The End Of The Road

At the Southern Most Point in the Continental United States, you can stand in the rain for an hour to have your photo taken by the landmark. Painted on it in official lettering, reads “90 Miles To Cuba.” So close, but so far. Most of these people will never make the trip but they will caption the photo “I can see Castro from here!”

I heard that joke a lot this past weekend.

There is an oddity about the towns where highways end. The end of a highway, in and of itself, is something strange. Usually, they turn into something else, like how I-70 splits into I-15 somewhere in the middle of the Utah desert. In Telluride, State highways reduce to county roads which, then, reduce to roadwork which no reasonable car could traverse. In the winter, you may as well be driving into a brick wall.

U.S. Highway 1, after an exhausting jaunt over numerous bridges, ends at a quiet intersection in Key West. The point, in and of itself, is nothing interesting. But there are two gift shops. 

There is little irony lost on calling something “the end of the road” and having it be a place where derelicts and impropers have flocked to for years. Tourists like to pass through places, as though they are in a loop. Everything is good enough for just right now, and then they pack into their bus and shuttle on to the next thing they can take a picture of. When you’re at the end of the road there is the chance you are camping out somewhere, setting up shop, finding a way to do whatever you can to keep from having to go back up the highway you just came down.

Maybe you climb the granite wall. Maybe you grab a boat and head to Cuba.

David Pennington
David Pennington

Writing would be great if it weren't the only thing I knew how to do. I publish as much as I can, you'll just have to wait for the rest.  

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