Fort Myers Beach is my local slice of paradise. It’s an 8 mile long stretch of sand with one main road. Yes, traffic gets backed up like a bear, but I really don’t mind it. Put a little Mishka on radio, roll down the windows and turn your clock to island time. If you’re going to be stuck in a slow moving mass of steel and rubber, this is the place to do it. Just a quick glance over your shoulder and you’ll see the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico playing hide and seek with you between the buildings.
While waiting in traffic you’ll see tourists motor by on scooters, locals cruise around on bikes and plenty of eye candy walking about. Fort Myers Beach has a very laid back, Key West-ish type of vibe to it. Even with all the people watching possibilities, nothing can upstage the Gulf, especially during sunset. People emerge from their homes and walk west. It’s a nightly migration, one not to be missed. Mother nature rarely disappoints and gives sunset watchers a show of glowing clouds, glittering water and swaying palms. A Castaway’s paradise.
There is a special spot about half way up the island where I like to pull off and take in the vista. It’s a large empty lot that is suppose to be roped off, but one section of the rope is broken. This allows rule benders like me to drive their vehicle nearly on to the beach. I love this spot because it has a few coconut palms of different sizes, tall sea oats and then these really old, weathered to the extreme, thatch umbrella things. Yes, umbrella things is official name for them. Whatever they are (or were) they make for a damn good photo.
The lot doesn’t give up it’s prime viewing location easily though. Towards the beach the ground becomes soft sand that tires melt into. I have to put it into 4-wheele-drive to maneuver without becoming entrenched. Then you have to deal with the sand spurs. Wearing flip flops in a place like this isn’t recommended, but considering that’s all I ever wear, I just deal with the sharp pokers. No pain, no gain. Finally, driving onto the lot is probably frowned upon by the authorities. Any passing patrol car could easily see me and ask me (politely?) to leave. I’ve rehearsed this situation many times. My scripted answer would be that I am photographer documenting island sunsets and that I had no idea this was a private lot. Sort of the truth right?
I really hope the FMB police don’t read this blog!
Here are some photos that I took last Saturday “documenting” the Fort Myer Beach sunset while taking a break from the traffic. Feel free to hit the “Pin” button to post these on your Pinterest page.
Fort Myers Beach Sunset – 12/01/2012
This last one is my favorite and it almost didn’t happen. I was already driving off the lot, about ready to merge back into traffic. While waiting for a spot to open up I looked over my shoulder and saw this. I grabbed the iPhone and snapped this shot. Palms silhouetted in black, sun nearly swallowed by the sea and a brilliant golden sky…paradise found. Have I told you that I don’t mind beach traffic all that much?