In those days, the oak branches hung low, the road was a narrow dirt path, and it still looked completely natural, other a few old concrete slabs. Even those looked ancient. There was nothing else there made by man.
Those early cooking and camp fires on North Merritt Island are still etched in my mind. My troop didn’t use matches for a couple of years, because our leaders wanted us to have a broader skill set. Instead, each Scout had a piece of flint, and a bit of steel. With a little practice, luck, and dry tender everyone in the troop could start a fire without matches in a very short time. Who needs matches? I still don’t to this day.
Back then, fishing must have had a smaller following, because we rarely saw a boat or fisherman along the shore. Even the shorelines were different back then. They were clean and didn’t have litter. When we came across an old pop bottle, it had probably been there for thirty or more years. Long before NASA, or the wildlife refuge, existed.
Our tents and backpacks were still made of canvas. Held up with wooden poles, the tents had no floors or bug screens. Our tent pegs were wooden and were driven into the ground with the back end of our hatchets. If we were missing a tent peg, we made ourselves one with that same hatchet.
Hike the Oak Hammock Trail
Hike the Palm Hammock Trail
Explore more of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge