Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bumming around Key West

Amanda and I pose at the so-called southernmost point
of the contiguous United States. Check out the wave
crashing in the background!
So I'm currently here in the Florida Keys working on a new route for I walked the length of the Florida Keys once before, five years ago, then kept going up to the Florida Trail, the ill-fated Alabama Trail, and eventually hooking up with the Appalachian Trail. This hike is a bit less ambitious--I only plan to do the Florida Keys. I like the idea of adding this route since it's so different than the first three routes--walking through a tropical climate, in a part of a country without any supported trails, a relatively short route that barely passes 100 miles.... it's quite different than the PCT and Camino de Santiago! And that really appeals to me. =)

So I started at the so-called southernmost point of the contiguous United States. I'm still convinced it's a giant scam--just look at a map and tell me how you can possibly orient it to make that point the southernmost one. It just can't be done! But it's a cute little tourist trap, even if it is a scam, and I decided the walk would begin there.

From there, I headed past Hemingway's old house, took a tour of the Little White House that President Truman was so fond of visiting, walked through Mallory Square, and headed out of Key West on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage State Trail. (Which, for brevity's sake, I'm going to call the "Florida Keys Trail" from here on out. Which is just as well since I technically didn't follow that trail through much of Key West and I'll probably hike well beyond it's far end before I'm done.)

I walked 5.2 miles through Key West, managing to burn through the batteries in my camera and took a whopping 25 photos per mile along the way. I won't be using all of these photos for the website, but here are a sampling of some you'll see if you later decide to "virtually" walk the Florida Keys Trail.

As a note, the Florida Keys Trail is not currently listed as an option on'm still walking the trail and I have a lot of photos to process, upload, caption and map before it becomes a selection. I'll announce when the route is available--this is just a taste of what's to come! =)

The Little White House. President Truman's room is the one on the
second floor, at the rightmost window with the red, white and blue
thingy under the window.

Cruise ships coming into Key West.

Giant dancing statue.

Only in Key West and San Francisco.... =)

Even in cities, I still needed to take detours....

Yes, we will probably come back again....
...but I doubt it'll be soon!
So many other trails need hiking! =)


boblovesmusic said...

Technically Hawaii is more southern kinda hehe

Sue KuKu said...

Yay! The next one I'll do -- in about 2 years when I finally finish one leg of the Camino! :P


Anonymous said...

Lucky! The Keys are on the places to visit list.

Kristin aka Trekkie Gal said...

In the Little White House photo, the thingy is a bunting. :)

Ryan said...

Yeah, you'd know something about that, wouldn't you Miss Skort? =)

-- Ryan

Karolina said...

What's the deal with shoes hanging off power lines? I've never seen this in Europe! (I did in Canada, though)

Anonymous said...

Shoes Hanging On Lines, Like That, Are To Show Where Illegal Drugs Can Be Found.

Ryan said...

If there's one thing that the shoes are NOT for--it's to indicate where to find illegal drugs. If that were the case, it would be about the same as putting up a sign that reads, "Illegal Drugs Here" and have the cops on you immediately. Urban legend. Along with all sorts of other theories which can be read on Snopes at

The most likely reason for those shoes--someone thought it would be funny to see high-heeled shoes dangling from a telephone wire, so that's what they did.