Sugarloaf Key KOA, July 2007

 

 

I've been to Long Key State Park a few times, and eyeballed Bahia Honda State Park, but if you wait too long to make reservations, those places fill up.  This KOA still had sites available, and the location was excellent, so we decided to give them a try.  No regrets, it turned out to be a nice place.

This campground is about 20 miles North of Key West, and about 15 miles South of Bahia Honda.  The campground is easy to spot from the hwy.  But it didn't show up in the Garmin GPS database.  After some effort, I was able to enter in the address.

The campground staff were happy and friendly.  Their store was well stocked for the size that it is.  Just make sure you buy anything you need before the store and marina close, which was about 6 PM.  Garbage pickup is anytime during daylight hours.  Just put it by the street, someone on a golf cart will soon snag it.  This place was more of a resort, than a campground.  But at twice the cost of one of the State Parks, you'd expect more amenities.  I'd recommend this campground, especially to anyone with kids.  There's enough to see & do here to keep the entire family happy.

 

 

We got permission from our Home Owner's Association to park the camper in the driveway for 24 hour periods.  Makes cleaning & unloading/loading much easier.  Just fits.

My father bought us a Garmin C530 GPS for our anniversary.  This is an actual picture of the display.  Took us doorstep to doorstep, and to all the things we wanted to see.  Worked great!  Very simple to use.

About 7 hours later, we arrived.  We had campsite #143.  Full hookups, including cable TV.  Right across from the office, pool, and bar.  Short walk to the beach.

Decent sized beach area (man-made), with lounge chairs, aqua toys, and a float barrier to keep the boats out.  The water is warm this time of year.  We saw small fish and some lobster while snorkeling.  Some campsites actually back up to the water, but those lacked sewer hookups.

Nice boat ramp within the campground.  Also a series of boat slips and a bait shop.  Good fishing here.  Lots of small snapper, some barracuda, stingrays, and we saw a couple of 4' nurse sharks swim through a couple of times one evening.

My brother-in-law & his crew showed up the next day after we arrived.  I noticed his truck was sitting low in the back.  He has an Equalizer hitch as I do.  But the dealer did not set his up properly.  They only used one washer (instead of 4 or 5) to tip the hitch head down.  Consequently, the spring bars had no load on them.  He's going back to the dealer after this trip to have it setup properly.  They stayed at site #142, right next to us.  It was a bear to get that big trailer twisted into the campsite, but FRS radios, and a couple of spotters helped.

We shared a few meals.  On this morning, they cooked pancakes, we cooked bacon.  This is about 1/2 the bacon I cooked on a Grill2Go gas grill.

Another neighbor stepped out of his camper, got a nose full of the bacon cooking, and yelled "that smells great!".  The grease all runs off into a collection container.  I found it easy to clean the grill while it's still hot with some water and a paper towel.  A type of steam cleaning.  It'll get a more thorough cleaning at home.

Another night we grilled filet mignons, and nuked a couple of potatoes.   We even brought fresh tomatoes from our home garden.  Who said camping had to be roughing it?

One of the tent areas was a little more rustic.  No hookups, just some welcome shade and grass.  The bad thing is this is where the mosquitoes and no-see-ums like to hang out.

 

This is the view from the bridge.  The marina is a good place to fish from, as is the fishing bridge (next to the hwy and unused by cars now).  We caught a number of snapper, and a number of others we couldn't identify.  Another person caught a barracuda.  We also came back here at night and caught fish.  The light at the fish cleaning station illuminated the water.  A couple of 4' nurse sharks swam through a couple of times.

Our crew discussed what they caught at the appropriately named "Liar's Bench".

Liked the sign next to the exit.

The weather held out fairly well most of the trip.  But as soon as we entered our county on the trip home, the skies let loose.  Only had about 40 miles to go.  We slowed down, along with everyone else, and kept moving.

 


 

Side Trip - Bahia Honda State Park

 

Couldn't resist.  It was only 15 miles away, so we decided to spend some time at their beach.

We drove through the campground.  Nice place, but not every site has hookups, and none have sewer (that I saw).  Note the rolling honey bucket on the left.  Very few are near the water.  This is one of the nicest sites, but lacks any shade.

Excellent beach that goes on for miles.  Several places to park.  Typically grassy section to walk through before getting to the water & sandbars.

Lots of little fish, and some tiny ghost crabs.  Hard to spot until they move.  We plan on camping here sometime too.

 

 

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