Thursday, December 11, 2014

Catching up from the Keys

Oh my! Only two more nights at Long Key State Park before we will be pulling out and driving all of 35 miles to our next destination in Key Largo.

These are some of the things we have enjoyed while here:

A short but magical walk thru a dense mangrove forest. It went from the Highway to the Florida Bay side of the park in 1/4 mile. It really felt jungleish!

Watching our next-door neighbor fishing with a net. He didn't catch anything, but it was interesting.

Visiting other beaches on the Keys. Bahia Honda State Park has a wider beach than Long Key, but there are no RV spots as close as ours is to the water.

We also drove thru Curry Hammock State Park to check out the RV spaces.  We really did luck out in getting a spot at the best park! Especially since it was my second choice. I have since heard that Bahia Honda is known for being very noisy and "a bit of a zoo".

We never seem to tire of watching the little shore birds hunting for goodies in the sand just a few feet from the Alfa.

One of our walks was a four mile stroll down the old section of the seven mile bridge that is closed to traffic, but open to walkers.

Birds seem to like it as well.

The colors of the water were beautiful. We had a moment of excitement when we saw a manta ray breach a short distance from where we were standing. Seeing animals in the wild is always a bit more exciting than seeing them in a zoo or aquarium.

Of course,
during the weeks we have been here we have sampled some of the unusual seafood offerings available at the many competing casual eateries. Craig tried the Konchwurst sandwich, and I had a Lobster Reuben. Both were good, but I don't think they will sweep the country as food fads.  We also took some fresh Hogfish filets home and cooked them on the grill. It was a very nice, mild white fish.

As we drove back and forth along the Overseas Highway we couldn't help noticing the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. We had met a couple of their people when we had the above lunch, and decided a visit would be interesting.

Part of the educational tour was viewing one of the vet techs giving a turtle a blood transfusion. The healthy donor turtle was resting in a bin in another room.

We saw many turtles in different pools. These are two of the Green Turtles who were in rehab after surgery to remove some benign tumors. Green turtles are mostly brown, with each having a unique coloration. They are called green turtles because their flesh and fat becomes green from the plants they eat.

I think this was the prettiest one. Did you know sea turtles shed layers of keratin off the top of their shells as they grow? 

We also saw some of the turtles who are permanent residents of the hospital because they would not be able to survive in the wild if they were released. We fed them by tossing "Turtle Chow" into the water. They are also fed romaine lettuce from the local grocery store.  

During these two weeks we have had to drive up to Maimi, over 100 miles, twice so Craig could have some dental work taken care of. He needed to have a root canal redone and also some painful oral surgery. He seems to be doing fine, but he is still on pain killers and antibiotics so we are taking it easy.  If he feels up to it, we want to spend the afternoon and evening in Key West tomorrow. It is his 70th Birthday.

Moonrise from our picnic table.


  1. Sounds like you enjoyed your time there. Happy Birthday to Craig!

  2. Happy Birthday to Craig. Hope he's feeling much better now. That's a nice photo of the moon on the water. Looks like one Craig might have taken. He's got such a good eye for composition.

    1. With modern photo tools, anyone can end up with good composition!

  3. Happy birthday to Craig. That moonrise picture is breathtaking!!!!

  4. Key Largo... If you see Bogie, please say hi. :)

    1. Thanks for reminding us. We'll see if Amazon Prime has the movie, before we go.

  5. We are going to be in Marathon for the month of January and I can't wait to go for a run on that section of the Old Seven Mile Bridge!!! Loved the pic! :)

  6. Your header picture is just wrong in so many ways to us poor folks up North! ;c)

  7. Like that romantic moon shot. It does remind one of Hemmingway, Bogie, & all that Key Largo mystic. Been to Florida half a dozen times but never as far south as the Keys. Maybe next time.

  8. Actually Bahia Honda has RV sites right on the water closer than the ones at Long Key. They are on the Gulf Side of the park, not the Atlantic side. Sites 14-25 or so all are on the water with a view of the Rt 1 bridge and also the old Rt 1 railroad/road bridge. Just a clarification.

    We camped at Bahia Honda & Long Key for 11 years and loved both of them. It got too hard to get reservations and we gave up and left the Keys. Wonderful area but to popular now to spend any length of time there for a reasonable price.

  9. If you like pizza and unusual restaurants, try the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key. Quite a unique place. T

  10. Happy birthday Craig. How nice to be able to spend both your birthday and Christmas in the Keys!

    We've never stayed at Bahia Honda, but they have a beautiful beach area and some great places on top of the old bridge for some sunset photos. I think it's the best state park in the Keys, providing you can get one of the waterfront sites. Of course that's not real easy to do.

    I'm not sure if you're made it back to Key West or not. The sunset celebration is really worth seeing. Here is a link for some parking in KW.

    We park at the lot that's right near Mallory Square. I think it's one on the cornor of Wall and Front Street. You need to get there a little early to snag a spot. It cost $4 an hour, but we're usually only there a few hours so it's worth it to us. It's just a block from Mallory Square and Sunset Pier (which is the best place to watch the sunset) Don't forget to stay after sunset to watch the entertainment along the pier by the cruise ship area.

  11. Key Largo is on our list - Bogart is one of husband's favorites. Happy Birthday to Craig.

  12. you know we love the keys... so relaxing, tell Craig Happy Bday

  13. What a beautiful spot you have and such great times! Hope Craig feels better and Happy Birthday to him!


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