Tag Archives: us-1 south

Key West’s Autograph Tree… TRUE!

A tree collecting autographs, how cool is that! Its scientific name is ‘Clusia Rosea’… hmmm, to us laymen-type it’s simply known as an Autograph Tree native to the Bahamas and West Indies.

I was floored having never heard of such a tree and was amazed and fascinated at its properties to keep these autographs without killing the tree. It’s very neat to see and participate in etching your name into a vacant leaf… if you can find one! The four of us on the visit carved our names into it making great photos and memories.

You too can find and sign this Autograph Tree located on the grounds of the West Martello Tower at Higgs Beach on the southeastern portion of the island. Enjoy and have fun, it’s a hoot to see and do!

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Florida Key’s Alamo… I’m Serious!

Yes, the Florida Keys does in fact have its own Alamo… but first here’s a quick recap of the Alamo that everyone else knows. Although exact accounts of the battle vary, here’s one respected source. The ‘Battle Of The Alamo’ lasted for 12 long days from February 23 – March 6th, 1836 in San Antonio, Texas. It’s best remembered by the later battle cry “Remember The Alamo” and its famous immortalized fallen defenders that included; frontiersman Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and commander William B. Travis along with any where from 186-254 fellow Texans and volunteers that were defeated by Mexican General Santa Anna. There’s your history recap presented by me Professor Mr. 365 Days! 🙂

Though no lives were lost at the Key’s Alamo, it has fought battles. This once thriving business complex built in a similar style walls & timbers as its namesake has since been abandoned and is now sits completely vacant possibly loosing its battle for survival. I recommend that you pass by and see this historically named complex before its loses its final battle to the wrecking ball.

You can find the Florida Key’s Alamo at the intersection of Hwy. US-1 & Johnson Road at Mile Marker 19.9 oceanside.

         

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Nostalgic Motel Signs

A while back on the internet I couldn’t believe how many websites and photo sites like Flickr have 100’s of groups with 1,000’s of photo and 100,000’s followers did I realize that there’s a massive amount of people who love looking at old nostalgic hotel signs! There are literally 100’s of hotels, motels & resorts along the 126.7 mile path down the Key’s to Key West with plenty of older style signage. Here’s what I’d say are the two best that you’ll find heading towards Paradise on US-1 South.

You can find the first one, The Seafarer Resort Hotel (seen below) with Old Man Salt Of The Sea lighting the way with his lantern at Mile Marker 97.9 on the right side of the road in Key Largo… and yes, the lantern really lights up! The second is a little further down called the Rainbow Bend Resort & Fishing Camp known for their FREE motorboat rentals for paying hotel quests. The Rainbow Bend sign can’t be missed on the left side of the road near Mile Marker 58 at the BEND in the road… hmm, wonder how they came up with Rainbow Bend as a name? 🙂

These are but two of a number of antique, old & nostalgic hotel signs you’ll see. I assure you that if these two don’t tickle your fancy then there’s plenty more along the way to temp your eyes!

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Sharing A Beach With Sea Turtles

IMG_0890Ever shared a silver-sand beach with sea turtles? Well here you can… from of distance that is! Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles nest in these sands during the day instead of at night as all other sea turtles do.

Look at one of the photos below, you can see that the red-colored walkway has lightened sections that from afar look non-disscript. Now look at the up close picture as a miniature turtle comes into focus.

Who knows, depending on the time of year you visit, you might actually be on the beach at the same time as turtles!

You can find these tiny embedded images of sea turtles just off US-1 at Mile Marker 50.1 oceanside along beautiful Sombrero Beach. Turn on Sombrero Beach Road and drive down 2 miles on your left. Parking and beach access are FREE.

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Memory Crosses

Memory Crosses

I’m not exactly sure where such a sad tradition was started. Memory crosses are now seen throughout the United States along the side of roads, cliffs and bridges where each had unfortunately met their demise. The first time I had ever seen one was in Arizona after my visit to the Grand Canyon. I actually pulled over and took a photo of it not knowing what it was at the time. There are a number of these Memory Crosses along the 126.7 miles trek down the Keys. It’s a sad reminder of what can happen to any of us NO MATTER how good of a driver you are.

The family members of the departed erect the personal crosses and try to keep them current, fresh & painted. Most of which have photos, names & dates of the loved ones lost. The state of Florida has posted a number of signs along the way noting “Lights on for safety”, “Do not pass”, “Stay in your lane”, “No speeding” but to this date there has been a number of unwilling souls that have lost their lives during this year. As seen below, there are two of these signs along the Overseas Highway, one at the beginning and one at the end. So please drive safely on your trip to the Florida Keys.

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600 Pound Scuba Mask

IMG_1469Have you ever wondered where the largest scuba mask in the Florida Keys is? Or better yet, have you ever wondered how much the Key’s largest scuba mask weighs? If you’ve wondered either then I’m truly wondering why! 🙂 But anyways, the scuba mask stands about 6 feet tall and is affixed to the side of a building in 3D weighing an astonishing 600 pounds… I know because I weighed it! 🙂 OK, I didn’t weight it, I was simply informed by the sculptor himself Jay Gogin who was watching me take the photo (TRUE) and said it was made of 600 pounds of fired clay.

You can find this on the campus of the Florida Keys Community College just outside of Key West at one of its two entrances at Mile Marker 5.0 & 4.3 onto the horseshoe-shaped College Road. Drive down the road about 1/2 mile from either entrance and there you’ll find it be behind by the Tennessee Williams Theater about a block on the left.

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Key West’s Life-Like Statues

IMG_1874I ask you, which person in each of the photos are real? 🙂 OK it’s not that hard but boy are the others life-like all the way down to skin tone, fingernails, shoes, clothes, & pocketbook contents. It’s AMAZING, these are the BEST I’ve ever seen!

There’s two options in photographing these life-like sculptures: 1) Pay to go within the compound if a person is required in your photo, 2) Simply stand outside as I did and peer over the top of the fence and zoom in for a FREE photo… then run away so they don’t catch you! :-)  (just kidding… walk away really fast)

You can find these incredibly beautiful full-sized life-like statues at 938 Whitehead Street across from the Ernest Hemingway House within the grounds of the Key West Lighthouse.

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