Traveling from Pensacola to Salt Springs, we decided to drive the Forgotten Coast Highway, Florida 98, to see for ourselves what that part of the world looks like.
I realized that we would also bear witness to the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. We both grew up in the heartland's Tornado Alley, but nothing could prepare us for the devastation we witnessed on that 2 hour drive.
It must have been beautiful once. No more.
From Panama City to Apalachicola, we saw boats tossed ashore, twisted vehicles, ripped up pavement, broken forests, smashed businesses and marinas, oh so many pulverized homes (or slabs/pilings where homes once stood), debris piles everywhere, and more blue tarps than one could possibly count.
We snapped a few pictures, but quickly gave that up; it just didn't seem right. I only include the one innocuous picture so you can get some sense of the devastation we saw - mile after mile of it. We drove through a dreamland - a nightmare, really. Mexico Beach was probably the worst hit. It must have been a lovely seaside village once, but one can only imagine.
It seemed like a giant bomb had gone off over the Forgotten Coast. Everything in sight - I mean everything - was damaged or destroyed. Smashed. Corrupted. Waiting for burial.
But there was a bright side: everywhere one looked people were working, repairing, building: roads, homes, businesses, lives. Everywhere one looked there is hope, and that is beautiful.
We will not soon forget the Forgotten Coast. They took a piece of our hearts.