Florida Keys – Marathon

Unfortunately, I found out Saturday night that Sunday wasn’t going to go as planned. I received a call that the Sombrero Reef trip had been cancelled due to the high winds. That also put my boat trip out to Pigeon Key in jeopardy. So I decided to foot the two miles along the Seven Mile Bridge again Sunday morning and head on down to Pigeon Key. It made my decision not to stay down there the day before pay off as I felt like I had never been there before. And even though I didn’t get the historic tour that I would have had I taken the boat trip, I still had a great time walking around the island and taking pictures of all the old houses from the early 1900’s. Of course, when I got back to my car and drove over to the Visitor Center, I found out the boat tour was still on. Oh well.

And speaking of boats, I figured I’d better make sure the Sombrero Reef trip was definitely off so I went just up the road to the dock where I was supposed to meet the boat. Since there was no one there, I decided to continue back up north and stopped in Grassy Key at the Dolphin Research Center. I thought about stopping there on the way down Saturday, but didn’t think I had enough time. I knew I definitely had time today. The center had several swimming areas for the 20 or so dolphins, and it was really fun watching them jump around and do flips. The center also had a couple sea lions, but I never saw them.

As I drove farther north through Marathon, I stopped by another roadside fishing pier to take in more of the beautiful blue waters. Then drove onto and around Duck Key for a while. I remember coming here for the first time a couple years ago, and I’ve been looking forward to going back ever since. I then drove back into Islamorada, and stopped by Annie’s Beach for a little siesta. I also took a nice walk along the small wooden boardwalk that leads to the southern parking area. After an hour or so there, I drove to the north part of Islamorada and checked out the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park.

Another park that I’ve only been to once quite a few years ago, I forgot about all the cool trails that wind through the woods and the several rock quarries. Its history is very significant to the Keys, as the stone was used to build Henry Flagler’s railroad in the early 1900’s. It was also interesting to learn that the rock here was used to build Vizcaya in Coconut Grove, which I was just at a week ago.

Having visited all the places I had planned to, I then drove out of the Keys and up to Kendall in Miami to play a couple rounds of disc golf at Indian Hammocks Park. It was nice way to end a fun but crazy weekend in the Keys, and even though I eventually found out that I had been booked on the wrong day for the Sombrero Reef trip and that the snorkel boat did go out on Sunday afternoon, the cool waters would have made the swim a chilly one and I figured I’ll just try it again when the water and air temps are warmer.

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