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.