For the photo proof, you can head to flickr.

Route: I-275, I-75, FL 951, US 41, FL 991, US 1.

We decided to take US 41, the Tamiami Trail, instead of I-75/Alligator Alley and it was actually a pretty nice ride.  Even if this poorly made US highway shield was up along the route.

IMG_6512

Just east of where US 41 meets FL 29 is the Ochopee Post Office.  One of a series of Post Offices that claim to be the country's or world's smallest post office.

IMG_6519

Now I have been to the "World's Smallest Mailing Office" in Silver Lake, WV.  Unlike Silver Lake, Ochopee is still a functioning Post Office.  It's a former irrigation shed that was pressed into service in 1953 after a fire destroyed the Ochopee General Store, which housed the Post Office.  It was closed when we went through.

We turned onto FL 997 and I was amazed at the number of Avacado stands and tropical plant nurseries there were along the entire route.  It was certainly something I wasn't used to seeing.

For roadgeeks, finding a fast-disappearing colored US Route Shield is an accomplishment.  I wasn't expecting to find one, but when we stopped at the Florida Keys Visitor Center in Key Largo. They preserved one.

IMG_6545

We also saw an I think rare Monroe County C-905 marker.

South C-905

We also stopped at the Florida Keys Memorial, honoring those that died in the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, in Islamorada.

IMG_6819

The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane is one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the United States.  The Category 5 Hurricane killed over 400 people.  Many of which were WPA workers and their families. 

We also stopped at the Seven Mile Bridge.

IMG_6550

The newer structure, built in 1982, replaced a rail bridge constructed in 1912 for Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad.  When the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane destroyed much of the railroad, the federal government took over and converted the rail bridge to a highway bridge.  Fortunately, there's a good bit of the original span still standing and is used as a walking and bike trail today.

IMG_6557

I can't imagine how anyone could drive on that narrow of a highway for nearly 50 years!

With that it was onto Key West...and Part 3 of the trip "Exploring Key West" next to come.

Comments

Jim said…
I'd love to see the old 7 Mile Bridge one day. On the sections you can't get to anymore except by boat, there are trees growing on the deck!
vugurs said…
I Like Your Blog Too Much....

Popular posts from this blog

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del