Posted by SandyHooker on September 03, 2006 at 19:49:29:
Well, the sun finally broke through this morning and I headed to Sandy Hook later than usual, arriving at the park around 10:00AM. Traffic was light both on the highway and entering the park, but it was shaping up as a nice weather day. Just before the toll booth at the parks entrance, I noticed quite a bit of sand up on the roadway and a lot of leaves and such on the sides of the road. The storm must have hit the Hook pretty hard.
Pulled into Lot G to park, only a few dozen cars there. Lots of kids with surfboards too. Got out of the car and headed to the beach via the roadway, not the path through the trees, and as I got to the road the rangers were closing the access road to Lot G with wooden horses, like they would when the lot fills up. As I walked down the road and turned past the snack bar I noticed yellow tape blocking the entrance to the wooden boardwalk. The beach was closed till further notice!!
Seems the water had completely engulfed the boardwalk and had also blocked any vehicular traffic from getting though that roadway. Now, if you walk a little further up the main road there is another cutoff to the beach that vehicles usually use and we could have walked in that way instead (as the surfers were doing) but the rangers decided to close Gunnison completely saying emergency vehicles couldn't access that one road.
A bunch of hardy nudists decided to drive over to North Beach, park there, and hike over to Gunnison. The few who ventured down the beach were turned away, saying stay up at North Beach, Gunnison was closed! They were turned away by emergency vehicles on the beach, many emergency vehicles. To me it seems like they overreacted. The beach was fine, in fact it looked especially clean with the good rinsing it got. It was just that boardwalk/access area that was underwater, way up by the dunes. Water has pooled up that way on Gunnison for as long as I can remember, sometimes hanging around damn near the whole summer.
I don't don't if they'll somehow pump that water out or close Gunnison for the rest of the season. I'll probably take a drive down tomorrow and check it out. It would be a major bummer if you traveled a distance to visit Gunnison over the Labor Day weekend.
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