Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Canaveral National Seashore

The southern portion of the barrier island that holds New Smyrna Beach is home to the Canaveral National Seashore. The entrance is only about four miles from the beach house we're staying in, so we popped down to see what it was all about. We were going to ride our bikes there but there was a pretty stiff north wind today and we figured that the return trip would be unpleasant. When you're cycling, a stiff wind is a hill that never ends. There was an entrance fee but our trusty annual pass is the gift that keeps on giving. Eighty bucks gets you free entrance to all National Parks (and federally managed recreation lands that have an entrance fee). Sweet! Other than natural beauty, the big attraction at Canaveral National Seashore is the Turtle Mound Archaeological site. Turtle mound is, essentially, a garbage mound where the indigenous Timucuan people threw out their oyster shells over a 600 year period. Technically, it's called a midden but, let's face, it's a garbage heap and 600 years of eating oysters has raised it up to the point where there's a great view of the ocean and the bay. That's a lot of oyster.

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.*

The summit of Turtle Mound is accessed by a boardwalk with a slight incline. On the way we spotted this Transformer sphere nestled in some tree branches. I was going to take it, but I'm pretty sure it was Decepticon in nature and you never can trust the Decepticons. It might have been booby-trapped or something. Well enough left alone, I say.

This is the boardwalk that goes to the summit of Turtle Mound.

This little dude was catching some rays. Gecko?

The views from atop the garbage heap, er...midden,
were spectacular.

Here's the lovely Astral Wendy catching some rays
at the summit.

There's also some bay-side beach access here. We saw a
few spots that would have been ideal for camping but this
park does not have campsites. 

We took this little trail that meandered around the base of
Turtle Mound to see what we could find.

I found this two hook rubber worm fishing lure so I 
was glad I wasn't barefoot.

I also found this really cool shell. Not sure if
it's Venis Vitupera or Maris Homerunnus. Only an
expert would know for sure.

This Florida park does not have panthers or bears but
they do have armadillos. Wendy really wanted to pet
this critter. Yikes!

Unlike the state parks in Florida, the facilities 
left a little to be desired. I just loved the flushing 
lever on this commode. It looked liked the whole
platform would drop through a trapdoor if you
pulled it. I was glad the call was only for Numero Uno.

There used to be a small town here named Eldora
and this remaining house is called the Eldora Statehouse.
It was closed for some reason, which was annoying
because I really wanted to go up in that cupola.

I had to settle for the Old Easy Chair.

I don’t care

How many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money
And pack up your tent
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly

Down in the easy chair!**

I was so annoyed at the Eldora Statehouse being closed
that I went total Kong and wiped out this bamboo grove.

There was a really nice hiking trail along this hammock. A 
hammock is a bit of slightly higher land in an otherwise
marshy area that supports richer soil and more stately trees
like oak. This trail seemed like it got very little use since it
was overgrown in spots and we had to break through an orb
spider web that was strung across it.

*'The Walrus and the Carpenter' - Lewis Carroll
**'You Ain't Goin' Nowhere' - Bob Dylan

-Brought to you by the usual knuckleheads.


  1. Popped over from my little blog to your much more dynamic, adventure based one to wish you all a very happy 2011 as well!

    Now that I'm here, I want to ease your minds regarding the "Decepticon". In fact, that object is a Bakugan. It is used in ritual play performed by children and, although designed for battle, it can do an adult no harm. There are several of these spheres rolling around my house right now and they have never shown the slightest inclination to interact with me at all.

    Happy travels! - Darrelle Anne

  2. @LGS: Thanks for the visit and th info on the Bakugan. Funny, it had a button but I was afraid to push it. Ha! Since my kids are all older now, I am way out of touch regarding these matters. Hope your 2011 is filled with wonder!

  3. Happy New Year Darrelle Anne! Love to follow your blog... it always makes me smile!

  4. Your blog is fantastic! The writing and pictures are so beautiful! We were so sorry to see you go, now I am so happy that I can follow along on your journey! Wendy, can you please send me your wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe with technical instructions? I am craving them. I think I asked you for it before but have already lost it, pathetic! Please email me so we can be better connected! Love, Stacy

  5. Thanks Stacy! We had such a great time with thanks to the Goldeys! I mailed you the recipe and tried to mail you some pictures but my files are so large they are hard to email... but I don't give up easily and I'll find a way. There is a beautiful one of you on your birthday! Will keep in touch! Love Wendy