Spring Break has come and gone from the Island where Trixie and I have spent the past three months. For most of our stay here, our little beach is quiet with a few wayward souls walking the surf, picking up shells and occasionally fishing. Not for the past two weeks, though. We have had a constant influx of young, barely clad college coed on sunscreen – and other substance -- overload.
Spring Break is over now and I was looking forward to getting back to my own little private retreat. Not so fast, apparently. Now there is an endless stream of families in overflowing station wagons, SUVs and mini-vans tromping through my tranquil front yard.
Since I retired I really have a hard time keeping track of the days of the week and I guess I forgot it was Saturday which meant the entire population of families from the mainland came to the beach.
It first started with a seemingly innocuous trip to the grocery store. Coming back home, though, there was a line to get back into our park that was longer than a rattlesnake’s tail in West Texas. Once inside, Ol’ Dutch likes to take a look-see at the beach when he comes home from an adventure and that day was no different so we swung down along the beach side road to see what all the fuss was about.
And what to my wandering eyes did appear but thousands of people all packed onto my tiny stretch of sand. There were umbrellas, tents, pop-up canopies and cabanas five deep, from road to water.
Never in my life have I seen so many brown, white and burned red bodies all jammed into a baking hot sandy piece of real estate trying to “have fun.”
We hurriedly came home and for the most part avoided that mess until Sunday when I decided to take a walk down the beach and back.
I soon found that another countless hundreds of tents had been set up along the water’s edge and a crowd only second to the one that Moses led out of the Wilderness had gathered to worship the sun gods.
Food flowed like manna from heaven, drinks sprang forth from the rock that was split and kids of every shape and size ran in crazy speeds to the waiting waves and rip currents, death surely at hand.
Every kind of plastic inflatable toy you can imagine -- and some you best not -- blew down the beach. Plastic swimming pools had been erected within 20 feet of the vast Gulf of Mexico because that was “just not enough water” I guess. Umbrellas flapped noisily in the winds, babies cried, mothers yelled, fathers drank and everywhere you turned there was lively music blasting forth from some magical box brought for the occasion.
Even pregnant women who used to have the decency to cover up their love bump, displayed bulging midriffs and sat like the Queen of Sheba on their lawn chair thrones while friends and family attended to their every whim.
And, speaking of attire, it was plain to see that the women pretty much made a point to look nice at least at their arrival on the beach. They had new swimsuits with pretty cover-ups, nice towels and hats; some even wore make up.
The men on the other hand wore what is called “what they had on.” Old faded shorts and suits and paint stained shirts and hats were the standard fare and they pulled off the “I don’t care” with great success making even Ol’ Dutch proud.
Cooper wanted to go back to the beach about supper time and take a swim so away we went again. A reverse flow of people was taking place now with everyone heading to their cars for the trip home.
Watching them all walk along I suddenly realized why the beaches are all eroding in the USA at a record pace. Each and every child was covered with sand from head to toe and they were taking the beach sand home with them. This sand in turn gets vacuumed out of the cars and trucks ending up in the landfills thereby transferring the beach inland 50 miles.
There is one good thing about that, however. If we wait long enough they will effectively move the entire beach inland and it will be much easier to access it on the weekends.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.