Florida has beautiful scenery and much concrete
|The Sunshine Skyway Bridge has a lot of concrete|
Florida has many beautiful scenes and exotic creatures. And, as we can see, lots of concrete.
I’m in the Sunshine State visiting family and searching for bad postcards.
Now, there is a difference between a bad postcard and a stupid postcard. There is an abundance of stupid postcards here, many pointing out the difference between warm weather and cold weather, the dangers of alligators and women of various sizes wearing swimsuits of various sizes.
I’d rather have this gem of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which connects St. Petersburg to several other communities. The fact that there are more people fishing than driving makes me wonder that either of those places might not be places to visit.
The back – with some confusing capitalization -- reads: “Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida. Over 11 miles of this new 21 million dollar Bridge provides Ocean Fishing for thousands of people daily. In the distance is the main Span, providing clearance for the largest ocean going ships. The main bridge is 22,373 feet with a clearance over water of 141.5 feet.”
The mentioned span is way off in the distance, so that can’t be the focus of our postcard. Nor can our nine people fishing, or the lone vehicle on our $21 million bridge.
But we get a nice, close view of the curb and guardrail and a section of concrete.
Some interesting facts about the Sunshine Skyway. The version in today’s postcard was built in 1954 and partly destroyed in a collision in 1980.
That was a rough year for the bridge. A freighter collided with a support column, sending 1,200 feet of bridge crashing into Tampa Bay. Six cars, a truck and a bus went into the water, killing 35 people. One man survived when his car landed on the freighter.
The replacement bridge, now called the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge, opened in 1987. I’m on the hunt for a replacement postcard that actually focuses on the span.
New Yorkers spend time on the Atlantic side of the state, so I've never been over the Skyway Bridge, old or new.
But the view in our card more closely resembles the Overseas Highway, with 42 bridges that takes New Yorkers and other Floridians to Key West.
The biggest danger on that route is not freighters but key deer.
They look like regular deer, but are smaller mostly on one island, called No Name Island. Really. They must wander into traffic on a regular basis, because there are more signs urging caution around key deer than there actually are key deer.
Apparently they have issues with methamphetamine, too. Because there are signs reading “Speed kills key deer.”