We arrived at Ohio Key (known by the name of the RV park that’s on it: Sunshine Key) yesterday afternoon, and I’m writing this our first morning here, so it’s waaaay too early for an assessment of what life will be like here. But I have all these interesting photos I must share!
This, unfortunately, is not our campsite; but we did stop for a quick lunch here on the way down. (Long story of getting booted out of the parking area by an official guy who thought were were going to try to actually camp at this boat ramp, but we did get to enjoy the view for a bit).
This, unfortunately, is also not our campsite. It’s one of the few premium sites right on the water here, and they are so, so gorgeous. These guys have a million beach chairs and towels out beside their trailer (others have neater set-ups for enjoying the view), but of course I had to take the shot because it’s an Airstream. There are maybe five here at Sunshine Key.
And this is part of the beach, which I am itching to get to, but the temps here are going to stay in the low 70s for our first week here. Still, we have six weeks here so surely there will be beach weather some time.
So, here is our view. The ocean is right past the farthest palm trees.
And here’s our set-up.
Thank God we are allowed to put up the tent here, since it gives us a break from the current wind and gives us privacy from the (seemingly very nice) folks in that Class A RV beside us, who have to look right down at us when they’re sitting at their kitchen table.
I know this because I have to look up at the people in the RV on the other side when I’m doing dishes.
We knew the campground would be like this though when we booked it. Back in April (11 months to the day of our desired reservation was the first day we could reserve a spot), we tried to get a site in the nearby state park key (that’s a once-in-a-lifetime booking because the demand is so high). And we tried a few other, smaller RV parks. We even considered the super high-end ones where you’re guaranteed a beach-front site with your own thatch-roof gazebo. We were lucky to get this spot though, frankly, so we’re going to make the best of it.
Getting a Feel for the Community
This seems to be a mixed-bag type of place for visitors. Some are here for just a few days with their kids; some book for three months.
Get a load of this trailer that parked next to us as we were waiting to check in. What do you think’s in the hauler it’s towing? I’m guessing a car, a golf cart, bikes, and … how many boats?
Most campsites here have big Class As or 5th-wheels on them; we’re the shrimps among the whales. But there is also a small group of park models painted brightly, with thatched-roof porches.
What I really envy are the RV sites with these porches that you park right next to. I couldn’t get a good picture of any as I was riding my bike around snooping this morning, but I’ll work on it.
We’ll be satisfied with our own “porch.”
Away from the RV Park
Here’s what I can’t blog about yet but are the reasons we’re here.
We can wheel the kayaks directly off our site to the park’s boat launch and kayak around the Keys.
We can snorkel, possibly directly off this key, although we can also drive to snorkeling spots that will probably have more fish and coral to see. Seriously, we’ve hauled our wetsuits and fins for the past year; I can’t wait to use them!
We can hike on Bahia Honda State Park right next to us (noted as one of the best beaches in South Florida, says the interwebs).
We can drive just a few miles down to Key West and see what we can enjoy while social distancing.
To Find Out
Can we find enough to do to make the campground bearable for six whole weeks? I’m thinking, Yes. Heck, we stayed eight weeks at Small Country, and that was in the cold and with nothing at all to do.
Will we make friends here like we did at Bonita Springs, or at least appreciate a sense of community? I’m hoping so. The folks parked basically inches beside us seem cool; they have surfboards and a boat and bikes, and the guy not only complimented us on our Airstream (brownie points!) but said he used to work for Kitchen Aide where they would use Airstreams as their styling model. Now there’s potential for hanging out.
Will Banjo settle in? I have my fingers crossed here. She was unusually anxious at the last campground in the Everglades, and she’s even more on edge here. I can guess several reasons why, but there’s not much we can do about them (the wind, the constant traffic feet away from us of children on bikes, lots of dogs, just basically lots of activity).
What we can do is keep her in her safe places: inside the trailer and inside the tent. And we can walk her late at night and very early when the park is a bit quieter.
I’ll report back after we do an interesting thing!