Tuesday, October 18, 2016

10/17 Bike Riding in Key West

My TV antenna looked even worse this morning after I tried to put it down using the crank inside.  But before I called the mobile tech, I decided to dump my tanks.  (Living alone means I only have to do this about once every four days. I am a fantastic water conserver!)

The dump station is only two blocks over and just down a few camping spots, but I had two people follow me on bikes to tell me my antenna was up.  I explained it was stuck and was going to call someone to fix it.  Dumped my tanks, and then had to back out so as not to catch antenna on some low wires, and another couple stopped me to tell me my antenna was up.  I explained again, but this guy said he had a ladder and offered to see if he could fix it, and told me to pull into empty spot.  He got out his extension ladder (amazing what some people carry when they travel), climbed up with his wife and me holding the ladder.  He said it was fatally damaged, so I told him to take it off, which with a couple of snips of his wire cutters and a screwdriver, he managed to do.  Whew!  I am going to owe them a bottle of wine. 

Thanked them profusely, and decided since I was unhooked, I'd drive the hour to Key West to do some exploring.  So off I went. I had called a few days ago and knew that the only place I could park in the city would be Zachary Taylor State Park at the far southwestern tip of the island. They have a large gravel lot with plenty of space for my rig.  The next few photos are of the fort.  Nice location overlooking the Caribbean, but it had to be hot here in the summer without AC.

The bike was a great decision!  I had been to Key West before, but on foot and taking the tour trolley.  This was much easier because I could ride on back roads, and I got to stop and take photos.

I did not go inside the art museum, but I did like the dancers in the front.

And this lady was apparently waiting for the bus after doing her shopping.

And lunchtime for this young girl. Strangely, I have seen very similar figures in St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada, last fall.

Next stop was Mel Fisher's treasure museum.  His was the family that found the ship Atocha off Key West after decades of looking unsuccessfully.  They estimate that the treasure he found was worth $500,000,000.  Yes, 500 million dollars.

Outside, was this boat that carried 25 people from Cuba to the U.S.  

Ah, silver!

 And gold chains. Apparently, bullion was taxed but not jewelry, so the Spanish made much of the treasure into chains.  They cut off pieces at a time to sell them.

And gold bars.  By the way, the museum has a man whose sole job is to watch the continuous TV monitors.  You are not allowed to wear a hat or anything that would prevent your face from being seen while in the museum!  

Beautiful gold plate.

I rode my bike around the historic area for a while, but it has really been hot, so I headed back to the state park. 

This is the entrance to what is called the Truman Annex.  It contains the Truman home and museum, but mostly it is a tree-lined gated community of beautiful homes, some of which are available for rent to tourists. Next few photos show the streets and a small park area.

It was a long hot day, so I was glad to get back into my motorhome and head back to Bahia Honda.  There is still much to explore, and it is supposed to cool off a few degrees, so I think I will come back next week.