Sprockielocks and the Three Beaches

We explored Sanibel and Captiva Islands today. Dogs were permitted (on a leash) so Sprocket was with us as we crossed the beautiful new causeway from Fort Myers to Sanibel Island. Only the day before, Jim & Shirl had piloted their boat under the same causeway for Bruce’s happy catch (see previous blog).

Jim & Shirl had recommended we see the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling (famous cartoonist/ conservationist) National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. The Refuge has a sandy five-mile, one-way touring road through mangrove swamps, where people are encouraged to stop anywhere and get out of their cars to watch or photograph the flora and fauna. We didn’t see the manatees or alligators, but our leisurely meander was very satisfying.

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Cars parked at strategic locations with ‘Information’ stickers contained well-informed volunteer guides who happily answered questions, provided ‘scopes, and even loaned us a bird-book. Most of the birds we saw, we’d already seen on Jim & Shirl’s dock! Boy, are we spoiled.

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Then it was on to the famous shell-strewn beaches of Sanibel. The Visitor’s Center said the more northern beaches were usually less crowded, but this being Easter vacation week…

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Bowman’s Beach parking lot was full and every car was disgorging whole families, from toddlers to ancient-but-game grannies, armed with sand chairs, turquoise or fuchsia beach towels, coolers, and umbrellas. The result: a classic crowded beach cartoon. We tiptoed between family encampments that would put a Gypsy pitch to shame. Sprocket left a trail of ‘Ooooh, cute puppy!’ comments behind without knocking over any sand castles. I finally plopped down at the far margin of the crowd with my book, camera, and cute puppy, and Bruce strolled off to shoot some sandpipers.

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Next we headed north across a connecting bridge to Captiva Island, which is very narrow, beautiful, and posh. Money may not buy happiness, but it certainly purchases some heavenly real estate. At the northern end we walked out to Captiva Beach where the wind was blowing fiercely, sand-blasting our ankles, and I shouldered Sprocket in his carrier for protection.

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We found some beautiful shells and, by keeping to the wet part of the beach, avoided the stinging sands. This was not a beach for sitting or having a lunch time snack.

Back on Sanibel, we found Tarpon Bay Road Beach, where the crowds had gone for the day and left behind delightful shell-encrusted sand sculptures.

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We sat, strolled, relaxed to the sound of the waves, and gathered shells, photos, and happy memories. Like Goldilocks, we’d found a place that was ‘just right’.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Beaches, dog, National Parks

One Comment on “Sprockielocks and the Three Beaches”

  1. CRYSTAL Says:

    HI! JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU FOR THE COMMENTS ON THE NEW ORLEANS RV CAMPGROUND. YES WE ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS, BUT I HOPE WHEN YOU RETURN HERE ONE DAY THAT WE WILL HAVE REALIZED THAT DREAM WE ALL HAVE OF BEING A PLACE TO REST AND RESTORE. TOM AND I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK OUR WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY — MAYBE WE WILL RUN INTO YOU AGAIN ONE DAY. SAFE TRAVELS AND THANKS AGAIN.


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