This morning I had the urge to drive over to the beach. I live close enough now that I can do it, so I should! But the weather was cool and cloudy so I didn’t go for a walk, just got a few photos on my phone.
The parking lots, like this one, now charge people to park there! But, as a resident of Volusia County I can get a Free pass, which I plan to do soon. If the tide is high, I would prefer to park in a lot and not on the beach when I go for my morning walk.
Recently I went to Smyrna Dunes State Park to walk, visit the beach, and take photos. My camera was full, so I had to keep deleting photos to take more, which was annoying. I would have taken a lot more photos.
My son had his girlfriend visiting over the Christmas break. She lives in New Hampshire and had never been to Florida. Well, the Christmas break is NOT the time to visit as everyone in the world is visiting Florida then…. or they are waiting to come for the spring break, which is also a horrible (touristy) time to come here.
We went to Smyrna Dunes Park late in the day and had to leave by 6:00PM or be locked in, so I was constantly checking the time. I was the odd man (woman) out accompanying the young sweethearts on a romantic stroll among the dunes, but I did come in handy when it came to photo taking.
We ended up on the west side by the Intracoastal (Indian River) where the sun was beginning to set and my son wanted pictures. So I used the girlfriend’s cell phone to take most of them, and got some very good photos (if I do say so myself). The sun was setting and they posed in silhouette… ah, young love!
The Park is a long boardwalk over the dunes that leads to the ocean and river in several places, and Ponce Inlet. I had visited this place years ago – probably 15 or 16 – and it has changed. Now there are trails just for dog walkers, and there were many people taking advantage. The dogs are not allowed on the boardwalks except at certain places.
At one point we walked down to the beach by the rocky jetty. The tide was out, and lots of little shells were caught in seaweed along the beach. My picture here shows some of the seashells I found. Pieces of shells that were once quite big, and the regular finds of the incongruous arks and cross barred venus clam.
We saw a gopher turtle (tortoise) snacking on some weeds in the dunes (no photo, camera issues), and I was reminded of the one that used to live in the corner of my yard. They are big turtles and slide down into their dens that are a maze of underground tunnels. My daughter volunteered at the Central Florida Zoo (named differently now) and learned all about them. They are quite amazing wild animals. With all the building going on constantly in this state, they are threatened. The gopher turtle, like much wildlife in this state, has lost a lot of it’s natural habitat.
We had a lovely time walking the boardwalk, and I was sorry I didn’t just buy the $20 yearly pass. I may go back and use this place as my exercise area. But I do have a beach pass, so I can drive onto the beach and then use the boardwalk, or simply walk along the beach. I’m lucky to live so close to this beautiful area.
As I sit here, 20 miles inland from the east coast Florida beaches, I wonder what kind of devastation is taking place over there as Hurricane Matthew passes by.
Here, the wind was howling with gusts of 50-70mph, but we got off easier than originally thought. My rental house did not blow away as I had feared. We have minor damage in the yard with limbs broken and the fence leaning. Now the storm is moving on to the north, and all this wind and rain will eventually die down.
After the three hurricanes in 2004 – Charlie, Frances and Jeanne – I had visited the seashore in New Smyrna Beach to see the damage. My husband (at the time) and I ate at Breakers on Flagler Ave. and we could see that the sand was all washed away down along the shore. The ocean was coming up around the place, and the beach ramp was under water.
A few days after our visit, the restaurant was condemned for safety issues. I remember how the sight of the ocean having taken over the beach was so sad. So I am thinking that this time I will find a similar situation. The beaches will have to be re-built. And what about the sea creatures? How have they fared?
The beaches eventually recovered from the 2004 storms, and they will this time too. Once the news crews can get beachside, we’ll be able to see the devastation.
I remember the perfect beach day because it occurred to me at the time that it was just that. Although I often traveled the 30 or so miles to the coast to take my kids for a day at the beach, this day was special. As I sat in the little flowing trough of saltwater watching the kids play, I felt that it was a time I would always remember. It stands out instead of blending in with all the normal beach excursion memories. Continue reading The Perfect Beach Day→
My trip to Florida was a good one. I had a chance to visit with my son and go out on his boat, but the weather was not the greatest. Although my son had warned me that there had been a lot of rainy days, I expected more sun than rain. It’s the sunshine state! I lived there for 27 years and got sick of the sun because there was so much of it! Continue reading The Surf Shop Story→