ClaClaire and I were here a decade ago in our first motorhome. It is probably the most beautiful beach in the East. I wrote about it on Newbohemians.net in 1998 (can’t believe we’ve had a web site for 10 years), and reading it again led us back here.
Things have changed: the long drive up the Peninsula is now cluttered with hundreds of huge (read, very expensive) beach houses on stilts, just waiting for the Big One. Don’t worry, we taxpayers will help them out, and rebuild their beach too.
But once you get inside the gate of the park, much is the same as it was a decade ago, except that it is now bone dry in the dunes, result of the very serious drought the Southeast is suffering now. The night is quiet now, compared to the night walk we took then, because their is no water for the sonorous critters and they have gone elsewhere, or died. We walked several miles today and saw not one sign of alligator, and no water for frogs or other fresh water dwellers.
Another consequence of the drought is that Atlanta has taken the fresh water that used to flow naturally into the estuary just east of here; now the oysters, and the ecosystem dependent on them are dying. The oysters, and the oystermen don’t have a chance in Washington against growth crazy Atlanta.
But the beach and dunes are still beautiful, and nearly empty this time of year. I don’t know why so few people come here in winter; morning fog, but 70 degrees by noon and beautiful sunsets, but we’re glad. As far as I am concerned, this is the best part of Florida, by a long shot; perhaps that is because it has the fewest people. Most of the rest of Florida is too crowded.