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Saturday, August 14, 2010


Last night I was the southernmost person in the United States. I wasn't trying to set a record, I just needed a place to park my camper for the night.

My friends have a conch house in Key West. It's between two fancy residences that both claim to be "The Southernmost House in the U.S.". Yadira suggested that I park my VW by the ocean so I could catch a breeze.

I did just that then prepared to tour the town on my bike. Despite it being about 300 degrees, the Southernmost City was awash in tourists. I soon learned why.

Someone had figured out how to turn the Empire State Building on its side and float it to Mallory Pier.

Thousands of people were trickling out anxious to buy mojitos and t-shirts.

Later, like a change of tide, they headed back with new shirts in hand.

I saw so many amazing things in Key West. Next to the art museum was a sculpture of naked ladies dancing. I sat and watch tourists take pictures of each other touching the dancers in private places.

I joined the fun by taking pictures of them taking pictures of each other.

Sunset at Mallory Square was the usual freak show. I guess I got my fill of tightrope walkers, escape artists, and cat tricks long ago. Its still a great place to take folks who have never been there before.


On my night tour I heard a blues band coming south on Duval Street. I turned to see a one-man parade, a guy on a bike blasting sound and lights like gangbusters.

It was unlike anything I had ever seen.
Suddenly I was his biggest fan, following Psychedelic Bike Man wherever he pedalled. I snapped pictures repeatedly knowing I'd have to later say, "You had to be there".

Watching him wave at the tourists, bartenders, and massage parlor girls told me he did this often.

Finally I came to my senses and broke away for a dinner with friends.

Two hours later I crawled into my seaside camper and thought, "Golly, I'm probably the southernmost person in the United States tonight".

I tried to not let it go to my head.

It certainly didn't keep me from getting drowsy.

As my eyes were closing for good I stared at a faint glow on the southern horizon and wondered, "Could that be Havana?"

(I was too tired to photograph what could be Havana and it was probably too faint anyway. This is just after sunset, looking west from the ol'campgound)

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