Summer is the time for beach trips, camping trips, swimming pools, trips to theme parks, and all those super-crowded kinds of things that we Americans enjoy. Not this year! This summer is for beach trips to uncrowded beaches where folks respect social distancing, camping trips where campers respect social distancing, backyard swimming pools where swimmers respect social distancing, and theme parks, well, I think I would avoid them altogether.
We’re vacationing this week, and bringing you this edition of The Scott County Times remote from the beach in beautiful Ft. Morgan, Alabama. At this writing on Monday morning, the sun was shining brightly, the waves were rolling in and folks were starting to pop up their tents just over the sand dunes in front of our tiny little beach house.
I could get used to this!
Wife, Danny, had gone for her morning walk down the beach, the smell of coffee, toast and bacon was filling the air and once this diddy was done, we were back in the sand for day four — you’ll be reading this some time past day six — of our 10 days in what we call our paradise.
We’ve been traveling to this area for about 20 years now and as I listened to the waves crashing to the shore I couldn’t help but hear the voice of a little girl of seven or so, my little girl, wide-eyed with wonder on that first trip to these sandy shores, and the first time she saw the waves of the Gulf. “The waves are huge,” she exclaimed and thus began our fascination with Ft. Morgan.
This year we spent the first night of our trip just across the bay on Dauphin Island in an Airbnb literally on top of a huge sand dune looking out over the Gulf. The advertisement for the place guaranteed sanitation and satisfaction...once you climbed the 50 steep steps up the dune to the second story of the huge three-story house. It did not disappoint, and just before we departed for the Mobile Bay Ferry the little red fox, promised in the advertisement for the place, trotted across the dunes.
As an aside, we did carry our own can of Lysol and bleach wipes and re-sanitized just in case.
There are signs of the pandemic everywhere in south Alabama, and like central Mississippi, there are signs of the lack of concern, or perhaps we should say respect — by some — of the COVID-19 virus. At the little take-out restaurant on Dauphin Island, where we ordered burgers and fries from the outside deck, most customers, including us, wore the face coverings that are mandatory in all of Alabama except one snotty looking old man that gave all the rest of us that snotty look that the Mississippi mask-shamers are so proud of.
On the ferry, which in years past had an hour or so waiting line and was packed bumper to bumper with vehicles, we drove right on for the 9:30 departure. There were only six families on board that day, less than a third of the capacity.
In Ft. Morgan, our favorite little house was cleaned and sanitized as we sat on the beach enjoying the sun. When the worker was done and gone we cleaned and sanitized one more time, there too, for good measure.
This year, in an effort to avoid public contact as much as possible we loaded the car down with anything and everything we thought we would possibly need and pretty much didn’t have to go to the store at all. We did have to have ice, though, and Saturday at the little beach store there was probably a 50/50 respect for the face covering order.
The store was packed and I opted for the separate liquor store entrance to purchase my ice and to avoid contact. There were just three of us in that side, me in my mask, and a young-than-me man and woman without. Same snotty look as the man at the burger place the day before.
Some things, I suppose, never change, whether in Walmart in Forest, or vacationing in a beach front cottage on the Gulf of Mexico.
Gotta go, our little girl, 27 now, is en route to join us and I do believe the beach is calling! Y’all stay safe.