The first time we walked down that dirt path eight years ago and found ourselves on that deserted strip of sand known as Lindquist Beach, we fell in love. We fell in love with the white sand and its crescent shape, as if it were gently holding the clear, calm water in the palm of its hand. We could sit on the sand and only hear the water, the birds, and the sound of the breeze gently rustling the fronds on the palm trees. It was a secluded paradise.
The years have brought changes. The beach is still there, the water is still clear, the palm trees still sway in the breeze… but the isolation is missing.
The dirt path has been replaced by a proper parking lot and a wide packed gravel road. A manned gate and attendant stand ready to collect your money, $5.00 per person as non-residents. You can walk or drive down the road toward the beach and a second parking lot that is just for dropping off and picking up beach gear and passengers. You can also find facilities, such as newly constructed showers and restrooms, just off the beach. A lifeguard provided by the park service even keeps watch. The beach that was our ideal of tropical seclusion is now far more popular and we have to share it with a combination of tourists and locals. We know civilization eventually catches up to everyone and everyplace. We still enjoyed our visit, soaking in the water and watching the fish swim around our legs or hiding from the sun on the beach. The privacy and the quiet were just gone.
We eventually found out the reasons for the upgrades. The beach we loved had become very unsafe because of the very isolation we loved. The appearance of shall we call them “unsavory elements” harassing beach-goers and treating it as their own private kingdom. We were told that the beach had been closed at one point because of the problems. The solution was for the park service to take over the area and actively manage the beach. We were disappointed, but we understood.
We find places, like people, can change over time. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes for the worse. It’s up to you to decide how you treat them when they do.