Next up, down Highway 1 was Crane Point in Marathon. It's a beautiful nature center with trails detailing the local flora and fauna as well as the building shown below, which was owned by George Adderley, a Bahamian immigrant who originally lived on the property. I arrived just in time to hop on a guided tour led by the lovely couple, Dinata and Andy. We traveresed the property in a elongated golf cart while Dinata gave insightful information interjected with bouts of humor by her husband Andy. There were Butterflies, Strangler Trees and even a snake, which much to my revulsion, Dinata tried to wrangle.
The drive continued to Seven Mile Bridge. There are actually two bridges here. The original railroad bridge built by Heny Flagler was damaged in a hurricane in 1935. It was then repaired and made into an automobile bridge, then again damaged by another hurricane in 1960. It has since reopened as a pedestrian connecter to Pigeon Key. The newer, bigger automobile bridge was built in 1978 and strectches the full 7 miles from Knights Key to Little Duck Key, and has remained free of hurricane damage thus far. It totals about 2 miles in distance on the pedestrian bridge to Pigeon Key, and yes I walked it... and back. The pics are below, and I think you will agree, it was well worth the blister and leg cramp.
Once on Pigeon Key, you get the feeling that you have entered the compound occupied by The Others on Lost. Slightly clinical and disurbing, but tropical, beautiful and isolated.
The next stop was at The Turtle Hospital. Anyone who knows me, knows that the way to my heart is through a Sea Turtle (well, Elephants, good music, and pasta work too). Sadly for me, since it is a working hospital, tours are at set times and are heavily booked on weekends, so I didn't get a chance to actually take the tour and see the Turtles, but I did get to snap the adorable ambulance below (thankfully it was not away on a Sea Turtle emergency). Next time. I mean it!
Check back for the final installment, KEY WEST!