Tag Archives: Beaches

Sunrise or Sunset Side?

A street address won’t get you there.  In the Florida Keys where scenic distractions constantly vie for a driver’s attention, locations are given by mile marker, or more specifically, by how many miles north of Key West on the Overseas Highway a business, park or residence is situated.

One’s directional options are primarily north or south, so the simplified address system makes sense.  John Pennekamp State Park where we enjoyed reef snorkeling and one of our many afternoon picnics is at mile 102.8 (east side). Robbie’s Marina, host to titan tarpons which breach dockside waters to snag dangled fish from the fingertips of thrill seeking tourists, is on the west side at mile 77.5. The Seven Mile Bridge runs from miles 40 – 47.  The entrance to Bahaia Honda State Park, the longest beach in the Keys, can be found at mile 36.8. And Mile 0 can be found on a street corner in Key West. Maps, restaurant menus and hotels all identify themselves with a Highway 1 mile marker.

My biggest concern while driving Highway 1 was usually whether to look to the east or west of the road: sunrise or sunset side.  I know.  What a quandary…

Did we still get lost?  Of course we did, although the best unplanned wandering on this trip occurred amongst mangrove trees in kayaks (from Robbie’s at Mile 77.5).

I found the mile marker system to be quite effective though.  It simplified driving to where I could simply enjoy the sea breezes, the endless sunshine and the glorious blue green sea.  Whether we landed on the sunrise or sunset side of the highway made little difference when the road traversed an island and the endless ocean was often but steps away from either berm.

More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook




Beauty and the Beach

Every ocean has its own salty scent, its own sort of landscaping and its own surfside sounds.  Whether waters are welcomed in over soft sand or parried by solid stone, we are irresistibly drawn to that uneven edge where sea encounters land.

We’ve seen them engaged with one other before, but it is never the same.
Beside a different ocean, or even along the same bit of shore on a new day… we are drawn to that magical moment of meeting. Where opposites, attracted but separate, will dance for us on the rhythms of the tide.

Recently Footsteps has featured photos of the Pacific and Caribbean shores around Puerto Rico and Isla de Vieques. The frigid waters and beaches of the Atlantic on Cape Cod, Massachusetts carry a contrasting beauty that is just as impressive. And equally memorable.


Updated from January 7, 2011.


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Suit Required, Tie Optional

lifeguard phone box

The view rivals the one enjoyed from the coveted corner office. The benefits include physical fitness and an ocean breeze. The perfect summer job? Maybe. Except the hours aren’t limited to warm summer days, and it is a job where the stakes run considerably higher than financial earnings and losses.


The duties of a San Diego beach lifeguard are far ranging. All full time guards are certified EMTs (Emergency Medical Technician) and may be called upon for boat rescues up to three miles from the shore as well as coastal cliff rescues. Most full time guards are also peace officers with full powers of arrest.


Specially trained guards assist in river and flooding rescues, marine firefighting and dive rescues and recoveries. Recent incidents handled by area lifeguards include an exploding scuba tank, a floating blue whale carcass and a directionally challenged harbor seal wandering yard to yard through an area neighborhood.

Clearly, this is not a job for those who value a routine existence. But it’s “ocean front” at no extra charge…


Updated from July 27, 2009.

More in “California”

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Adventures in “US National Parks”








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