Thursday, February 24, 2010

Dry Tortugas National Park

Fort Jefferson! We finally got the chance to visit one of the coolest National Parks on our list! The only way to access this great park is via ferries and we were absolutely ready to head out into the ocean. We were told that several months ago you could actually see the oil damage in the area, so I am glad we decided to go when we did.

So we rented a Jeep Wrangler from Avis, just like the one I own but red, and headed towards the keys. Are plan was to visit the Dry Tortugas National park, but more importantly the Fort Jefferson. So when we arrived at the location where you get on the ferries we were a little more than exited. As we passed over the crystal clear waters on the way to the island we saw a variety of sea life including dolphins and large schools of fish.

When the fort came into view we hadn’t realized that it was in the middle of nowhere. I really mean it; there is just a massive fort in the center of the ocean! The Dry Tortugas are a series of eleven keys that make up this small land mass. The fort was named after Thomas Jefferson, the third president and recommended to the navy by John Rodgers. It was to be a forward outpost in the Golf for the navy as well as a trafficking island for trade in the area.

At the time the massive fort was a functioning enterprise, and the 65 foot lighthouse offered direction during hurricanes that frequently found their way into the Gulf of Mexico. I am pretty much repeating what the brochure said, but it is all very well interesting. The fort was beautiful and we spent about four hours exploring before they ferried us back, definitely a fun trip!