About a year ago, I fell in love with the Florida Keys. Never would I have imagined that there was this entire tropical world at the tip of the country. Ever since that week I have dreamed about coming back. The crystal blue of the ocean, the bright green of the palm trees, the brown grains of sand, every little detail of these islands come together like a fantasy come to life. As I was already familiar with the dense downtown of Key West, this time I decided to tread a little bit more off the beaten path to discover some of the hidden wonders of the islands.
My first stop was Geiger Key Beach right next to the Boca Chica Air Force Base. The beach itself is not really a public beach. Laying on the border of the base, you may feel like you are headed nowhere while trying to reach it, but after driving along the edge of the barbed wire fence you will reach a point where the pavement is undrivable and cars are lined up along the side. This is your point of no return. A few locals will be there, but not a tourist in sight. If you’re lucky, the base will be doing some type of flying and jets will soar overhead. Take a stroll along the beach where jellies and man-o-wars wash up on the sand. They seem like alien species and conjure thoughts of what is in the vast ocean ahead.
At first I thought my adventure may end there; the path didn’t seem to go too much further. On closer inspection, after the first set of no trespassing signs, was a post marked “Nude Beach”. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to see what was down these overgrown paths. After pushing my way through the brush, the area opened up to vast vistas of open ocean. It seemed as if I had my own private beach. I kept pushing forward, finding avian friends along with crabs and other sea creatures. Evidence of other humans was modest which helped the atmosphere. It seemed like just a few moments ago I was in the middle of civilization. Now it seemed so far. I ducked under a branch and seemed to stumble on someone else enjoying the private atmosphere, their low hanging fruit ready and ripe. It was a nude beach after all. He waved at me with a big smile and commented on how beautiful the day was. That it was but I thought it would be best to leave him be.
Before I knew it hours had passed. There was one more place I wanted to go before sundown and that was the Key West Cemetery. I have a morbid fascination with cemeteries and make sure I can stop by them whenever I can. Something about them being people final place of rest brings me a sense of peace. This one was a parently haunted as well. The story is that Count Carl Von Cosel stole and preserved the body of Elena Milagro Hoyos from the cemetery. He used a combination of beeswax, silk, and makeup, was able to preserve the body, kept in a wedding dress in his bed for seven years. This is a true story and locals say Elenas ghost haunts the plot. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but I did get to spend some quality time with some roosters.
Geiger Key Abandoned Beach
Boca Chica Road
Boca Chica, Florida, 33040