Key West, Florida
We drove the fascinating Highway 1 through
the Keys over multiple bridges and to our spot on the ocean in Key West.
We backed Camelot up to within four feet of the water, leaving just enough
room to put up chairs for lounging or reading or nothing. Ray met
his old gang while I relaxed on the water reading books and watching movies
on the satellite. Can't ever remember having time to waste like that.
After a couple of days of this
routine, Ray decided his zest for sitting around in bars and drinking was
waning, so we went sightseeing in Key West. Aside from the myriad
number of bars in Key West, there were some sights to see. Everyone
possibly knows Key West is the southernmost place in the U.S. The
town was first settled in 1823 and became a naval base to stop piracy in
1826 and an army post in 1831. Mid nineteenth century Key West prospered
from the salvage business. In the late 19th century the USS Maine
sailed the 90 miles from Key West to Havana where she blew up and ignited
the Spanish-American War.
Early in the 20th century a
wealthy industrialist decided to build a railroad from Miami to Key West.
After thirty million dollars, three hurricanes, 700 lives lost, and eight
years the railroad was completed in 1912 and brought tourists to this Caribbean
town. Flagler’s railroad was washed to sea in a devastating hurricane
on Labor Day 1935. International travel was seated in Key West also.
We had lunch in the building that was the first office of Pan Am.
In 1927 Pan Am flew to Havana in the first international scheduled flight.