Posts tagged: beach
From Sanibel Island, we continued to head up I-75. We spent one night in Lake City, FL, but that was just a night-time stopover, so there’s not much to tell. The next morning, we headed west on I-10 and then cut through Pensacola to get to Gulf State Park in Alabama.
Gulf State Park encompasses the beaches in the area, some wetland and scrub, a couple small lakes and the campground. It’s all very reasonably priced (a couple bucks for parking if I remember correctly) for people who are looking to spend the day at the beach.
The campground was nice and well organized, although there is some construction going on at the entrance (not noisy in the morning, they seem to be very conscious of their guests). The campground literally has hundreds of sites, all of which are paved and quite large. There are very few that anyone would have an issue pulling a 40-foot RV into. But, there is almost no shade. Be warned, if it’s hot out, you’ll be running A/C constantly (it’s a good job they had 50 amp sockets for us).
The beach is a short walk or drive across the highway from the campground. It’s classic Gluf Coast white sand. Generally soft and sugary, but not quite as fine as you’ll find as you go south on the Florida Coast. It’s much easier to walk in than the super-fine stuff. There are dunes and sea grapes, but they’re barely worth mentioning. I can only assume that they have been whittled down by hurricane Katrina and other storms. There is the usual assortment of sea birds, which I won’t even attempt to identify.
The water was cool, but not terribly cold. You could go swimming if you wanted, but the initial “dunking” would be a bit of a shock. I contented myself with wading out to look for critters. Dasy sat on the beach and took pictures.
I managed to find a fairly large shell, which I used as a shovel and sieve(pictured to the right). Normally I wouldn’t go into this much detail about mundane stuff like this, but it sets the stage for one of the following pictures. Bear with me for another paragraph or so…
I managed to find this little “thing” I could see flitting over the sand every time the waves would come in. It was incredibly hard to spot, as it was nearly invisible. But, I spent several minutes getting wet and was able to finally catch it by just scooping up the sand around it. What I ended up with was a little tiny flounder! Flounder are one of my favorite sea critters… they can change color like chameleons and they’re generally pretty stealthy. Oh, and they’re quite tasty when cooked correctly. 😉 Note: in the picture of the flounder I saturated the color on the flounder so you could see him. It’s about the only way you’d find him in the picture. The picture was taken with the flounder and the other bi-valve shell inside the shell I was using as a shovel… they’re real small.
After finding about all the critters I figured I’d find, I set up my kite for a bit of sunset flying. The kite is a Sensei II kiteboard training foil. In light breezes, it’s easily handled, but not the most “entertaining” kite. It’s designed to pull hard, but generally be slow and manageable. In heavy winds, it would probably pull me down the beach, whether I wanted it to or not.
As the sun went down, we packed the kite away and then sat on the beach enjoying the sunset.
Gulf State Park is a nice place to stay if you’re into the beach. For us, it was mostly two days of just chilling out and “decompressing” from our whirlwind tour of Florida.