Following Hurricane Matthew - Winter 2017 travel blog






After running around in the Daytona area, it was time to enjoy the solitude of the beach. The Flagler Beach area is much less developed and the sand is very different - not face-powdery like Daytona; here they call it the Cinnamon Beach. The orange colored sand is only on the surface and has a much coarser consistency. You can't drive on the beach at Flagler. Even though the temperatures are summery, it appears that this is unusual and the high season hasn't really begun. This meant that is was easy to park everywhere we went and we had the beach pretty much to ourselves. A few intrepid surfers tried to make a go of it, but the waves rarely carried them more than ten seconds. They were all wearing wetsuits and few swimmers made it out past their knees. We saw signs of the damage that Hurricane Matthew caused last fall that have yet to be repaired. A1A the main coastal route, had been redone and boulders added on the shore side. To prevent damage to the vegetation holding the dunes, beach goers are encouraged to used boardwalk platforms that cross over the sand. Many of them ended abruptly, because the bottom five feet had been washed away and still needed to be replaced.

We drove to a nearby state park to see the ruins of the Bulow Plantation. It was begun in the 1830's and was the largest sugar operation in the state. When the Seminole Indians were moved west out of this area, there were none too pleased and burned down the plantation house and 46 slave buildings. Because the sugar mill was so massive and made out of rock, enough of it remains that you don't need to use your imagination. Growing sugar is a very labor intensive operation from the planting and harvesting, to the cane squeezing to the boiling down to the draining of molasses. Those slaves must have worked very, very hard.

A short drive brought us back to The Great Outdoors and our campsite. The first order of business was to see how the baby owl was doing. After three days away, I barely recognized him. He had doubled in size and lost much of his white downy fuzz, replacing it with a light gray feathery coat. He was soon joined by mom, who brought him a mouse for lunch and they both put their heads together and ripped into it. We'll be leaving again in less than two weeks and we're guessing that little Wiseowl will be leaving about them, too. He's been exercising his wings and looks so lonely when mom leaves to go hunting. Soon he'll be able to go along.

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