It was a cloudy, grey and cool day with a high of only about 17C. But no rain. The light was also very flat so not a great day for pictures.
The park has a lot of trails. We picked one of the more popular ones called the Bald Cypress Trail. It was only about a 1.8 mile loop.
There were lots of boardwalks over the cypress swamps. I imagine in the summer the bugs would be really bad. Today they were around but not horrible, with the cooler temperatures.
The rest of the trails was on the sand dunes between the swamp.
It was a very still day so there were some good reflections in the very black water.
A photosphere because why not.
Spanish moss was hanging from the trees everywhere.
There was an info board that explained that these pyramids were offshoots from the cypress tree roots that shot up to help the tree gather oxygen, as there is not much in the stagnant water.
There was a brochure, that I forgot to pick up, that explained a set of numbered spots on the trail. One spot was at this strange hollowed out tree.
Lots of solitary trees with no branches for a long way up and then a mass of very tangled ones.
We see faces in the logs everywhere.
This live tree fell partially over and was resting on its branches.
We couldn’t figure out what this was. It seemed to be on a blueberry bush.
A strange little bit of something was growing on this log.
W decided to head to the beach to have lunch so we drove just a short way south to the city of Virginia Beach. The beach itself is about 5 miles long. The top half seems to be mostly private homes. The bottom half is a wall of hotels with a 2 1/2 mile boardwalk in front of them.
We parked at a small public access area in between the private homes about 1/2 mile north of the hotels.
The beach is really wide and seems to go on forever. It was very clean. There were trash cans every 100 yards, it seemed.
Whereas, farther south, almost all the homes along the beach seemed to be rentals, we were quite sure all of these were private. The construction was very different as well. I guess they are not worried about storm surges as they were all very low and not up on stilts.
There was even a brick one.
Everyone did have hurricane shutters, though. The brick one above had automatic ones above each window.
I guess these guys were not home.
We walked south, towards the hotels.
This place didn’t seem to fit the mold. I am not sure what it used to be but it looked like it was condos now.
All the old hotels also had the hurricane shutters. It was easy to tell which rooms were occupied.
None of the new ones did. I wonder if the windows are just made stronger now.
Sadly for Jennie, there were almost zero shells. It was liked the beach was raked.
There were lifeguards on duty but not many people in the water. This guys did some short skim board rides.
We walked for about a mile until we came to the giant statue of Poseidon, bursting out of the sea.
And a photosphere from here.
His accompanying animals.
We took the boardwalk back towards the car. We will have to come back and walk the entire length, which would be a good workout at over 5 miles there and back.
At the end of the boardwalk we took the small street behind the beach front homes to check out the other side. There were some massive ones. I was too tired to think about taking a lot of pictures by now.
Normally the public access paths are little more than a narrow laneway with a stairs at the end to the beach. We found this beautiful one where the walkway had stones dedicated in memory of people.
Back out to the beach, back to the car and home. I estimate we walked about 4.5 miles today, Jennie’s Fitbit says we did 14000 steps.