Saturday, December 12, 2009

Southernmost Point Welcomes Paddlers From Maine

Like many tourist attractions, the Southernmost Point in the continental United States isn’t quite what it’s billed. There are a few more southerly spots on the island including a few on private property just along the shore to the east of the famous Red Marker and White Street Pier, which juts into the Ocean significantly further south. But the Red Concrete Buoy Replica is good enough for tourist jazz and a great photo opportunity for visitors to the Southernmost City.

It was the landing point chosen by two unusual visitors, yesterday. Dan and Bethany Cox end a year-long-plus kayaking adventure along the east coast. Dan, 23, and Bethany, 25 paddled from Lubec, Maine, to Key West, Florida’s Southernmost Point, hauling their their kayaks out a few minutes after 11 am on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009. The North Carolina couple started their trip September 2, 2008, and quickly realized they had started too late. So they holed up in Portland, ME until this past May.

On hand to welcome the couple back to land were close family – including Bethany’s parents, Ann & John Patterson, and a crowd of friends and tourists who stayed past their picture taking to congratulate the couple on their successful journey.

What’s next for the couple, asked one onlooker, besides a shower and lunch? “An apartment and some normalcy,” said Bethany.

More photos of the Key West landing party.

Dan & Bethany's website: East Coast Dreams includes many of the stories they told to reporters along the way.

The Southernmost Point in the 1960s, before the red buoy was added: