Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Slow And Somewhat Impulsive Ride Home From Tally: Part One- Shell Point

Tuesday afternoon, the FLVS training ended around 3:00 pm. As soon as I hit the JEEP, I pointed her south and kept on until I was just on the outer fringes of Tally. At a gas station near a fork in the road, I texted my fellow FLVS trainee and buddy, Stacy, for confirmation of my gut feelings regarding which road to take.

See, Stacy has one of those fancy Drone ... no, wait... that's different, ... a DROID phone that can do almost anything you ask of it.
I do not.
I'm a flip phone, basic package kinda guy ... although I did just get a new phone ... a CONVOY. It's a man's phone built to military specs, weather proof, shockproof, and FC proof!

No, since you ask, I do not have a GPS in the JEEP.
I have a Silva Ranger Compass that is 30 years old and needs no batteries or satellites. It does require a brain however.

I'm off on a tangent aren't I?

Apparently my brain forgot to toss a road map in the JEEP this trip, hence the text to Stacy.

I new SR-61 would get me to the coastal zone, but would SR-363? I thought so, and Stacy used her fancy girl phone to confirm that for me.
So I headed south on that fork.

After awhile I came to US-98 and cruised a little west and south to Shell Point.

Most of Shell Point seemed to be private homes, but there is a little beach with a sweet curve for the public to enjoy.
It was mid-afternoon on a workday, so the beach was almost empty. In the parking area next to the sand, some locals stood around a pickup with a pretty yellow lab in it, just enjoying the great breeze flowing off the Gulf of Florida.

A tough old red cedar stood a few feet from a slowly rising Gulf. It seemed odd to have a fence around it ... red cedars are not a migratory species after all.

So I walked over to read the sign.

Shouldn't that be "... in AN effort ..." ?

The tree is doomed by rising sea level, but the efforts here and the toughness of a red cedar should keep it around for a while.
There's no denying it's a beauty and this beach would miss it dearly.

It makes me wonder why "Extraordinary" efforts weren't used to save the area above.
If you turn 180 degrees from the beach tree view, you get this.

A row of ugly condos, an almost certainly dredged basin, seawalls, and probably filled wetland.
If it were an old condo, it would not be so surprising, but it's very newish looking ... we are STILL dredging basins like this in this day and age?

I should have expected condos and yachts when I hit the "Golf Cart Community, 15 mph" sign at the entrance to Shell Point ...

It was a bright day with good contrast.

(subtle no?)

This willet was about the only decent critter shot on the whole ride home. Mostly the trip was about scenery ... rivers, boat ramps, a little saltwater, tiny communities in transition, a favorite honey (the sweet kind, not the girlfriend kind ... now that doesn't sound right either ...), bodacious BBQ, and a final glorious sunset.

All to come in the next couple of posts.

You are invited.


amarkonmywall said...

Subtle? No.

There's some distressing contrasts in this post so I'm happy you ended with the willet. :-)

What do you hear on the online teaching job?

amarkonmywall said...

Shouldn't that be 'there are'? Cringe. Teachers read this blog.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Bwahhaaaaa! I'm still laughing at "red cedars are not a migratory species"

kathy a. said...

what a fabulous tree!

i was recently re-reading [just call me classy] a carl hiassen mystery from 1987, featuring laments about exactly those kinds of beachfront "communities."

Thunder Dave said...

Glad to see your still "kickin' it old school" too!
I refuse the GPS, give me a map, a compass, and the direction of the sun (or moon) anytime! ;-)

cinbad122 said...

Was the beach oil free?

robin andrea said...

No GPS for us either, just a map and a compass. Too bad about those condos. Where do all the animals go that used to live there?

SophieMae said...

Ah, wish you could've seen it before they built those monstrosities and put up the golf cart signs. I reckon that was about 3 (+/-) years ago. *sigh*

No GPS here, either. (Well, I do have a little-used handheld job for geo-caching.) Maps are much more fun. Reading a map is nigh as good as reading a book.

Did you have time to cruise the refuge? I need to get a new duck stamp and head back down there. Can't wait to catch your next posts! It's so interesting to see one's 'backyard' through someone else's eyes... er, lens.

intuitive eggplant said...

Great post and photos! Lol about the non-migratory cedar. Looking forward to your upcoming posts!

Miz S said...

I love the small curling wave behind the willet. And OF COURSE I love the willett itself.

Thumbs down for new ugly condo developments built on former wetlands. Seriously, we still do this? It's all about the money.

Thanks for the invitation. I'll be back for more.

JGR said...

You should have seen it in 1957 when I did for the first time. Crystal clear water, maybe three beach homes and, yes, the tree. The condos have been a major bust. They're empty, I'm told and for sale at distress prices. The drfedged basin once held a flotilla of sailboats--now gone, as are the restaurant and the motel.

Sayre said...

When I was growing up, I spent many weekends down at Shell Point. It was a just a little place with a concrete block bait house, cold drinks and seaside bathrooms (you know that smell). I got my first fish hook in my foot on the docks down there. My dad had a sailboat and Shell Point was our launch point of choice. Good sailing, not so great beach, followed by awesome fried shrimp at the restaurant that no longer exists. The condos weren't there at all. The last time I went down there, I just felt sad.

Bill said...

Is it just me, or do those condos look crooked, as in not straight? Thanks for the scenery. You know how I feel about the condos. The two kinds of yankess. Most of the damn ones live in condos.