The Overseas Highway is the only way to get to the Florida Keys from the mainland. Key West, the last Key that can be reached by land requires that you cross 42 bridges, including the seven mile bridge, located just past Marathon Key.
“The Conch Republic was established by secession of the Florida Keys from the United States of America, on April 23rd, 1982 in response to a United States Border Patrol Blockade setup on highway just to the north of the Florida Keys. This heinous act effectively isolated Keys Citizens from the U.S. mainland since the blockade was on our only land artery to and from the mainland. This roadblock portrayed Keys residents as non-U.S. citizens who had to prove their citizenship in order to drive onto the Florida mainland! Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow along with a few other ‘key’ Conchs, went to Federal court in Miami to seek an injunction to stop the federal blockade, but to no avail.
Since the United States Government insisted on treating the Keys like a foreign country; the Mayor seceded from the Union, declared war, and began the Conch Republic’s Civil Rebellion by breaking a loaf of stale Cuban Bread over the head of a man dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform. After one minute of rebellion, the now Prime Minister Wardlow turned to the Admiral in charge of the Navy Base at Key West, surrendered to the Union Forces and demanded 1 Billion dollars in foreign aid and War Relief to rebuild our nation after the long Federal siege!
The Conch Republic has as its stated Foreign Policy, “The Mitigation of World Tension through the Exercise of Humor”. As the world’s first “Fifth World” country, we exist as a “State of Mind”, and aspire only to bring more Warmth, Humor and Respect to a planet we find in sore need of all three.”
Hector and I reach our destination, “the World Famous Geiger Key Marina and Smokehouse on the backside of paradise”, ten miles north of Key West, the capital of the Conch Republic. We have a beautiful campsite overlooking crystal clear waters and mangroves. And for one month, we will be residents of the Conch Republic. An application for dual citizenship seems likely …