After 2600 miles, give or take a hundred, 7 months, 1 day and 19 hours, I jumped into the Atlantic Ocean off the south shore of Key West yesterday morning (Feb. 18- and yes, I pushed back my flight by two days) and the epic trek passed into the history books! Well, not quite yet in all honesty. That will happen over the next six months or so as I go back and relive the hike while writing a memoir of it. I have no idea whether I could get it published on a commercial basis, but I would like to do it for friends, family, myself, and not least, those of you who have kept up with my journey via this blog. If you are interested in a copy, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when it's ready, I'll be in touch.
In actuality, the Key West Death March took three days longer than originally planned, but was still probably the most intense part of the hike. Two days in particular stand out. First, there was a 46 mile haul about a week ago to get down to Key Largo from Coral Gables, which included a 20 mile long stretch through the Everglades at night. This included passing by a "crocodile crossing" sign and being urged on by swarms of hungry mosquitoes, which, rather conveniently, only bit me when I stopped for breaks. Then, two days ago, I cranked out the last 38 miles of the Overseas Highway (an accurate and fantastic name for the portion of good old US 1that connects the Keys) in hot sunshine and unseasonable humidity.
But it was all worth it- Key West was a great spot to end the trek, and I had a great, if all too brief time there. I'll continue to update the blog for the next two weeks with more stories from the Keys, my thoughts in retrospect, and as promised, both pictures and video footage of the final stages.