After my post lamenting the tourism of Key West, our Miami driveway host, a VW guru named Ian, told us that we would find old Florida at Cedar Key. I wasn’t exactly sure if Old Florida really existed or not and I felt a little like Ponce De Leon chasing after a mythical place while my own time here was running out.
But we drove north—out of the heat, out of the racing motorways of Miami, out of gator country, away from the Atlantic. We drove north and west, staying one night in a brewery parking lot and then meeting up with Colin Kellogg (famous for the Itinerant Air-cooled site) for an interview. (Much more on that in a later post.) We pressed on and slept another night at a typical Florida State Park mega campground—the sort of place where a big screen TV mounted to the outside of a camper is not absurd. We made haste for Cedar Key, though I remained doubtful of its rumored laid back charm.
The campground Ian directed us to was at the dead end of a country road and had a mere 20 sites. Although there were a few RVs, there was not a big screen in sight and all was quiet. The woman at the camp office (cash only, mind you) told me about some nice trails where we could walk and watch the sunset. The sunsets around here are a big deal and for good reason. We watched the sun go down over Cedar Key and it rivaled the sunsets of the west coast—heartbreakingly beautiful and futile to capture with a camera.
We hiked and I nursed my still-scorchingly-sore throat with some daiquiris. Yes, this is the old school Florida—slow and quiet and low key. We’re glad we found this place and managed to see it before others also discover it.