We had been walking along the sandy trail toward the beach when I saw the tips of some driftwood trees over the dunes. Sandee stayed near the trail taking photos of other stuff, and I walked about 40-50 yards away toward these trees.
Cumberland Island is not developed at all… no vehicles besides park trucks, no paved roads, no liveable structures, and for the most part, no people. Only 300 people at a time are allowed on the island. My guess is that there were far less than that on this day in mid-August.
So in the middle of this isolation, as I topped the large dune, there appears this sight, which I remember imagining might look like some sort of moonscape. The trees were like this all around, in every direction, but only in this large low place surrounded by higher dunes.
I raised my camera to start taking photos, but then became really aware of how quiet it was, and I stopped and just listened. The wind off the beach whistled softly, cicadas chirped, mosquitoes buzzed, and sand crunched beneath my feet… and that was it… no cars, no talking, no anything but the quiet sounds of nature. And even though I knew Sandee was somewhere nearby, the remoteness and peacefulness of this place was profound.
While this is not my “best” photo of the trip, it’s actually one of my favorites, because I remember exactly how good I felt while I was taking it.