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In September 2003, we made a journey south to the very bottom of the continental USA, Key West, Florida.
Key West is about 150 miles (240 km) south of Miami and 90 miles (145 km) north of Havana, Cuba. Its name was an anglicization of the Spanish name for the island, Cayo Hueso, meaning "Bone Island".

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Art Deco Building in South Beach Miami

"Art Deco" buildings on South Beach, Miami Beach

We took a detour from the highway (and civilization) and entered the Florida Everglades National Park. Our target was the Pa-hay-okee overlook. The words are Native American for 'river of grass'.
 pahayokee
 

Pa-hay-okee Overlook, Everglades Natonal Park

Pa-hay-okee, the River of Grass   Pa-hay-okee Boardwalk There is a boardwalk walkway in Pa-hay-okee across an area of the Everglades.  The first picture (left) shows the expanse of this 'river of grass' where there are few trees, the 2nd picture shows a portion of the boardwalk. We were just a few inches above the water.
 pahayokee  

We were fortunate to be able to observe some spectacular sunsets: Marathon Key, from Mallory Square in Key West, and from Sanibel Island off the coast of Fort Myers.
  sunset in Key West  sunset in Sanibel  sunset in Marathon key
 

Sunset, Marathon Key   Sunset, Key West

Sunset, Sanibel Island

Beginning of US Route 1

US Route 1 begins at Mile 0 in front of the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West. It runs north from here along the Atlantic coast all the way to Canada.
 US Rt 1 US 1  

We are standing in front of the marker signifying the Southernmost Point in the continental USA. Unfortunately, the actual marker was inside a construction zone and we were unable to access it. This temporary marker is about 20 meters north of the actual marker (right).
 "Jerrold Patz" Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria at the southernmost point in the continental US marker most southern point

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria at the Marker for the Southermost Point in the Continental US   The Actual Southernmost Marker

On an Airboat in the Everglades Swamp Here we are with our guests (Bee Kim and Mee Wah) on an airboat in the Everglades swamp. Our guide and driver was a member of the Miccosukee Indian Tribe.
Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria airboat air boat

Our airboat (above) took us into the vast Florida Everglades.
 
air boat  

The Everglades

Female Alligator   Male Alligator Climbing Mud Pad

A small, female alligator visited us on the boat. Her tail is touching the bottom and is holding her in place. Next is male alligator climbing a floating mud pad. He is more than twice her size.

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