One of the things on my "Life's to-do list" was drive a red convertible Mustang down Route 1. My husband arranged for a red convertible mustang to be at the cruise ship dock when our honeymoon cruise was over. The ride down in the blazing July sun was AWESOME! Talk about a beautiful drive! We had Jimmy Buffett blaring and took it nice and easy. Key West is one of my favorite places in the world. This also happened to be my birthday, so I drank my Captain Tony's birthday beer and ate my birthday Kermit's Key Lime pie. When it was time to head back, we left good and early because I wanted to shop at some of those INSANELY tacky Florida "Shell-Man" tourist shops (when in Florida, shop for really tacky gifts).
About an hour into the drive, traffic was stopped DEAD. If you know Route 1, it's the only way in and out of the Florida Keys. If it's shut down, YOU'RE STUCK! Turns out that someone had stopped on a bridge to change their tire (NEVER stop on the bridges!) a semi jackknifed to miss them, and ended up hanging off the bridge by ONE TIRE (not axel, TIRE! You can see it some of the pictures) We sat in temperatures of over 124 degrees coming off the blacktop in the hot Florida sun. We were near Fiesta Key, which is pretty much the middle of absolutely nothing; just a narrow stretch of road with water on both sides, no shade, and cars back up for miles and miles! We met some great people wandering down the road. We ended up having a little “Route 1 party” in the middle of the road. Everyone was out of their cars walking around.
The line of stopped traffic. It was well over 100 degrees that day (KOA lady told us it was 124 coming off the pavement).
Some even unpacked their bathing suits and went snorkeling near the road until someone informed them there might be alligators. The good news is, I did end up with my coveted tacky souvies! There was a KOA campground on Fiesta Key with a gift shop / convenience store about a half mile from where we were stranded. So I mailed a couple coconuts, got a light-up flashing pink dolphin key chain, a hula girl made completely out of shells, a $5 t-shirt that says "I Love Florida", you get the idea... The people at KOA were SO NICE to us. They did an excellent job of accommodating the masses of stranded people who were incredibly hot, thirsty, munchie, had to pee, and bored out of their skulls. They opened the pool for us, let us use their facilities, and kept us up to date on news and road progress.
Now you don't see this every day.
When the road finally opened about 4.
5 hours later, it looked like we were going to miss the plane. I tell people that there are two reasons we made the flight:
Okay, maybe it was hanging by two tires... but really only supported by one.
1. I was driving...
2. A Mustang
P.S. Everyone involved in the accident was miraculously okay with only scrapes and bruises. God was really watching over Route One that day!
P.S. Again - they ended up having to pull the truck back up onto the road. They considered dropping it into the water but decided against it because of its cargo. They didn't want to risk damaging the reefs and wildlife in the ocean. That made the hippie tree-hugger in me very happy!