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Archive for the ‘Sand and Shoreline’ Category

5 Creative Ways for Getting Sand Off Your Feet After the Beach

Posted by Jody on September 4, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Emma Roberts.

Going to the beach is awesome; getting sand in your house and car, not so much. It’s funny how a great afternoon playing in the sand and running in the waves can be dampened when you realize how much of a mess you’ve made tracking all that sand back inside with you. It almost looks like you tried to bring the beach home. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent your car and house from looking like a hurricane hit them by getting the sand off your feet after you leave the beach. Some are inventive, some are obvious classics, but they’re all worth incorporating into your next beach day.

Just add water for instant sandy feet!

Instant Sandy Feet: Just Add Water!

Baby powder

Seriously. Toss a bottle of baby powder into your beach bag and get ready to have your life changed. When you leave the beach, apply a nice heap of powder to your feet and rub it in. This absorbs the moisture that’s causing the sand to stick to your feet, and you’ll be able to brush off the excess and walk away. Plus, now your feet smell nice and clean.

Portable water supply

One of the best ways to wash sand off your feet is to use, well, water. A lot of beaches have shower-type stalls where the sand meets the parking lot and you can spray down your legs and feet and knock off the worst of the dirt. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. (And sometimes you’ll still have to cross some sand to get to your car, in which case, you’re back to square one.) The solution? Pack a small plastic tub and a big bottle of water before you go, then use them when you’re standing next to your car. It doesn’t take much; just enough for you to submerge your feet and rinse them down. Then you can towel off, dump the water and be on your way.

Welcome mats

This one’s so obvious that most people overlook it. Take a welcome mat with you — or buy one for the occasion that you can leave in the car — and set it down next to your vehicle before you get in. Use a towel to knock off the bigger chunks, then wipe your feet on the welcome mat to clear out the rest of the sand.

Sandy Feet at Carmel by the Sea

Sandy Feet at Carmel by the Sea

Dry sand

Dry sand can actually adhere to the wetter sand on your feet and help to remove it. It’s a little like how lint sticks to itself, so a ball of lint can help you clean the lint trap in your dryer. When you’re ready to leave, scoop up some dry sand and rub it along your feet and legs, making sure to rub it into the wet sand that’s stuck to you. The dry sand can help slough off the wet stuff, making it easier to just dust off your feet with a towel before you go.

Specialty products

Staying sand-free is such a problem that there are a growing number of specialty products available to help you clean up after a day at the beach. For example, Sand-Off uses a special mitt that comes with a powder built right in, so all you have to do is apply the mitt to the sandy part of your body, let the powder squeeze out and wipe away the sticky sand. It’s good for multiple uses, and it’s a small enough product that you can toss it in your beach bag and forget about it until you need it.

Keeping excess sand out of your car and house can feel like an endless battle during beach season, and there’s always the chance that you or your kids will track some home no matter what you do. However, with the right preparation, you can go home clean and happy and leave the beach behind.

About the Author: Emma Roberts, a frequent contributor for SummerNanny.com. Read her contributed article 20 Blogs With Crafty Ways of Using Beach Sand. She can be contacted at her email: robertse055@gmail.com.

A note from our treasure hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  You may be our next Featured Guest Writer!

~~~

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Posted in Featured Guest Writer, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , | 15 Comments »

52c – Brighton Part IV

Posted by Jody on June 17, 2013

Jody:

This is one of our favorite beach blogs: The Coastal Path ~ One family’s walk around the coast of Britain. This week the family is touring the Brighton Pier and Brighton’s fabulous shingle beach (a beach which is formed of pebbles). By the way, don’t even think about collecting those beach pebbles! Brighton’s Seafront Officer once told me: We do not allow stone collections from the beach unfortunately. This is because we need to maintain the level of shingle on the beach to assist with coastal defence, so for this reason it is not permitted.

 ~ Oh well, there are plenty of other beaches to comb!

~~~

You can read our family’s very own Brighton Beach memoir here: Brighton ~ A Top 10 British Memory.

~~~

Originally posted on The Coastal Path:

We left the Brighton Wheel and headed off up the pier for the rides.  Brighton Pier started off life as the Palace Pier, built in 1823 to service passenger ships arriving from Dieppe.  Over the years it grew and grew into the attraction it is today.  I was quite astonished to find that over its long history it has not once been destroyed by fire, flood, or fractious young fellows with far-fetched foibles (ie kids with matches).  Compared to many of its brethren, Brighton Pier has fared well over the years.

Brighton Pier

As we walked up there were good views back to the east.

View Back East from Brighton PierWhat we were really looking for, however, were the rides.  My wife and aunt decided they were far too mature for such juvenile delights and left the kids and I to our childishness.  It was quite fun, really…

Wild River with insert…although some of us got a little wet…

Wild RiverThe…

View original 191 more words

Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

SHORE THINGS: BEACHCOMBING ON A PRISTINE ABACO BEACH

Posted by Jody on June 17, 2013

Jody:

What a wonderful way to start the week! Let’s grab our sunhats and go…

Originally posted on ROLLING HARBOUR ABACO:

Shore Things 16

SHORE THINGS: BEACHCOMBING ON A PRISTINE ABACO BEACH

The Abaco bay known as Rolling Harbour is a 3/4 mile curve of white sand beach, protected by an off-shore reef. The beach is pristine. Or it would be but for two factors. One is the seaweed that arrives when the wind is from the east – natural and biodegradable detritus. It provides food and camouflage for many species of shorebird – plover and sandpipers of all varieties from large to least. The second – far less easily dealt with – is the inevitable plastic junk washed up on every tide. This has to be collected up and ‘binned’, a never-ending cycle of plastic trash disposal. Except for the ATLAS V SPACE-ROCKET FAIRING found on the beach, that came from the Mars ‘Curiosity’ launch. Sandy's Mystery Object

We kept is as a… curiosity, until it was eventually removed by the men in black…

Shore Things 14I’d intended…

View original 252 more words

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Posted by Jody on May 14, 2013

~Patterns in the Sand~

Pattern

Art on the Beach

 ~ Making Patterns in the Sand ~

Manhattan Beach in Southern California

On Manhattan Beach, Southern California

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Pattern.

~~~

Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Beach Activities for Everyone ~ Even Non-Beach-Lovers (Seriously?!)

Posted by E.G.D. on April 25, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Post Writer is Erica Kritt from The Cruise Web:

The ever-popular Seawall Beach at Galveston Island, Texas

The ever-popular Seawall Beach at Galveston Island, Texas

I confess, I used to hate the beach. I hated the sand getting in everything, I thought it was boring, and on top of that I don’t like my beach bod. However, now I love the beach. Working at a travel agency, destinations that are rich in beaches come up a lot, so I have a lot of knowledge about what to do on a beach. I’d like to share how the beach can be a fun place for everyone from grandpa to baby with a few activities that will be fun for all. Believe me, if I could get over my dislike of the beach, then you or your family members can too.

Looking to Relax
If you can find a quiet beach, you are set, and even if you are at a popular spot, put on your shades and some soothing music and focus in on the waves coming in and out. Lounging on the beach is a great chance to get out in nature, but you can surround yourself with creature comforts, like a pillow, your e-reader and some tropical smoothies.

Most relaxing activity: Many cruise lines have private islands in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, where you can even experience a massage in a cabana right on the beach.

Shelling with Family

Shelling with Family

Looking to Explore
A beach has a lot to offer for both kids and adults looking to discover creatures they’ve never seen, or to find those special shell treasures. In fact, finding a good beach could be an expedition in itself.

Best Exploration: Snorkeling excursions are a chance to see the creatures that lurk just underneath the water. In the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, you’ll have a chance to see beautifully colored fish and interesting coral formations.

Looking to Play
Sand castles aren’t just for kids, on the shore you can try your hand at making sand sculptures. The beach is fun, but things can get really fun in the water. At many beaches you can rent wave runners, or fly high while parasailing over the ocean. Some cruise lines even offer passengers the chance to take a horse ride on the beach and even in the surf.

The Most Fun of All
Anytime you can learn a new skill, it makes your experience that much more rich. Beaches in Hawaii and other tropical destinations offer surf lessons where you can test your balance in the ocean.

As you can see, there really is an activity on the beach for everyone. All you have to do is make sure you visit a beach that offers what you are looking for, read reviews, speak with a travel agent, and get ready for some fun in the sun.

About the Author: Erica Kritt works at The Cruise Web, a travel agency that specializes in cruising. Her favorite beach has to be the one on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas.
~~~

Posted in Featured Guest Writer, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

“Where’s the beach?”

Posted by Jody on March 18, 2013

Last weekend Greg and I had the chance to visit the awe-inspiring Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado.  We had enough time to arrange our drive from Albuquerque to Denver to include an overnight in Alamosa, which is about a 35 mile ride south and west of the park. It was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up. The Great Sand Dunes are the tallest dunes in all of North America. The spectacular main dunefield stretches over 30 square miles at the foot of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains (the entire park covers nearly 376 square miles). Simply put, this is one of the most Bucket List worthy places in the United States. Our family had been to the park many years ago, and we couldn’t wait to get back for some hiking and R&R.

Here’s a list of what we found!

Sand ~

Sand

Sand

Driftwood ~

Driftwood

Driftwood

Dune grass ~

Dune Grass

Dune Grass

And sand dunes as far as the eyes could see!

Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

You might be thinking: “This is a beach inspired blog, Jody! Where’s the beach?”

And I would reply, “It’s right here!” :-)

The Beach at Medano Creek

*This is the beach at Medano Creek!*

“Well then, where’s the water?”, you ask.

“Look up! It’s high in the snow pack (14,000 +/- feet) of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains!”, I answer.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado

Every year, Medano Creek is formed by the melting winter snows. From April to June (and sometimes into July), the icy streams formed by the annual snow melt trickle down the mountain sides to create the Medano Creek beach and play area that are just perfect for splashing, surfing, wading, skimboarding, and floating! In fact, depending on water level, visitors may participate in any non-motorized activities in the creek. Sand boarding and sand sledding on the dunes are all the rage. Sand castle building is a very popular waterside activity, too.

We’re planning a trip back for fun in the sun and water in May or June so there will be more photos to follow. For now, here’s a look at more of the beauty that is Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. It is by far one of the best of the best recreation areas the USA has to offer within its vast (84.4 million acre) National Park System!

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

<----- This way to the dunes.

<—– This way to the dunes and beach.

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Can you spot the hikers?

Can you spot the hikers on the ridges?

Hikers on the Dunes

Hikers on the Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Winter at the Great Sand Dunes

Winter at the Great Sand Dunes

~~~

Have a great day at the beach!

~~~

Posted in Beaches of North America, Inland Shores, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 38 Comments »

Happy Hiking to Abbotts Lagoon Beach!

Posted by Jody on March 13, 2013

Abbotts Lagoon, Point Reyes National Seashore

Abbotts Lagoon, Point Reyes National Seashore

Abbotts Lagoon Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, Northern California

The lovely 1 ½ mile walk through coastal vegetation (across a bridge over a small river dividing the two-stage lagoon and traversing soft, shifting sandy hills) might seem a bit more like a hearty (yet low-key) footslog than a “moderate walk.” The unequaled Abbotts Lagoon “trail”  brings hikers through soft, deep sands that seem to slow one down to the bare minimum speed. In this piece of Point Reyes paradise, wayfarers can expect a scenic and unhurried journey!

Trailhead Marker

Trailhead Marker

Greg and I weren’t in any rush on the day we visited! The leisurely pace made it all the easier for us to really take in the spectacular scenery along the diverse trail. Wildflowers abound at Abbots Lagoon, and bird watching is simply unavoidable!  We didn’t actually see very many birds on our January visit, but these lagoons reportedly attract many species of migrating shorebirds in the fall, followed by ducks during the winter months.

If you’re really lucky, you may even spy a peregrine falcon looking for a tasty meal! The sand dunes backing the beach are also home to the threatened western snowy plover. It’s important for visitors to keep an eye out and tread carefully on the sandy beach during their nesting season (spring and early summer).

The Beach at Abbotts Lagoon

The Beach at Abbotts Lagoon

Eventually the path opened up before us to an awe-inspiring panorama of the Pacific Ocean. This varied trail brings happy hikers right to the shores of the Great Beach. The far-reaching Great Beach is actually made up of many sections of sandy shoreline, and the beach at Abbots Lagoon is just one small, beautiful portion of the uninterrupted 11 mile expanse of bluffs, dunes, and natural shoreline.

Greg and I were blown away by the beautiful “sands” we found near Abbotts Lagoon. Sifting through the rich greens, bold reds, and bright yellows of the tiny beach pebbles was an amusing highlight of a lovely walk to a beautiful beach on a warm and sunny winter’s day!

The beach at Abbotts Lagoon

The beach at Abbotts Lagoon

Up, down, out and across; there’s something to see in every direction on the trail to the beach at Abbotts Lagoon!

Happy hiking!

~~~~

Helpful link: National Park Service/Point Reyes National Seashore

Posted in Beach Birding, Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

A Winter Beach Walk at Good Harbor, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Lake Michigan

Posted by Jody on March 6, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer/Photographer is Beth Dole:

Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan has wonderful beaches, and few ever get out to explore their winter beauty. This week Good Harbor beach made national news for a peculiar formation of ice balls on the beach (see last picture).  I couldn’t wait to get out there and check them out, but by the time the weekend rolled around the dynamic beach had of course changed. Now it was frozen sand and ice, with frozen ice balls. The beach was icy enough one could ice skate on it, the rocks were frozen solid with great ice formations to explore.

Winter Wonderland at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter Wonderland at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

My advice to all is to visit the beach all year round, winter can be delightful on the beach.

Winter in Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Beacr Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Beacr Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Beacr Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Beacr Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Beacr Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Beacr Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes (Photo by Beth Dole)

Ice Balls (Photo by Leda Jo)

Ice Balls (Photo by Leda Jo)

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located in Northwestern Lower Michigan along the shores of Lake Michigan. The Visitor Center is in Empire, MI about 25 miles from Traverse City. Miles of sand beach, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, unique flora and fauna make up the natural world of Sleeping Bear Dunes. High dunes afford spectacular views across the lake. Sleeping Bear Dunes is as old as continental ice sheets and as young as the 1970 Establishment Act that set aside the Lakeshore for preservation of the natural resources and for public use. The most prominent features, and those for which the park is named, are the perched dunes above Lake Michigan. These immense sand dunes are “perched” atop the already towering headlands that are glacial moraines. The dune overlooks at the Sleeping Bear, Empire and Pyramid Point bluffs are about 400 feet above Lake Michigan. With 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams, the park is wonderfully water oriented.

About the Author: Beth Dole is the mom of two teenagers, avid outdoors person, loves the beach, can be found hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, trail running, kayaking in the north country when not writing blogs about heart disease. 

A couple more helpful links:

The Official Website of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau

Traverse City.com

~~~

Please stop by and visit Beth at her very informative and helpful blog: Rehabilitate Your Heart.

~~~

Just a note: Beth, you are so right! Any time of year is the perfect season for a trip to the beach. Your photos are absolutely wonderful! Many, many thanks for sharing your beautiful, beachy part of the world with us! ~Jody

Posted in Featured Guest Writer, Great Lakes Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | 30 Comments »

Oreti Beach, New Zealand

Posted by Jody on March 4, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Jo from Over the Edge of the Wild:

Oreti Beach (Photo by Brenda Cahill)

Oreti Beach (Photo by Brenda Cahill)

When people think of New Zealand, it’s often for the magnificent snow-capped mountains, the Lord of the Rings movies, the clean, green, nuclear-free image, or even the rugby. Given its proximity to Antarctica, however, it’s not necessarily the top of the list for a beach vacation.

Burt Munro Challenge (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Burt Munro Challenge (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Recently, however, TIME magazine named the Burt Munro Challenge one of its Five Festive Events You Won’t Want to Miss in 2013. The Challenge, a five day motorcycle rally, includes seven forms of motorsport racing, including beach racing along Oreti Beach, so it’s bound to see some more action this year.

Oreti Beach is a (roughly) 26km long stretch of sand, located around 10km from the city of Invercargill. Fringed with an endless expanse of sand dunes, the flat stretch of sand is solid enough to drive vehicles along (in most places, most of the time). This made it the perfect place for Burt Munro (eccentric local hero and holder of the 1000cc motorcycle land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats) to experiment with his hand-modified 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle and practice for racing in Bonneville. Even outside of Challenge week, visitors can walk, ride or drive along the beach.

The New Zealand Pacific Ocean (photo by Brenda Cahill)

The New Zealand Pacific Ocean (photo by Brenda Cahill)

As well as its real life role in Burt Munro’s story, Oreti Beach was also used as a set in the biographical New Zealand film The World’s Fastest Indian, which was based on his life.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are not the only ones to enjoy a visit to Oreti Beach, however. In the summer months of December to February (peaking in late January/early February), families head out for picnics and BBQs, to go for a swim, catch flounder, or soak up some vitamin D. The sun can be harsh in New Zealand, so remember your sunscreen, and the water is quite safe for swimming, but don’t expect it to be warm. Water temperatures in Southland peak at around 15°C in the summer months, and can dip below 10°C in the winter.

Burt Munro Beach Racing (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Burt Munro Beach Racing (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Kiwis (and Southlanders in particular) don’t like to let a little thing like the cold get in the way of enjoying themselves though, and Oreti Beach has been home to the Southland Mid-Winter Swim event for more than 20 years. This polar plunge takes place in June each year, when air temperatures rarely reach double figures. It’s cold, but it’s invigorating!

Aside from the cold, being at the bottom of the world does have its advantages. Only a few minutes drive from the city centre, after-work trips to the beach can last four or five hours before the sun goes down. The extended twilight hours stretch out into beautiful sunsets, and with only 50,000 residents in the city, you can be fairly certain of finding a quiet spot to yourself to enjoy those extra daylight hours on the sand.

Sunset (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Sunset (photo by Neil McKelvie)

About the author: Jo is one half of a Kiwi couple living in Darwin, Australia, saving money so they can see  more of the world. Jo and Aaron chronicle their travels on their blog, Over the Edge of the Wild, and have enjoyed taking the time to think about home and share this little piece of New Zealand with you all.

Special note: Jo, thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful place with us! I loved the movie and think it’s great to learn a bit more about the story and the area! Any reason is a good reason to visit the beach and the knowing something about history of the shoreline really adds to the experience for me. ~Jody

~~~

Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Featured Guest Writer, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Travel Theme: Roads

Posted by Jody on March 3, 2013

Where the rubber meets the sand…

Long-Dun Beach, Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Long-Dun Beach, Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Seeing vehicles driving on the sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico is nothing out of the ordinary. Long-Dun Beach in Cameron Parish is a fine example of a rustic beach (no facilities) on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast where beach goers happily drive right onto the sandy shoreline and proceed to pick the perfect parking spot for a day brimming with sun and fun at the beach. These drivable coastlines are treated as byways and standard rules of the road apply.

Long-Dun Beach is a lovely stretch of sand located along the 180 mile long Creole Nature Trail in far southwestern Louisiana. With 26 miles of blissful beachcombing heaven to choose from, the natural beaches of the Creole Nature Trail are perfect for finding driftwood, whelks, oysters, angel wings, and moon snails. With a little luck, you may even find a sea bean or two!

Beach treasures collected along the shores of Louisiana's Creole Nature Trail

These colorful beach treasures collected along the shores of Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail.

Enjoy the ride and have a great day at the beach!

This week’s Travel Theme topic is “Roads.”

More about the Creole Nature Trail and Louisiana’s Gulf Coast beaches:

A Wealth of Wildlife on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast: The Creole Nature Trail

Waves and Welcomes at Mae’s Beach, Louisiana

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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