Canaveral Seashore Camping
I knew that when we advertised
a primitive camping trip which required backpacking in all supplies that we
would attract the most rugged, dedicated outdoorspeople GO members.
The ride in from I-95 through New Smyrna Beach transitions from redneck outskirts to a super affluent area of major condos on the beach, and later to the wilderness isolation of the National Seashore area. The people at the ranger station issued Bernardo, Mike and me our official Department of the Interior Backcountry Permits. The lady at the desk told us where to park and camp. She cautioned "If you see any nudes, jest put yer hands over yer eyes and DON'T LOOK". This appears to be the semi-official Park Service position on this issue.
The beach itself takes your breath away with its natural beauty. A massive boardwalk bridge zig zags from the last parking lot to miles of white foam and green water waves crashing onto white sandy beach. We arrived toward the end of day on Friday. As the sky began to blush with sunset, surf fishermen were taking in their lines and carting their catch back to their trucks and vans. The sky may have been blushing because some of the fishermen and fisherwomen weren't wearing any pants! Welcome to the free beach!
Marcos, one of the most macho and dedicated outdoorspersons in the group, was trying out a new tent that he had recently purchased at the Sears (Where America Shops) store. This was one of the larger "family tent" models designed to house an entire extended family plus pets. Marcos referred to his tent as Tara. Peter felt it was appropriate since when it first breeze came along it would be Gone with the Wind.
We prepared dinner and sat
around the blazing driftwood campfire on the beach. Our Great Outdoors group
was alone in splendid isolation, with the crashing surf, dancing flames and
twinkling stars our entertainment for the evening.
Hard to believe that the visible lights a mere fourteen miles down the beach were a launch pad at Cape Canaveral. As we sat talking, the world's most advanced science and technology was being focused on a rocket to hurl a satellite into space, to become another light among those stars, and to confound Great Outdoors trip leaders across the country trying to explain why the object they identified as the North Star is moving rapidly toward the Southeast.
During the night, I drempt that an ice age descended on Florida. I thought I heard mastodons and sabre-tooth tigers battling for territory rights (or it may have been Peter and Marcos battling for their share of the blanket.) By morning, the glaciers had cleared, and the sun was breaking down the icebergs.
Saturday was a glorious beach day, and a lazy day of lounging, eating, sunning, walking for miles, and of course hiding our eyes whenever a nude person walked by.
On Sunday morning, the wind picked up. Tara was about to set sail down the beach, so we struck camp early. Most of us made plans to return to Canaveral Seashore in the near future.