The Conch Republic

This is a good story. I have always found outlying areas like the Florida Keys to be fascinating. I know there is a long history of countercultural expression there. Key West has a long history as a gay outpost. There is more to be written on this, I think.

Backpacking Around The Globe - 2013

When we were sailing in Marathon, many people asked us if we would go to the Conch Republic as well.  I didn’t really know what they were talking about till someone told me the funny history…

Back in 1982, the president of the United States suddenly decided to open it’s borders to their neighboring countries.  The result was that Cuba opened all its prisons and sent their convicts to the United States through Key West, only 90 miles away.  When the government noticed a increasing crime rate in Florida, the US Border Patrol suddenly and without warning set up a roadblock at the point where all road traffic from the Keys crosses into mainland Florida.  They were apparently looking for illegals and contraband, but the consequence was a seventeen mile traffic jam.  When the word got out, tourism came to a complete stop.  This heinous act effectively isolated Keys Citizens from the…

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