Tag Archive | Atlantic Ocean

Canaveral National Seashore – Day One – Discovery and Rediscovery

Note from David:  Jodi and I were so fascinated by the features of the Canaveral National Seashore that we made three visits to try to experience all that it had to offer. From eyebrow-raising moments to local history to natural beauty, this place had it all.

We will have a total of three separate posts about Canaveral National Seashore, each one coinciding with a visit.



David:  It’s great sometimes what we re-discover by accident.  I guess I was feeling a little restless one day and just needed to get out…maybe do some exploring.  I decided to do some much-needed shopping along with my exploring.  The required items were soon secured and I headed toward New Smyrna Beach on SR 44.  My plan wasn’t so much to go to the beach, but to, I guess, fill in some gaps in my knowledge of the coast line from New Smyrna Beach and south. Continuing on SR 44 across the causeway, I made the big right “bend” onto A1A or S. Atlantic Avenue and headed south.  I had a vague idea or, maybe, a “recollection” of where I would end up, but wasn’t positive.  A small road sign informed me that the road would end in a few miles at the Canaveral National Seashore.  HUH?  Didn’t one get to the National Seashore through the Cape Canaveral area?  Totally intrigued, I continued south and soon found myself at the attended entrance to the Seashore.  The entrance fee of five dollars per car seemed reasonable and I asked the attendant if there was a map to be had.  He handed me a printed map along with my receipt or “pass” which was good for an entire day.  Pass and map in hand, I drove onto the property which, according to the map, was the “Northern District” of the Canaveral National Seashore.

I pulled into one of the parking areas which promised beach access to take a closer look at the map and to take, at least, a peek at the beach and ocean.  Well, I’ll be, I thought as I looked closer at the map reciting to myself, of course, the somewhat familiar place names:  “Castle Windy”, “Eldora”, and “Turtle Mound”.   Now, I can be a little slow on the uptake as they say from time to time and it took me a couple of minutes to realize that I had been here before.  That time was almost 20 years ago when I was a graduate student at UCF.  My herpetology class came here to look for salt marsh snakes and we were based in a house that the university owned on this property.  A very adult and educated, “freakin’ cool”, went through my head as these memories and realizations came together.

It was getting a little late, but I wanted to do two things before I headed home:  walk the beach and see if the “UCF house” was still here.  Crossing the dune on the elevated crossover, I stopped to look north and south along the beach.  There were, maybe, five other souls as far as my eyes could see in both directions.  I am not a crowd person and liked this beach quite a bit.  I limited my time and distance walked knowing at this point that I would be back and probably soon.  Noting the marked sea turtle nests at points along the beach, I hoped that there were… “enough”.  Back to the car and, sure enough, there it was, the sign marking the UCF laboratory property.  Wow, how cool!

Hey Jodi, I’ve got a place for us to check out!

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