I've been playing in the Sebastian area for more than a month now, with just one more week before I head north a bit. This has been a funny season as I've been ping-ponging between Sebastian, the town (AirBnb and camping), as well as camping at my usual spot on the Inlet. Given my five weeks here it's been good to live in both places -- one where I fall asleep to the sound of the waves, take long bike rides, see incredible sunsets, eat fresh fish, and function in a semi-conscious state on the beach. The other is time spent walking the riverfront, seeing movies & hearing music at the library, discovering historic spots I missed in prior years, and chatting with locals here, there and everywhere. On the mainland, the locals still use directionals, stop at crosswalks, chat with you in line at the market, and make you feel welcome (I had to turn down an invite to join the Scrabble Club!).
While this is absolutely my favorite spot in Florida, change is certainly noticeable this year. While (thank heaven!) the Inlet has miles of preserved land, the development from the south (Vero) and the north (Melbourne) is encroaching as far as it can go. There aren't high-rises, but the McMansions are cutting away mangroves, adding people and continual traffic. At first, I was saying, "what about Irma?" but now as I bike along, my mantra is "bring it on mother nature, bring it on". I'm also singing "Big Yellow Taxi" as loud as I possibly can!
My beloved marina campground is also busier than I've ever seen in 4 (or is it 5?) years, too. My trips to the mainland were mostly motivated by booked weekends, and on weekdays when it used to be me & 1-2 folks, it's now 10 or more. Oddly, it's not just the over-abundance of northern escapees. People from South Florida are escaping their heavily populated, concrete, traffic-laden lives by coming to camp at Sebastian Inlet. This is not a good sign of the movement to come, I say.
Can you tell I'm feeling a bit angry and a bit possessive? This is a very special habitat for humans and wildlife, and this human wants it to remain just so.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover