Motoring Across America

With James "Alex" Alexander

with James "Alex" Alexander


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Blog 185: Last Boat to Freedom

Note: The title of this week’s blog will become clear when you look at the section called Botanical Gardens.

This week we stayed in the Keys, enjoying the balmy weather and the laid-back atmosphere of this special part of the world. Below are another Key West sunrise, a shot of Jerry, who had just convinced me to order a burger instead of fish, and a fine specimen of the ever-present roosters.

Another Key West Sunrise

Alex and Jerry


Dry Tortugas
The seaplane trip from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park was a great opportunity for scenic water views, and wonderful old Ft. Jefferson is just an amazing structure and setting. Here are a few shots taken over the park and outside and inside the fort. Awesome place to visit.

John the Float Plane Pilot

Dry Tortugas

Ft. Jefferson Water Shot

Ft. Jefferson

Inside Ft. Jefferson

Botanical Gardens
We visited the Key West Botanical Gardens and enjoyed the flora and fauna of these small but nice gardens. They have one exhibit, however, that is deserving of its own special designation.

Over the years, people from Cuba have tried to escape their island and cross the 106 miles to land in America. Built in secrecy, handmade boats, called “chugs,” were crafted using whatever materials were available: lawnmower engines, planking, chunks of Styrofoam, etc. Freedom was the goal, but dehydration or being eaten by sharks was often their finish line. If caught on the water, they were deported back to Cuba and all the punishment that entailed…however, if they could land just one foot on dry land, they were allowed in to pursue the path to US citizenship, if they chose. Take a look at the collection of chugs that landed or were washed up on the shores surrounding Key West. Would you make this journey?

Chug 1

Chug 2

Chug 3

Chug 4

Chug 5

Chug 6

Chug 7

Chug 8

Chug 9

Chug 10

Chug 11

Old Trucks
Here are three old, but classy, Florida trucks shot in Key West.

Old Truck 1

Old Truck 2

Old Truck 3

See you next week.