Solitude is something many of us desire, and it is what has long made the Dry Tortugas a place that we seek out. These islands’ history is a mix of good and bad “alone time,” so to speak; one reason Dr. Samuel Mudd was imprisoned here after setting the broken leg of President Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, is that no matter how loudly he screamed, his voice would echo across the Gulf of Mexico until the sound waves dissipated into the ether. Indeed, as I stood on the grass just outside the walls that once held him and other prisoners, I thought of shouting across the flat-calm water, much as I might holler into a big cathedral to hear my voice reverberate. Here in the Dry Tortugas, there would be no answer. It’s a realization both mesmerizing and humbling, a reminder that even in today’s go-fast world, we really can be alone sometimes.