Well, we have done it. We reached the end of the Florida Keys. More accurately we are seven miles from the end at the Navy RV Park on Key West. Wow!
Sunny skies, bright blue water, gentle breezes – not! We are sitting in our un-set-up trailer waiting for the mother of all thunderstorms to pass by. I have never been in a storm this severe before. I think we have had 50 mph winds and tons of rain. The palm trees look just like the pictures on the weather cannel when they are showing hurricanes. A couple of times the whole trailer shook violently. What great timing we have. A couple of hours later and we would have missed it.
|Storm blown Navy RV Park.|
The Navy campground is right on the water. The spaces are a little small and the park is a little old and used looking but it is fine, and the location is wonderful.
The drive out through the keys was very disappointing for the first 70 miles or so. I have these mental images from reading so much about the road out here. They are of long bridges on narrow roads over bright blue water that stretches everywhere in all directions. Not so.
|55 MPH speed limit on this US Highway 1 bridge.|
One of the “scaredy-pants” folks who planned on coming with us on this trip was worried about driving an RV out here (maybe I was too). It ended up not being thrilling at all. It was a lot, for the most part, like driving down Pacific Coast Highway. For many long stretches you couldn’t even see the ocean. The road was very good for the most part. Wide lanes with ample shoulders were along the whole way. Boring!
|A portion of the original bridge built originally for a railroad.|
But this thunderstorm is another story. We pulled off for a rest stop along the road. It was dark grey but no rain as I stopped. We got into the trailer before the first cell hit. I had to get back into the truck and just as I stepped out lighting flashed right over my head. The skies just dumped. I was very wet by the time I got back to the trailer – mostly from the rain but I might have wet my pants a little because of the thunder and lightening.
We managed to drive to the Navy base while the real storm came in. I had to get out in it a few times to clear the gate guards and to register. We were led to our campsite where I waited for a lull then dashed to the trailer. I was soaked. It was pouring and then the real storm hit.
I just checked the weather station here to see how much rain we have gotten. It is 4:07 PM so the rain has been steady since about 11 AM. It is tapering off now. So far we have had 5.21 inches today. That is a good rain year for Ridgecrest.
I believe I see blue sky off in the distance over the Gulf Of Mexico.
The truck and trailer are really clean, I bet! Ah, life is good.
|Late afternoon at the Navy RV Park Key Largo.|