“On the day of the miracle…”
I got up early from our condo on the south end of Siesta Key. I decided to walk the two or three miles to Crescent Market to pick up juice and breakfast for the girls. I would walk via the beach, taking photos, meditating, cogitating, generally meandering, until I could cut over to the main drag of Siesta Key, Midnight Pass Road. So far, so good.
I walked and snapped a few pictures with my phone. So far, so good.
Then the beach was interrupted by a big jetty of brown rocks. Simple enough.
Time to head to the road. There was no pathway. I walked a little this way and that, but there seemed to be no simple (or public) walkway to the road from the beach
I could see the road, but I couldn’t get to it. “Well, I’ll simply have to run across this millionaire’s lawn to get to the road,” I thought.
“But run fast,” I told myself, “these Southern folk pack heat for this very occasion — a middle-aged mother trespassing.” I picked an unoccupied mansion and I bolted across the manicured lawn, ready to dodge a bullet if necessary.
Phew, I looked back. I made it. Here I was on Midnight — What the hell! I wasn’t on Midnight Pass Road, but trapped on some private millionaires’ road. Shit. I figured I’ll have to walk back towards where I came.
I started to get sweaty. I walked out on an abandoned dock to locate the bridge back to Midnight Pass, but there was only a wide lagoon that seemed to go on for miles. No bridge in sight. I thought for a fleeting second, Could I swim that? I thought about gators. No! I couldn’t swim it.
I continued walking back south until the road ended. I walked on a trail, clearly marked private property.
Shit. I’m lost on Siesta Key, a slip of land that I thought only had one road. I called my brother Brendan. He told me to use my phone’s GPS.
The phone told me I was just off of Sanderling Road. It told me to head north for miles. I walked back through the trail to the millionaires’ road.
There were no cars, no people, only manicured bushes, fences, walls along Sanderling road. I heard a sprinkler and thought I spotted a gardener who eyed me suspiciously. I finally saw a garbage truck headed for me. I flagged him down. But the driver couldn’t hear me over his truck and told me to go back to the beach. “There’s no way out from Sanderling road, except the way I’d come,” he said, gesturing north. “Way back there,” as if the entrance to this gates community was just a memory.
I called my brother again, getting desperate. asking for rescue. “Okay, I’ll come get you. But I don’t know if they’ll let me on the private road. I have my boat in tow.” I walked back to the beach. This time, I thought, let them shoot me. I am freely trespassing. I am flaunting my trespass. At least I’ll get out of this nightmare.
My brother called me on my phone. (I noted, my battery was running low.)
“Hey, I’m almost on Sanderling Road. But I’m stuck. The guard waved me through, but there’s a tree down in the road. See if you can walk back towards me.” Again, I trespassed. This time, through a manicured Buddha garden. I even stopped for a moment to admire the sculptured tranquility separating the empty beach from the Sanderling community.
I walked. I perspired. I was hungry. Walking north, I passed a dogwalker who wore headphones and a black tee shirt. I nodded at her (or him, I couldn’t tell). He/she ignored me.
Apparently, the only human beings on Sanderling road are the hired help and they look suspiciously at anyone they encounter.
This story ends happily. After all, I have lived to tell the story. I walked a ways. My brother eventually showed up, because they cleared the downed tree. He managed to circle around with the boat and get us off of Sanderling.
We had a beautiful day out on his boat. My getting lost on Siesta Key will become a distant memory (I hope!)
But I offer this advice to any walker on the south end of Siesta Key beach: never leave the beach, thinking you can get back on Midnight Pass Road. If you do, you may never return.
I took the first line from this post from The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, a new and brilliant novel I was reading on the beach yesterday. I add it as a prompt from today’s daily post challenge.
- Seagulls attack peaceful tourist at Siesta Key Beach, Florida (travelspirit333.com)