Wow, when was the last time you’ve seen a Smokey The Bear used in an advertisement? Well I found one on Big Pine Key, but first a little history lesson on the bears name and origin. He’s been called Smokey Bear, Smokey The Bear and simply Smokey. Smokey was created in 1944 by the U.S. Forestry Service as their mascot to educate the public about the dangers of forest fires. He thrived for decades and then faded into relative obscurity till being brought back in 2001 with an updated message and look that evidently didn’t woo the kids as much as Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z. 🙂 No matter what you call him I’m sure it brings back Saturday morning cartoon commercials telling us with that stern look and pointing at you saying: “ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!”.
So take a few minutes and find Smokey The Bear on your next trip down with the children and ask your granddaughter to take a picture of you beside Smokey… because frankly they won’t know who he is! 🙂 Smokey Bear is recognized by nearly 95% of adults my age… and I’m not telling 🙂 and only 70% of younger generations.
You can find this icon of the past no matter if you call him Smokey, Smokey Bear or Smokey The Bear in front of the Big Pine Key Forestry Station located just 0.4 miles down Key Deer Blvd. on the left after turning at Mile Marker 30.4 bayside off of US-1.
Welcome to Big Pine Key! This is home to Bambi, Bambi’s mom, dad, sister, brother and thousands of Bambi look-a-likes aptly named Key Deer!
Before you see the first deer you’ll notice the many signs around town set out to protect them. This is nature’s playground gone wild for its four-legged furry friends. This town is SERIOUS about protecting their livelihood revenue generating silent spokespersons. The city has erected tall chain link fences lining BOTH sides of the road as their first line of defense in protecting the endangered Key Deer.
Take note that the speed limits are lower here than normal producing much of the islands additional revenue in speeding tickets! No matter how much prevention is enforced there’s always unfortunate instances resulting in Key Deer fatalities. One of the photos below depicts 108 killed last year with 35 already meeting their demise so far this year.
You can find this Key Deer friendly refuge on Big Pine Key from Mile Marker 33.0 thru 28.8 on US-1 in the beautiful Florida Keys.
This eye catcher is a photo-op for sure! It stands some 8 or 9 feet tall from tip to tip and could swallow an average size person standing up… LeBron your safe! 🙂 If this is real it belongs in a museum and I’ll never go in the water again… JAWS! If it’s not, then it belongs in your scrapbook as a souvenir photo with your entire family standing in front of it. That’s one big mouth, I heard a tourist say “The only mouth bigger than this is my Mother-In-Laws!” 🙂 No way I’d ever say that!
You can find this JAWS look-a-like in front of Shell World’s entrance on the southbound lane of US-1 on the left hand side of the road at Mile Marker 97.6 in the beautiful city of Key Largo.
Was this your Christmas gift? If so, did you have to say “Thank you Honey! But I meant a Harley-Davidson “DEAR”… NOT “DEER”! 🙂
Hmmm, if the owners name is John… would he be known as ‘John Deer’? 🙂 Yes, I know it’s spelled John Deere but the joke wouldn’t have worked! You can find this anomaly (anything out of the expected NORM) which I think duly applies here! Once again, you can find this ‘HORNY HARLEY’ 🙂 with antlers at Skip’s on US-1 bayside Mile Marker 31.2 on Big Pine Key home of the Key Deer Refuge… Oh no, please don’t tell me those are Bambi’s! 🙂
PS – If it’s long gone by time you get there simply ask him to build you another one for you own iconic photo!
Welcome to the Big Pine Key Visitor Center (as seen full view below) where you can drop in for a rest from your Florida Key’s drive or a much-needed pit stop to relieve more than tensions! 🙂 As you can see from the photo (top left), this stop is more than just pamphlets, discount coupons & restrooms… this comes with an added bonus of a photo-op for those with an artistic eye or those needing to be told this makes a great photo! 🙂
You can find this Visitor Center with a view at Mile Marker 31.3 on the right hand side of the road of US-1 driving south on Big Pine Key. And yes, that’s my red & white Dodge Viper car in the parking lot… no not really, I’d never trade my yellow & black custom Corvette with a blower & side pipes for that! 🙂