Wednesday, January 11, 2017

1/11 Gamble Rogers State Park Beach Damage

Gamble Rogers is one of my favorite state parks.  It has no paved campsites, and certainly has no grass or landscaping, but it has the impressive advantage of being the only Florida state park which is directly on the Atlantic Ocean.  (Fort Clinch is on the ocean, but there is a substantial boardwalk between the sites and the ocean, while Gamble Rogers has sites which practically overhang the beach.)

It is two miles down the road from Flagler Beach, which also is one of the few Florida towns that has direct beach access.  This is due to highway builders putting highway A1A in Florida so close to the beach that homes and big hotels and condos cannot be developed on the beach side of the highway, limiting development over the years.  It is one of my favorite places in Florida because it is an honest town, without all the frenzy and gated communities of the rest of the state.

Unfortunately, this town also got a direct hit from the recent Hurricane Matthew.  You can see in this photo the cement buffer and new pavement that replaced the washed-out highway. 

Campsites at Gamble Rogers State Park re basic sand, but with electric and water hookups. I have one of the prime sites facing the ocean where there is not a lot of greenery blocking the view.  This made getting up at 4:30 am California time last December and making my reservation just when the site became available worthwhile. 

The state park is named after a man who died trying to rescue a swimmer from the surf at this place. The swimmer survived, but the rescuer did not, sadly.

One advantage to the hurricane is that the beach is wider and there is a lot more sand.

You can see here how about 10' of dune has been destroyed, making the beach wider.

A disadvantage is that all but one of the beach access stairs were destroyed and have yet to be rebuilt. This means there is no longer any handicap access--just stairs.

 Another damaged beach access boardwalk.

My motorhome is really not in any danger of falling off the dune, but it IS closer than it was when I parked here two years ago!  Today was grey and chilly, but the ocean wind really felt good.

In Florida, birds of a feather do NOT necessarily flock together!  In any flock along the beach, you can find several varieties of gulls and terns. This big bird really stood out from this crowd.  I think he is a juvenile ring-billed gull.  Note how the rest of the birds are making identification difficult by hiding their bills! 

The second photo on this site shows a parent and a juvenile:

Tomorrow I join a guided kayaking group, so more photos then.  I am taking my old camera along as I do not want to get my expensive new one wet in case I tip over!  Cell phone will be in a waterproof case I have.

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