Up from Useppa
Here's an image of my Gerri earlier today, as we were wading in the Charlotte Harbor Estuary off of Useppa Island, a barrier island west of Pine Island in Lee County. For my northern readers, none of the colors have been photo-shopped. It is that blue, green, and aqua, during this sunny, low-80 degree weather.
(Yes, January, your Red Sox are just arriving in town, by the way.)
Anyway, I learned a good deal about Useppa today, as I knew it was a site of Calusa Indian mounds. It has a rather strange contemporary history, as it was a resort for Barron Collier, the Florida land baron, and the island traded hands a number of times over the last century. Garfield Beckstead bought the island outright about 30 years ago (with a number of private homeowners still keeping their individual homesites), and he did a great deal to restore the old Collier Inn and in saving some of the Calusa digs.
Most intriguing for me was to discover that Useppa was one of the training locations set up by the CIA to prepare Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion. Odd to go there the week Castro officially resigned his presidency. But now, this island is a very small playground for the wealthy, while accessible for some middle-class day-trippers to enjoy if they can boat in.