While the phrase the Coast is Clear may take on new meaning this year with the end of lockdowns and the beginning of more freedoms, for me it’s a reminder of a Mother’s Day trip a few years ago along Florida’s Forgotten Coast.
Florida’s Northwest coast rarely draws crowds or headlines like Miami on Florida’s East coast. Perhaps that is why it is called The Forgotten Coast.
Its unspoiled, pristine white sand and turquoise waters lure young and old. A few miles south of Tallahassee, the Forgotten Coast lays claim to some of the most spectacular beaches.
Its miles and miles of shallow beaches have imperiled past explorers and mariners.
Built in 1895, the Crooked River Lighthouse was constructed to support the lumber industry. Located in Carrabelle, the 103 foot iron tower overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.
When Cape San Blas Lighthouse was first proposed in 1830 it was rejected as a “useless expenditure.” A storm destroyed the first lighthouse. Two other lighthouses suffered a similar fate.
After falling in the Gulf of Mexico, Cape St. George Lighthouse was restored in 2011 with the support of the local community, state and federal governments. The current lighthouse was constructed from the remains of the second lighthouse in 1852.
The Lilac Lighthouse Tender is located at Hudson River Park. The park is an oasis in Manhattan, New York.
With more than a dozen piers, Hudson River Park offers recreation, dining, parks and a breathtaking view of the Hudson River.
Young and old explore a wide range of exciting outdoor and sporting activities like kayaking, playgrounds, habitat gardens, sailing, green space and more.
Visitors experience the Hudson River Estuary as a living laboratory for community engagement, stewardship and learning.
What are a country saves reveals a lot about itself- Mollie Beattie
Thankfully we have a system to preserve our National Parks, state parks and people of goodwill who preserve lighthouses.
President Theodore Roosevelt also called the “conservation president” he established 150;national forests, 51 bird preserves, 4 game preserves, 5 national parks and 18 national monuments.
In all, 28 states have National Parks. There are over 6.600 park sites in the United States. The big boost to state parks systems came with the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 during the Great Depression. This work relief program put young men to work between the ages of 17 and 23 planting trees, cutting trails, and scenic vistas and constructing recreational buildings. The CCC program created a total of 711 state parks across the country.
National Park Week Events:
April 17 Park RX Day (Fee Free Day)
April 18 Volunteer Sunday
April 19 Military Monday
April 20 Transformation Tuesday
April 21 Wayback Wednesday
April 22 Earth Day
April 23 Friendship Friday
April 24 National Junior Ranger Day
April 25 Bark Ranger Day
Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a native of Portland Maine, visited Portland Head Lighthouse several times. A literary giant, he penned poems based on American life and history. His poem “The Lighthouse” may be inspired by one of his visits.
Enjoy this short excerpt:
The rocky lead runs far into sea
And on its outer points, some miles away
The lighthouse lifts its massive masonry
A pillar of fire by night of cloud by day
The startled seas leap over it the storm
smites it with all the scourges of the rain
And steadily against its form
Press the great shoulders of the hurricane