Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shores Of White Sand

The blog has been quiet because Jack and I slipped off for a short vacation down at the Gulf.  This time it was the Ft. Pickens area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.  This park was recommended by several friends and was a first for me and Jack.  After staying there I would also highly recommend it.  Old Ft. Pickens is way down at the tip of the peninsula, as a lot of forts are, and the photo above was taken there.  The place would be a bird watcher's heaven, in my opinion, as it's just covered up in all kinds of sea birds.

This must also be one of the ospreys' favorite breeding grounds because the trees were full of nests.  My camera was no good for getting up close but as we watched this nest we would occasionally see the little baby pop it's head up for a look around.  lol!
Camping at the beach was on my bucket list, since I've camped just about everywhere else, so that was one other reason we chose this area.  We had a little trouble getting in though, due only to the recent bad weather in the Pensacola area.  This is a barrier island and the elevation is basically sea level.  Flooded roads closed the park twice before we finally got in to stay.  We also were going to stay 3 nights but had to settle for 2 in order to get in before the end of May.  That's okay though.  We still had a very nice time. 

Jack's brother and sister-in-law met us down there in their RV and we finally used the tent Jack has had for ages and that we have set up in the yard several times!  It was very enjoyable and so relaxing. 
For the life of me I will never, ever understand why people want to go to crowded, nasty public beaches when they can drive down the road to this.  Maybe I'm just anti-social.  Haha!
This was also the frugal way to vacation.  Because of Jack's Old Geezer National Park card, we got in for free and the camping fee was half price.  I guess the biggest cost was gas to get down there.  But, we saved enough money to indulge our appetite for seafood!  And boy, did I!  Raw oysters, shrimp, clams....mmmm!

This was the nice boardwalk from the camping area over to the beaches. 

This is looking back towards the camping area.  You can see a few trees in the distance so yes, our camp site did have some shade.  It was also a full moon while we were down there too and that was nice.

I do have to say though, that only one camping loop was open, due to rain etc., so there was not as many people as there could have been.  However, anyone can come into the park, even if you are not camping.

The first and second days the water was a little cloudy due to the storms but by the third day the water had cleared to a pretty light green.  It was a little chilly for swimming but certainly doable and I swam a fair amount.  As I always say, salt water cures everything, whether it's the sea, sweat or tears.

While walking along the edge I saw 4 large sting rays cruise past, quite close to the shore, and then 2 more a little later.  I decided the water was kinda cold and maybe I had swam enough! lol!

So, we had a great time and then spent a couple of days in Mobile, which is Jack's hometown and where his brother and family still lives.  I'll have more about that in another post.


ErinFromIowa said...

So interesting! Full of details. Amazing photographs. The birds! I can't wait to hear more about this vacation of awesomeness.

Pablo said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time -- much needed relaxation and soulful recuperation.

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! it was a lot of fun for sure!

Hey Pablo! yes, it was very relaxing and nice to get away for a while.

HermitJim said...

Dang! Now I want to go camping more that ever!

Sure looks nice there. I'm glad you had a good time! You two deserve it!

Island Rider said...

My son used to work at Fort Pickens. It's a really nice park, but you are right, it gets closed a lot due to the effects from weather!

Kenneth Price said...

Have been to the Island many times but never got to Ft. Pickens. So glad you featured the area. Love it! Free of hordes of people. Looks like I may have found My Paradise. Will plan a trip soon. Thanks for the lovely photos and narrative. Feel so sad about Ramona.

edifice rex said...

Hey Jim! thanks! pack that tent and sleeping bag and go man!! lol!

Hey IR! I would imagine it does! we had a great time though.

Hey Ken! thanks, yeah, Ramona was a sweet girl.
I'm sure the campground gets busier during the summer but it was really nice. Do check it out!