From Naples to Pigeon Key to Ft. Pierce to Port Wentworth

February 20, 2013 21:53 – 21:53

I’m at the Comfort Suites on Travel Way in Port Wentworth, Georgia. Last night, I was in the Comfort Suites on Metal Drive in Fort Pierce, Florida. The internet speed in Ft. Pierce was dreadfully slow—about 200 to 300K—maybe 500K at most. In contrast, the internet speed here is 18M… at least 36 times faster.

On Tuesday, I got out of the rental house in Naples before 9—a new record. However, I didn’t hit the road until 9:15, because I’d misplaced the Garmin and it took me a good 20 minutes to find it.

From Naples to the Seven Mile Bridge that connects Marathon with Pigeon Key took about 4 hours, with stops. A very slow Pepsi truck in front of me added about 10 minutes to the trip. Once there, I quickly found Allison. She’s about a week into a 6-month stint there teaching marine science.

Pigeon Key is either a 10 minute boat ride or a 45 minute walk from Marathon. It’s about 2.25 miles. I chose to walk. This time of year, as long as one isn’t too sensitive to the sun (I word a hat), it’s a very nice walk, a little longer than the Wilson Bridge walk.

Pigeon Key originally was named Cay Paloma… but, Pigeon won out over Dove in the naming department. Pigeon Key quartered 300 to 400 workers during the construction of the original overseas railroad bridge financed by Flagler, completed in 1913. Due to a number of reasons, the bridge wasn’t a commercial success, and ultimately was turned into an automobile bridge, completed in 1935. A lot of this stuff, I learned during a tour of Pigeon Key.

Before and after the tour, I chatted some with Allison. I wish I’d budgeted more time for the Keys. Maybe next time.

After leaving Pigeon Key, I then drove the four-hour drive to Fort Pierce. Other than the occasionally slow traffic on the Keys, and a torrential downpour 35 miles south of Port Fierce, the ride was uneventful.

This morning, I got out of the hotel by 10. At that point, my ETA for Okefenokee NWR was about 2:30. But, a really unfortunate lunch decision—eating Publix chicken at a picnic table—added about 90 minutes to the trip. So, by the time I got to Okefenokee, the Swamp Island Drive trail was closed. According the park folks, it wasn’t supposed to close until 4:30, but they closed it at 4. So, I ended up walking part of the Swamp Diggers Loop, instead. The palmettos there are very cool, but I didn’t see any of the cool birds I’d hoped to see.

I left ONWR a little after 5, and commenced the 2 hour drive to where I am now, in Wentworth, Georgia. For dinner, I decided on Mexican and ended up going to El Ranchito in Port Wentworth… about half a mile from here. I had the steak fajitas and a XX on draught. It was quite good… a little skimpy on the meat department, but about par for the course.

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