Sunday, July 21, 2013

Another Cool Camping Trip

One of the coolest places Carole and I ever hiked was the abandoned city on Egmont Key in Florida. Once upon a time it was a thriving military town. But the fort was decommissioned and the population removed from the island. It became a ghost town, then a smuggling point for illegal aliens. The local police got sick of having to police the town (which was then pretty much intact), so they burned it to the ground one night "by accident".

We also had one of our all-time favorite campsites at the Fort DeSoto County Park just outside of Tampa.

This was our campsite at Fort DeSoto County Park near Tampa. Campsites really do not get any better. Separated from other sites by lots of vegetation. Full shade. Waterfront. Water and electric hookups. Across the street from the bathrooms, hot showers, and laundry facilities. Quiet. Tons of wildlife. We loved this place.
We took a boat ride to Egmont Key State Park and explored the abandoned Naval fortifications.

There are miles of these amazing brick roads that once took you through the city, which is not all but gone except for some foundations and a few standing walls.

The Egmont Key lighthouse. The metal housing on the top was removed and used for scrap during WWII. There is a movement afoot to have it replaced with a new housing and, as I understand it, most of the private funding has been collected to have this done.
This was the first time we encountered an ocean-going manatee on one of our trips.


Vicki said...

You find some really interesting campsites.

James Robert Smith said...

We try to do some research before we head out for a camping trip. In the case of Fort DeSoto Park we had been there years ago. We thought it was a Florida State Park...but it's a county park! Prettiest county park I've ever seen.