Posted by: Waheeda Harris | January 23, 2014

Shell seeker

I love sea shells.

I’m one of those people who often picks them up, puts them in my pocket and thinks I’ll get creative and make something from them. I don’t. But I think about it all the time.

Florida - Don Pedro IslandI’m not organized – I don’t know where a lot of my shells are from because I have no elaborate system of labelling or remembering the sources.

But I remember going to the beach – whether its Kitsilano in my home province of British Columbia, or a remote black sand beach on the coast of Tobago – its never forgotten.

But I’ve now found a beach in my travels that will be remembered and the shells connected to it too – Don Pedro Island State Park, on the west coast of Florida, near Punta Gorda.

Not only is this a remote and beautiful park – it has two areas – the mainland park, and the island, which is only accessible by boat or kayak.

So with my guide and a friend, we kayaked to the island, and hiked across to the Gulf side, where I was greeted with endless amounts of shells on the beach.

Did I want a striped shell? A small shell? A large shell? Or even a fossil – a shark tooth?

Florida - Don Pedro Is shells

There were so many shells, they buried in the sand, and I was tempted to dig for larger shells – but really, there were too many to choose.

And if that’s my travel problem today – I welcome the challenge to pick my faves and figure out how they’ll be coming home in my backpack, to remind me of a moment in the warm sun, with the waves lapping at my toes as I chose a talisman from the Gulf Coast.

Tossed on to the sand by the constant waves, there’s a shell for everyone I know and more at this beach, and no one to compete with you to pick your favourite.

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