Who is worthy enough to see my pools?

On St Croix there are a set of very remote tidal pools that for me are a natural thing of beauty and a calm oasis. Being there with a few companions and hearing the crashing waves against the rocks lets me know that I have arrived to my sanctuary. Money can’t buy a more pristine view.

The pools are well defended both from people and natural barriers and unsuspecting environmentalists who just as soon you not see them.

On foot one must get past the first barrier, a guard shack at the Carambola Resort. Here the guard listens to your intension and decides if you will park on the hill and hike to your hike or allow entry to park in the resort.

If you park on the hill expect to add a strenuous mile to your already strenuous hike. I have learned to lie and tell them I am having lunch at the resort. I get a pass and prime parking.

On the trail expect steep hills, exposed rocks and roots from foot traffic, thorned trees, an active bee hive, numerous but harmless hermit crabs and a poorly marked trail often leading to indecision about ¾ the way through the hike. As nasty as this sounds the forest is beautiful and the views are incredible.

Once there one must carefully move along the ragged sharp rock wall to enter the pool area.

Plan B is one can drive there on and equally challenging Jeep trail. This is where the local environmentalists come in. You see while nothing is said about driving to and from most anywhere on the island driving to the pools is considered an unforgivable sin. Driving this beautiful trail makes your vehicle dirtier and more harmful than any car on the planet.

The entrance to this trail is hidden; I had to find it on satellite photos from Google Earth. Not a local I know would reveal the entrance to me.

The drive is very slow, deliberate and gorgeous. I drove by several ruins and vistas that I plan to explore when I am down next week.

As before once there one must carefully move along the ragged sharp rock wall to enter the pool area.

What sets plan B apart is anyone who is physically challenged can now experience the beauty of the pools if they can climb the last barrier.

If you are able to hike the trail I strongly suggest it. If you are not physically able then take the Jeep trail.

In both cases respect the land.


Ken said...

raises hand high in the air

I am worthy...take me!

There used to be a Leper Colony on Antigua, I found out about it through local knowledge. I looked on my charts for the general area, sailed there for the weekend, anchored and explored. I love ruins of any kind.

terri said...

It sounds very much like it is worth all of the effort it takes to get there. I wish I could see it.

Jay Gray said...

I wanna go! I've already climbed Augusta!!!

Chris said...

We have huge mountains and plenty of vast jungles in Manitoba. I think I can handle anything that you throw at me...;)

Michael said...

Hold on there partner. In the interests of full disclosure, I'd like to point out that this particular local environmentalist led you to these tide pools the first time you went.

I believe I also told you how to get there by jeep, albeit somewhat vaguely, because I've never driven all the way down there, I've parked at the top and hiked down. And I confirmed for you the road you identified on GoogleEarth.

That having been said, I don't have a problem with people driving the jeep trail to get to the pools (though my wife does). I have a problem with what many people who do drive do once they get there. There is plenty of room to park off the side of the jeep road once you get down, but most people aren't content with that. They drive right down onto the coral/rock beach. This causes increased erosion and the dirt and sediment runoff from the jeep trail is clearing encroaching on the previously pristine coral rock beach. This sediment runs into the bay and is damaging the last healthy coral reefs on St. Croix.

The people who drive right onto the beach often have to 'prove' how small their privates are by seeing how far they can run their jeeps up the rocky slope - causing more erosion and environmental damage. Many are also too lazy to put their garbage, that they brought down in a jeep, back into their vehicle, and take it out with them. The amount of bottles and other garbage on the beach has increased greatly since the jeep trail has been made passable again.

So, the trouble is, many people who drive rather than hike in don't respect the land. By making the pools more accessible by car, the natural thing of beauty is being destroyed. Would that everyone who went to see this beauty respected and protected it, I wouldn't care how they got there. But sadly, thats not the case.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

True and I am forever grateful.

It was something another local environmentalist said on Facebook that set me off. It was inconsistent liberalism.

I promise I will collect and fill a garbage bag if I drive there. It is a fair trade off.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

I just put a tall kitchen bag in my carry on. I am good to my word.

Michael said...

"It was inconsistent liberalism."

I don't know, I find that hard to believe. I mean, everyone knows only conservatives are inconsistent and liberals are pure as the driven snow.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Look...I hold liberals to a standard of perfection and will admit we conservatives know Dick Chaney blew up the levy and the oil well down in Louisiana.

Michael said...

Not to mention John "Maverick" "I never considered myself a maverick" McCain