**This stalking episode is a bit south of my usual trails.  And the deer are smaller. :)

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KeyNotes ~ Part #1

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The drive from Miami to Key Largo, the Gateway to the Keys, is a sizzler. Tidal flats. Teal waters. Concrete spans. Older bridges running parallel to newer ones. Atlantic on your left, the Gulf to the right. The Overseas Highway stretches 113 miles, connecting hundreds of eclectic islands with its 42 bridges. It’s an All-American Road ~ on that elite list with the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Beartooth Highway and Route 66.  Main Street,Florida Keys.

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At one time, there was no highway at all. Access to Key West was virtually impossible but railroad magnate Henry Flagler had a dream. Click here and take an historic drive out to sea in an automobile.

Florida Keys Building the Overseas Highway.

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The ride across the Seven Mile Bridge is a full-turn fist-pumper. But it’s the

race across the Eighth Wonder of the World that brings 1,500 runners to the

Middle Keys in April. The annual 7-Mile Run commemorates the opening

of the bridge in 1982.  (For all you potential entrants, it’s really 6.79 mi.)

Enter here, the run fills up fast! www.southernmostrunners.com

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Runners from around the world are attracted every year to race the Seven Mile Bridge, one of the longest segmental bridges in the world. Photos by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

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I read somewhere that the word ‘vacation’ means to be unoccupied.  Probably in high school Latin I, II or III.  Kona Kai is the place for just that. It’s a restored 1940’s bayside resort in Key Largo, home to Technicolor fish and coral reefs, trumpet fish and sponges. Kona Kai has the old-fashioned feel of the Keys, what locals call ‘Keysian”. Languid, laid back, full of light and salt air. Now that’s something to tweet home about. You just sit back and let life happen.

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It’s what we Italians enjoy most, il dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing. Kona Kai has its own ethnobotanist, a lush tropical garden,an orchid house, brilliant watercolors on the walls, delicate bronze sculptures in the art gallery, mangoes at poolside.  But the sacred objects are outside ~ a nirvanic sunset………………..

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mangrove islands…………

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and tiny Key deer.

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Key Deer

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All this exists alongside a mad huge River of Grass.

….to be continued

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Toni  2/19/11

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And  A Postscript – About our new header.

I fell for this photo. Got a  seed of an idea? Put pen to paper. Then watch what grows as you follow your thoughts.

visual inspiration

5 thoughts on “*STALKING THE WILD MAD STONE* : GUMBO-LIMBO, HIGH WALKERS AND THE WAY IT IS..in a series of KeyNotes

  1. Toni, I can tell that you have been affected, as have I, by the Florida bug….and by that I don’t mean the Disney bug!!!!! Although Carl Hiaasen seems to have the market on the “weird” of Florida….take a look at Seasons of Florida, by Jeff Klinkenberg. It is a collection of his essays
    from the St. Petersberg

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    1. Hey Sayra..The Brown-eyed Girl has been there..done that…Jimmy was out of town, (but feelin’ fine in spite of his fall off the stage in Australia) and out of his element. The Pirate who’s lookin’ at 65? was doing the Barstool Boogie at The Breakers in Palm Beach! His island house is for sale in KWest.$$$$$$$… The old truthteller might be movin’ to A Fool’s Paradise. HIs Glory Days Live On…and he isn’t playing for gumbo anymore. I like his attitude ( and song)…growing older but not up. Idle? in Paradise? you bet, we got a License to Chill. The Tiki Bar is Open. :)
      Toni

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  2. Toni, thanks for a vicarious trip away from winter and my cell phone angst!!! I remember that drive as a kid, and I did not appreciate the gifts of toughing out the floating road in the middle of nowhere, but of course I was a whining teenager!! I can tell you loved every idle minute! M.

    Like

    1. Oh Mary, are there ever enough idle minutes….wherever you are? The technology today is scary cool- it’s five-star fun but it steals plenty of precious minutes. Jimmy’s song, Tonight I Just Need My Guitar, says it all.

      Like

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