Sunday, September 23, 2018

Not sure I understand customary use of the beach

We are to prove that the beach has been in use without interruption by humanity. That is what I think, the affidavits being collected by our county will prove. Prove that to someone or some organization defies logic. Add this to the long list of things that humans do that confuse me. This one at least, so far, has not had fatalities. I first visited Grayton Beach in the 1970's. Don't know how my travel mate and I found the road to get to it but we did. I also, came in the 80's this time passing through Seaside and as we kept driving west on 30A we ended up in Miramar Beach where we stopped the car and literally ran across the bright with sand and into the beautiful gulf water. I'm a Florida native and have seen beautiful water on every coast but living here for 16 years I must say, some days the water here is so beautiful it almost hurts to look at it. Anyhow, my affidavit has been signed and turned in with thousands of others who seek to reinstate our customary use of the beach in Walton County. Something is supposed to come of that action in November. Stay tuned.

So today, accessing our beach through a county controlled beach access, I began my customary morning walk along the water's edge. Full disclosure: Bruce walks the beach every morning religiously; I try to get there 3 times a week. We sometimes bring chairs and stay for a few hours but mostly we just walk. I like our Blue Mountain Beach access on 83 because you usually see neighbors there coming and going. I ran into Jack first thing because he is there a lot. He surfs, he paddles, he swims, he walks, he stretches, he and his wife bring their grands down quite often, etc. He's a big-time customary user. We chatted about his wife's new truck, saw a large fish breaching just past the second sandbar and answered a tourist's question about dogs on the beach. Seems to me, the tourists this time of year that come are somehow nicer than our summer people. Less frantic or something. We also heard the passing grumblings from another local about the Private Beach signs littering the view. It's true some "private beach" owners are littering the beach with signs. BTW, they have to be an obstacle course for Sea Turtles. I would argue that the beach vendors are littering the beach with empty chair set-ups and white storage boxes for the chairs. And the tent's people bring these days are also an eyesore. It happens at every Florida beach. I must find the late 50's photo of my big sis and I taken at Marco Island. Talk about changes.

South Walton is going through growing pains. As a state, we made the mistake of letting people buy property down to the water's edge. And some folks figured out how to "quiet title" even more waterfront property. That seems criminal. Why our county hasn't done that is another item for my list. The beach is our only claim to fame, we need every foot of it. As a local, I find all of this confusing and complicated so I gotta thinks guests are as well.

A beautiful white heron has been hanging at the Redfish dune lake lately. It looks like it knows what it is doing and where it should be.

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