Bermuda’s airport re-opened last week, but I am in no rush to get on a plane. Lockdown has had me constantly thinking of travel, past trips and what future ones look like. I also realized that I never did write about the families trip to the Florida’s Keys at the end of last summer.
The Florida Keys are a coral string of islands that form the southernmost part of the United States. The iconic Overseas Highway runs from Miami to the bottom tip of the keys at Key West. American Industrialist and important developer of the Atlantic Coast of the state of Florida Henry Flagler attempted an ambitious plan to run a train the 160 miles across the 800 islands from Miami in the early 1900’s.
Flagler’s aspiration was to take advantage of the growing but geographically challenging trade between the U.S. and Cuba and the rest of Latin America. Yet despite some innovative engineering, the railroad was continuously hindered by a run of hurricanes but engineers persevered until the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. This CAT 5 devastated the Keys and killed 400 people.
That was the end of Flagler’s project, yet many of the track beds, trestles and bridges remain and form part of today’s Overseas Highway.