Another Foggy And Rainy Walk On Long Beach Island, New Jersey
My foggy and rainy New Year’s visit to Long Beach Island on the New Jersey shore continued Sunday. A steady rain was falling when I awoke early in the morning. The rain didn’t stop me from my early morning walk. So , after a cup of coffee I again put on my rain gear and was walking in the rain and dark a half hour before sunrise. I started my hike early since I wanted to be back home in Hazle Township Pennsylvania, a three hour drive, in time for the Philadelphia Eagles football game at 1 p.m.
I began my walk from the hotel I was staying, the LBI Hotel. , which is located on Route 72 the only access road to the island,
There was little traffic entering the island at this early hour but there was a steady stream of cars leaving the island . Areas of the streets were flooded from the heavy rains that fell overnight. The rain had subsided and only a light rain was falling as I continued my hike through the sleeping town of Ship Bottom, one of the six municipalities on the 25 mile long island.
I walked down route 72 observing the closed businesses and shops in the dark.
The island is at it’s widest in Ship Bottom, only about a 1/2 mile wide. So it didn’t take me long to get to the ocean. to the ocean. It was still dark so I decided to walk south on Long Beach Blvd. Christmas decorations lined the empty streets.
I am sure folks who visit here in the Summer would love to drive on these streets. I hear the traffic congestion is terrible in the warmer months.
It wasn’t on Sunday morning. The streets were deserted. The skies brightened as the morning twilight began and I continued my exploration of the island.
At 20th Street I left the Blvd. and walked to the ocean. Here I watched the crashing of the waves from atop the dunes above the beach. The beach was desolate, not a soul could be seen, in fact I didn’t see a single person on my entire walk.
After some reflection, I left the ocean and walked through residential neighborhoods in Ship Bottom.
Although many of the homes were deserted for the winter months,
some were occupied and decorated for the holidays, It was a nice walk observing the many different styles of homes on the island.
The rain had stopped but a thick fog formed as I continued my walk,
and made my way to the bay side of the island, walking past the police department and crossing another main street, Barnegat Avenue.
I explored the residential streets and imagined how they would look on a warm summer day. I know this will be a good place to watch the sunset.
As I walked along the bay in Ship Bottom, the fog cleared and visibility got better, so I decided to take a quick walk to the Forsythe National Wildlife Refugee , which I had visited the day before, in the rain and heavy fog.
While crossing the bridge that led to Clear Bonnet Island where the refuge trail is located I saw a large flock of mallard ducks,
and some bufflehead ducks in the waters of the bay below the bridge.
Although the skies were still overcast, the rain had stopped and the fog lifted, so, as I walked under the bridge, and got to the other side I had my first good views of the vast salt marshes and wetlands of the wildlife refuge since I arrived on the island.
Unfortunately, pressed for time, I couldn’t take advantage of the clearing weather conditions. I again heard the the many song birds fluttering in the trees like I did the day before but I didn’t have time to wait and try to capture photos of them. Patience is the main rain I capture so many photos of birds and wildlife. I had no time for patience on Sunday.
Instead I walked quickly along the trails in the salt marsh enjoying the views of the now visible town of Ship Bottom across the bay. I could now see the water tower near the police department I had walked past earlier on my hike.
I was also able to see my hotel over the reeds in the salt marsh.
I didn’t see the hawk or yellow -rumped warblers on my walk in the refugee, the only bird that I was able to photograph was this song sparrow scurrying on the ground. .
However as I left the refugee I did see a flock of Canada geese in the marshes
a herring gull swimming in a pond in the marsh and,
a flock of black ducks flew overhead.
From the bridge I saw some more male bufflehead ducks
and some mallards, including this interesting, uncommon and pretty leucistic female mallard duck.
As I neared my hotel I saw some herring gulls fly overhead,
Despite the early rain, I enjoyed my 6 mile hike through the streets of Ship Bottom and in the wildlife refugee. I wish I had more time. Next visit, which I hope will be soon, I hope the weather is sunny and clear, and I will make sure I have more time to roam and explore this wonderful place near the shore. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photographs from my hike on Long Beach Island. Long Beach Island hike January 2 2022.
I retuned to my hotel around 9 a.m. and 15 minutes later I had showered and packed and on the road I made it back, not only to watch the opening kick-off of the Eagles game but with enough time to prepare my traditional and lucky traditional Eagles football meal of hot peppers, garlic, shrimp, scallops and pasta. It worked! The Eagles won and are going to the playoffs!
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.” – E. E. Cummings