Posted by: sunnyharvy | March 7, 2017

Wild and Windy Key West

Key West has something for everyone. Unfortunately, EVERYONE comes here! After the depression, someone had the great idea to promote this place as a tourist destination (and never looked back). It’s amazing how many tourists come to this tiny town at the end of a chain of 43 islands connected by 42 bridges on the remarkable 113 mile Overseas Highway.

Our first stop along the highway was on Key Largo at the John Pennikamp State Park. We arrived fairly early in the day after a not terribly restful night camped at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Florida City. The ranger said the campground was full (as all state parks in Florida are this time of year), but that we could check back later “just in case.” After enjoying the morning at the beach we returned to the ranger who kindly let us move into campsite #1, usually kept empty in case of “emergency.” We made full use of this park by hiking, biking, swimming, and kayaking. We had hoped to snorkel, but the sea was too rough and the best sites too far from shore.

Al doing his morning exercise routine on the beach.

Friendly local expresses himself.

Paddling through the mangroves.

We don’t ordinarily stay camped in one place for two weeks, but at $17 a night and no place better to go, we went for it in Key West. Al’s military base privileges really paid off this time. Waterfront sites like the one we scored go for upwards of $150 night at public campgrounds and even those are hard to come by.

The campground at Trumbo Point is not much more than a large grassy field (no hookups) but you can’t beat the location a short bike ride from town. Notice haRVy front and center!

The view from haRVy.

A couple of our colorful neighbors.

There are no naturally sandy beaches on Key West, but some nice ones have been created with imported sand. We visited a few over the course of our stay. We had hoped to snorkel here too, but again our attempts were thwarted by strong winds and murky water. The warm sea was fine for swimming though.

Truman Beach on the military base.

Higgs Beach (above and below).

Smathers Beach.

Fort Zachary Taylor beach (above and below).

Our next door neighbor at the campground, who has camped here every winter for 22 years (!), told us about a place where one can see what Key West was like before civilization moved in. Didn’t take us long to decide to check it out.

Geiger Beach is definitely off the beaten track.

We walked about a mile before high tide impeded our progress.

Apparently “Red” created and lived in this driftwood and coral shack.

A Key West “must do” activity is the world famous daily sunset celebration on Mallory Wharf that has been going on for decades. Besides the natural show put on by Mother Nature local talent entertains the crowds for tips.

Don’t try this at home!

And then, of course, there are the gypsy chickens, descendants of fowl brought to the island by settlers for meat, eggs, and cockfighting entertainment.

To be continued…


  1. Key West – on Rick’s bucket list. So fun to see your photos and hear your adventures!

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