Walkin’ Lawton Chiles Sign

Lawton Mainor Chiles (April 3, 1930 – Dec 12, 1998) was Florida’s 41st Governor from 1991 until his death in office in the last month of his second term as governor. In a career spanning four decades, Chiles, a Democrat who never lost an election, served in the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida State Senate, & United States Senate.

“THE 1,003-MILE WALK”: In 1970, Chiles decided to run for a seat in the United States Senate. At the time, despite his 12 years in the state legislature, he was largely unknown outside his Lakeland-based district. To generate some media coverage across the state, Chiles embarked upon a 1,003-mile, 91-day walk across Florida from Pensacola to Key West. The walk earned him the recognition he sought, as well as the nickname that would follow him throughout his political career– “Walkin’ Lawton”. Sometimes he walked alone, while other times he met ordinary Floridians along the way. In later years, Chiles recalled that the walk allowed him to see Florida’s natural beauty, as well as the state’s problems, with fresh eyes. After the walk, Chiles was elected easily.

You can find this “Walkin’ Lawton Chiles” sign recognizing his historic walk across Florida at Mile Marker 112.7 on US-1′s southbound lane on what’s called the 18-mile stretch and another at Mile Marker 98.0 northbound.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Locals ONLY Entrance!

IMG_1826Are you a local-yocal or an out-of-towner? You might be wondering why I would ask, well, wonder no more!

I love it, what a HOOT! At this local hot spot you’ve got your own personal entrance if you’re one of the locals that frequent this eatery. Take a look at the sign in the featured photo, it reads: ‘Locals Entrance’ and yes there’s a side door for them. The main entrance is on the front side of the building not seen in the pic.

You can find this ‘Locals ONLY Entrance’ at Ballyhoo’s Seafood Grille on US-1 Mile Marker 98.0 in the middle of the median.

IMG_1829

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Jimmy Hoffa’s 4-Year Key West Agreement With The U.S. Army

No, he wasn’t drafted! Can you believe it, the infamous Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa and the United States Army had a 4-year business agreement here in Key West worth $251,051.04 of tax payers money!

SO TRUE, and here’s how: Seen to the left is the old Battalion headquarters, with supporting Signal and Ordnance detachments who occupied the termite-infested premises in the Casa Marina Hotel, a venerable Victorian pile long past its prime. Leased from the Teamster’s Union (then headed by Jimmy Hoffa) in 1962, the cost to the Army came to some $62,762.76 per year until January 1966, when the completion of permanent facilities permitted termination of the lease by the Army.

Hoffa’s termite ridden pile of crap has been turned into a 5-star elite vacation resort of monumental magnitude. I’ve included the old Army photo seen above and added the new one I took a month ago from the same angle.

You can find Jimmy Hoffa’s former termite-infested money-making rat trap investment turned into the elegant Casa Marina Resort at the corner of Reynolds Street & Seminole Avenue sitting right on the beach here in Key West.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

This Water Flows Both Upstream & Downstream!

7175523884_0b1e172f4b_bDid you know that some waterways actually flow upstream at one time of the day and then downstream later that same day? Oh how true that is! A ‘Tidal Creek’ simply put is a portion of a stream that is affected by the ebb and flow of the ocean changing the waters direction. So I ask you, have you ever seen a tidal creek’? Most of us have without ever even knowing it! (Me included) :-)

Here’s what’s written on sign below: Tidal creeks are channels of water that originate in shallow bays and wind through the salt marshes surrounding the mainland. The direction and speed of the water flow changes with the rise and fall of the tide. During high tide, tidal creeks flush the salt mash communities with water and food. Low tide movements, in turn, export food back into the surrounding bays.

Though the tidal creek itself is FREE, the park does charge an entrance fee per car’s occupants… if I recall, maybe the $3 to $4 range. The park is so well worth the price, bring a picnic and make a day of it, there’s that much here to do!

You can find this marked ‘Tidal Creek’ on the ‘Mangrove Trail’ along with a dozen other activities at the John Pennekamp State Park on US-1 at Mile Marker 102.3 oceanside across the street from the Scooby-Doo Castle.

7175527508_74d0ee4517_b

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Eagle Nests (set of 3)

On your way down the Keys you might ask yourself “What are those?” Don’t worry mi amigos, I’ll clue you in!

Here sandwiched between Surprise Lake & Manatee Bridge are 3 sets of posts (6 total). Raising high into the air perched above for all to see are these manmade nesting towers for our nations national symbol “Bald Eagle”… or any other bird that may chose to occupy these free perches.

You can find these nesting ‘Rest Areas’ for weary foul at Mile Marker 111.5 oceanside of US-1 just north of Key Largo on what’s called the 18-Mile Stretch.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Dive Center Shark Head

I’ve passed this a HUNDRED TIMES and yet had only noticed the incredibly beautiful murals that are painted around the entire building. Your eyes are first drawn to the murals but upon further inspection you’ll see this ‘Jaws’ looking sharks front portion of a body protruding from the roof.

There’s another one similar in Key West itself but this is the first I’ve found up & down the Keys. You can find this terror of the deep high above the Dive Center Outlet in Key Largo next to the Chamber Of Commerce at Mile Marker 106.0 on the right hand side of US-1 South.

Leave a comment

Filed under key west

Marine Mammal Aquatic Entrance

Wow, what a beautiful gate I found by cruising down a side road! Every trip to Key West I choose 3 or 4 new side roads to take not knowing what’s around the next curve. This was one of the bonus streets for sure.

As you can see, the gate is spectacular and worth a short trip down a side street. The dolphin gates stand out once rounding the curve and will surely grab your eye. I pulled the car over and started snapping away with close-ups of each dolphin and of both in the same frame.

Find time on your next visit to spend 3-minutes as you hunt down this attraction and take your souvenir photos. You can see this marine mammal aquatic entrance at Mile Marker 14.3 on US-1 oceanside. Turn on Blue Water Drive sitting about 1/16 of a mile on the left. Say hi to Flipper for me! :-)

Leave a comment

Filed under key west