Initially I put a pin in Key West (on the map) as a joke, because that’s where Robert the Doll lives, but seeing as I have been such a devoted fan of this infamous haunted doll I decided what the Hell, I might as well!
I had already had a very long day when I arrived in Key Largo. It was getting dark and I wanted to find a place to sleep so I could enjoy driving through the islands in daylight. So I found a campground here, by luck, as an internet search prior to leaving that morning revealed most were full and not taking any more people without at least a day’s reservation. The office was closed but some friendly RVers told us that the manager would be around in the morning to collect any fees we were unable to give them during the previous day, as there were spots still available. The campground itself seemed a tiny village of RVs shoved into a series of mini streets, with one other tenting couple beyond a fence where the tent plots were. The spaces for tents were just large enough to contain our tent but not large enough to properly secure the ropes down. It was also on sand but it was accommodated with electricity and water. Unbeknownst to me I was also right next to a little stretch of beach. It was rocky, mind you, and beyond the rocks were gnarls of sea weed but for me that’s the best beach I could ask for. I scoured it in search of shells and life that evening before the sun went down, that night after I did the laundry at 11PM or so, and again the next morning. There was fragments of coral skeletons everywhere, scattered about like common rocks and pebbles. There were also a few tiny shells here and there and one big crab in a burrow that initially looked like a ginormous spider.
And then of course there were star fish. The buggar was as big as my palm and oddly colored. I picked it up but not long after it started oozing orange goo as it tried to ankle it out of my hand. You see, this is why star fish creep me out. They are sooo alien. I put it back before finding a tiny sea anemone, a whole school of the brightest teeny tiny snails you could ask for. There was even a conch-like snail the size of my thumb I also picked up for some reason.
I picked it up and was fine with it when it was sitting still but when it started to ooze out of its shell like a cow tongue trying to come out… well I kind of tweaked a bit and flipped back into the water. I was more comfortable with the hermit crab I found adorned with a fantastically beautiful shell that seemed five sizes too big for it. Of course to make the wildlife all the more amazing there was a swarm of little throat-bobbing lizards skittering up and down the trees giving us that whole Jurassic Park feel. I loved the lizards… as corny as that sounds.
I watched the sun go down sitting on a dock, surrounded on all sides by bath warm sea water gently lapping by. The sunset itself was gorgeous, the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen and I got some fant
astic photos of that, I’m happy to say.