We have been in Florida for six weeks now and we still haven’t unpacked the bikes we used almost daily in Manitoba. We also haven’t taken the canoe off the truck yet. The “problem” is the beach. The Florida coast consists of the peninsula which is mainly just suburbia now, then miles and miles of mangroves and salt marshes in the big bend to the east. I hope it stays wild because this stuff is required to feed the ocean critters and act as a nursery for the babies of crabs, fish and other things we eat. But it isn’t much fun to be around. Panacea is at the beginning of the many famous white sand beaches of the forgotten Gulf Coast’s Florida Panhandle. We are close to the first and second of these beaches when going west. The first is Mashes sand on the east side of the Ockloconee river/bay and Bald Point State park/Alligator Point on the west. The west is not quite a full barrier island. We like the Alligator Point beach best for a daily walk because dogs are allowed and it stretches for five miles of wide white sand. Who cares about bike riding when there is a white sand beach to walk on? So almost every day we pause mid afternoon or early evening to walk the beaches. Eventually, we might get bored of going to the wide sand beaches and go back to our bikes, or take the canoe somewhere, but we just aren’t there yet.
This is the view of the houses on the beach. if I ever win the lotto I will buy one. They range in price from a million dollars to 200,000 for a tiny one bedroom. The point is sandy. Every time I see this I have to remind myself, this is white sand, not snow.
The locals love the beach too. Note the extreme racial tension of the south. It is not 1960 in the south anymore. To all appearances we have seen it is pretty much gone in the south and is actually far worse up north in big cities.
Many of the locals net fish. People, especially tourists, are also golfers. But watch out for that water trap. And of course there is surf fishing with a long sturdy pole. They use far heavier ones than mine since catching a really big fish (or a sting ray or shark) is fairly common.
And the other kind of locals and snowbirds: We have seen a lot of wild life on the shore. Loons, cormorants, ducks, pelicans, storks, cranes, egrets, herons, several kinds of sandpipers. We even see dolphins sporting off shore every so often, but not today.
And of course there is what I am missing back home.
Red marks zones of extreme cold and windchill, -40 at the point where C and F scales cross. I wish we had a transporter so I could transport all my friends and family in Winnipeg here to have a day off from the cold.