We spent Friday night with the gang, celebrating Cinco de Mayo at our favorite Mexican Restaurant That's Located In A Strip Mall - El Mariachi. While the mariachi band did quite well on this particular evening, service was intolerably slow. Pitchers of sangria took 30 minutes to arrive (or didn't arrive at all). It took over two hours to get our food. Other restaurant patrons were leaving without finishing their meals. Looks like El Mariachi was having a bad day. Saturday was a lot of fun. Lauren and I went over to my house in the morning and picked up some camping chairs, a cooler, the metal detectors and some fishing gear and headed toward Smith Point Park. (BTW, my Dad taught me well - whenever you go near the water, always be sure to take your fishing pole. More on why that's important in a minute.)
At the deli, we picked up some sandwiches, drinks and ice and headed to the beach. The weather was really nice. When we got to the beach, we found out that most of the outer beach at Smith Point was closed due to erosion and bird nesting. The only thing open was the trail to Moriches Inlet, and it was open only to fishermen. The folks manning the station at the head of the trail sold me a season permit for $75, so I can take the truck on any of the county beaches, but they told me that I wouldn't be allowed on the beach unless I had fishing tackle with me. When the ranger checked my truck out, I pointed at the poles in the back of the truck and he let me pass. We weren't really there to fish, but thankfully we had the poles with us, otherwise they wouldn't have let us on the beach.
I took my tires down to 25 psi and took the trail behind the dunes - it took quite some time to make it from Smith Point all the way over to Moriches Inlet, but it was fun. I knew I hadn't let enough air out of my tires, and a couple times the truck almost got stuck in the soft sand, but we made it out there.
Once there, we unpacked our stuff and ate sandwiches on the rocks. We took a few casts with the poles, but nothing was biting. So we broke out the metal detectors and decided to try that out. Turns out there was a huge bird nesting area roped off, and we couldn't pass it to get to the narrow strip of beach just west of the inlet. So we packed up, let some more air out of the tires and headed back. There was a huge difference between 25 psi and 17. If you ask me, I'd recommend always making sure you take your tire pressure down to between 15 and 20 psi. The truck handled like a champ at 17 psi and the trip didn't take as long. If you've got a 4x4, I'd recommend taking that trail. It was a nice time.
We swept the main beach at Smith Point with the metal detectors, but the sand was just groomed, so we didn't find anything. We aired up and took a trip out to Cupsogue on Dune Road, but they had just done the same thing there. We'll probably give folks some time to lose wedding rings and loose change before we try treasure hunting again. Maybe later in the beach season.
Sunday was spent doing not a whole lot. I took the opportunity to get my column written and to get a head start on some work that's due early this week.