Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good Bye Fort Story Beach. It was fun while it lasted

We hadn't made the short trip to Fort Story Beach in a few weeks, so we decided today was time for a return.
We parked at 87th street as always (because 89th has more parking but they ticket and boot after 8pm.  It is Virginia Beach after all), and walked out to the sand, turned left and started towards Cape Henry Point.
However, this time we were hit with a large yellow sign on 4x4 wooden legs, straddling the walking area at the borderline between the public beach and the beach that wraps around Fort Story U.S. Army base.  "Official U.S. Government Property - No Trespassing" in bold letters.
The last time we saw this happen was one week after Sept. 11, 2001, when they not only closed the beach, but cordonned it off with cross-bars and razor wire, and sandbagged machine gun nests along the dunes.  They also ran ATV patrols and scared the be-jesus out of anyone who strayed across the line.  I didn't see any sandbag encampments or ATV's running around, but I'm not venturing over into the dark side to find Darth Vader either.
I haven't seen any official explanation or rationale for the closure, so I can only guess.  If it's to carve out the beach for the military families who live on the base, that's fine.  I feel that military families put up with a lot of crap as it is, and their active-duty kin are under enough stress, so anything that helps them chill out and enjoy life a little more is a good thing.  I do wish however that they could have worked out something like one-day per week when the public could still stroll around the beachfront.  Oh well.  It was fun while it lasted.  I have a ton of good memories with my family there.  Here's some photos I've taken over the years.  Enjoy!
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