I am staying at a campground, a state park, on the beach. The lovely ocean with miles of sandy beach is easy walking distance away. And yet, I haven’t touched it and have only seen it once.
Traveling with dogs is totally worthwhile, but also more challenging than I expected. When I say “easy walking distance,” I mean easy walking distance for Zelda and me, not for Bartleby. It would be a long, long walk for him and an even longer walk for me if I wound up carrying him. But that’s irrelevant because dogs aren’t allowed on the beach. If I wanted to go to the beach, I’d have to leave both dogs behind in Serenity.
Want to know what else is not allowed? Leaving your dogs unaccompanied at your campsite. And actually, I’m pretty sympathetic to that one: the chance definitely exists that both dogs would bark in misery the whole time I was gone, if I wanted to leave them, which I don’t.
So I’m at the beach, but not enjoying the beach. Fortunately, I am enjoying my campsite. It’s pretty and big and quiet, tucked back in a corner of a reasonably empty campground. Two nights ago I was a little freaked out by its isolation as I listened to very loud rustling in the bushes, but I finally dug out my flashlight and shone it out on the raccoons climbing the tree about ten feet away from my window. I was then still a little freaked out — raccoons are kind of big when they’re so close and there were two of them — but hey, it wasn’t a bear or a serial killer, so I did relax enough to go to sleep eventually.
I’ve also had some really lovely walks around the campground. There’s a loop called the Ancient Dunes loop, which is supposedly a pleasant half hour walk (presumably for people who aren’t being walked by a fast-paced Jack Russell terrier), but is a fun up-and-down trek on a sandy path through the Florida forest. Lots of mosquitoes, of course, and they do love me, and a few too many spiders who built their webs across the path — sorry, spiders, for destroying all your hard work, and ick, ick, ick, spider webs on me — but it’s so primeval that you can almost imagine yourself in the Jurassic. Well, or at least a few hundred years ago. I think the trees are probably all too small to be good dinosaur territory. And the occasional signs explaining the history and the plants sort of destroy the impression. But it’s still fun to be taking our usual morning walk through such different territory.
I haven’t made nearly as much progress on Grace as I was hoping for — it’s been hard to get back into the rhythm that I had going so well in Vero Beach and I swear that the mere existence of NaNoWriMo now causes my writing ability to freeze solid — but I’m hoping for today to be a better day. So hi-ho, hi-ho, off to write I go.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
Even not going to the beach the ocean b has a presence.
I have to say I would be happier travelling with dogs than without.
Janet Evanovich has said she gave Stephanie Plum her hamster Rex because she neede a heartbeat in the house to come home to. I concur.
Sorry about Grace. Here’s hoping you get your rhythm back soon.
Oh, yeah, I definitely would rather have the dogs than not. This would be incredibly lonely and isolating without them. They keep me sane!
Strange that there are rules against allowing dogs on the beach–one would think they could set aside a certain section for them. Dogs love to run in the ocean. What a bummer… As for Grace, you’ll get your rhythm back. It’s there, waiting for the right moment to appear.
California beaches are a lot more dog friendly! I know it’s partially because of the sea turtles here. I’d be devastated if Zelda dug up a nest of sea turtle eggs — the sea turtles need all the help they can get, not dogs messing with them. But it does make it much less fun. This is a really lovely park and a beautiful campground, but I liked the parking lot in Vero Beach (because of the dog park) a lot more.
I have never figured out why it is that all official ‘nature walks’ seem to have those annoying signs that, while looking educational, fail to really impart any knowledge.
Ugh, and I can relate too well to the spider webs across the trail too.
P.S. I posted recently on everything I’ve learned about van travel/living. It made me think of you.
Allison Hubble said:
While I have totally made fun of people who have these, and I know you have no room and Serenity to store it, Bartleby needs a dog stroller.
Ha, I have spent hours browsing the pet strollers on Amazon. I actually do have a sling for him which he loves. The stroller is a storage issue at the moment, but if I ever decide to bite the bullet and add a trailer, a stroller will be one of the main reasons.