Florida Keys Weekly

The tree on the old 7 Mile Bridge has everything but the candy canes and no one could eat those anyways.

There are lights, ornaments and a star visible from the motorist traveling US 1, but grabbing a candy cane from its branches would be nearly impossible. You see, the decorated Australian pine grows from the obsolete, concrete roadbed of the old Overseas Railway and is believed to have sprouted from the droppings of a passing bird, possibly an osprey, or perhaps a turtle dove.

Billed as the “7th least accessible Christmas tree in the World,” the tree is only reachable by parachute, jetpack or by scaling a 100-year-old pylon from a boat bobbing in the water more than 20 feet below the roadbed.

This past weekend, with temperatures plunging to nearly 70 degrees, an armada of some 30 festive sailors, adventurers and hangers-on managed to complete their Yule-mission in just under two and half hours.

In a special investigative report, The Weekly Newspapers utilized a complicated network of confidential contacts and double-blind social media outlets to uncover the truth about the clandestine decoration of the tree.

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We learned: 

The idea to decorate the iconic tree was born on a starry night in a Marathon manger when two buddies were sipping mulled wine. They procured more than 500 solar powered lights and then hired a helicopter to film the operation.

“Some guy in Big Pine used to decorate the tree,” said one of the mission’s operatives, speaking to The Weekly under the pseudonym “Peeperdin.”

Now the tree has more than “2,000 imported Italian twinkle lights” and a complex security system to thwart would-be saboteurs.

“It’s rats,” said J. Meredith, (true identity withheld). “So we put out about 20 rat traps and deployed hot sauce to keep them from eating the wires.”

Meredith has been leading the company for an undisclosed amount of years and said the tree is growing about 5 feet a year. That did not slow the company from adorning the pine with a huge star, visible to all the traffic traversing the scenic overseas highway.

Enjoy.

Photos courtesy of Overseas Aero Tours.

 

On Wednesday, Dec. 11 the Monroe County Commission will discuss funding options to restore the historic 7 Mile Bridge span between Marathon and Pigeon Key. The 2.2 mile section attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and is in desperate need of rehabilitation.

 

 

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Jason is the editor and publisher of the Weekly Newspapers. He holds an B.A. in English from the University of Toledo and has been writing professionally since 2004. Currently, Jason serves as the Chairman of the Pigeon Key Foundation, President of the Marathon Jaycees, and sits on the board of Leadership Monroe County. Become Jason's friend on Facebook

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