A wet and windy day made for a somewhat stressful drive to St. Andrews State Park. It wasn’t so much the rain as it was the 30 – 35mph wind gust. We stopped for lunch at a rest stop on I-10 and another RVer in a class C mentioned his struggles with the wind which made me feel a little better knowing that it wasn’t just me. Further down the road, our WAZE app alerted us of a “crash ahead”. We pulled off at another rest stop where I talk to a guy that said a semi-truck had turned over on it’s side and was blocking all westbound lanes of traffic. I’m not sure but I wouldn’t doubt if the wind had something to do with it. We rerouted and took the next exit to avoid the backup. Chalk one up for WAZE.
We arrived at our site #38 and found it dotted with mud puddles from the morning rain. Other than that, it was a great waterfront location situated on an inlet to the Gulf of Mexico.
As soon as we finished setting up, grammi had to check out the view from the water but soon ran back inside the camper as a north wind was blowing and the temperature was starting to drop. That wind blew all three days we were there causing rip currents and red flag warnings.
St. Andrews State Park is located on the Gulf of Mexico at an inlet to St. Andrews Bay next to the city of Panama City Beach, Florida. White sand dunes, some maybe twenty feet tall, create a barrier between the gulf beach and the estuaries where an abundances of birds and other wild life thrive.
We hiked through these areas where we saw nesting Great Blue Heron’s. I’ve never been interested in bird watching but seeing these large birds in the trees on small branches tending to their nesting young was fascinating.
I woke early one morning and took the opportunity to take some pictures of the gorgeous sunrise. The orange and yellow hues sparkled off the water. The calls from the waking birds began to fill the air. It was so peaceful.
We saw many deer while in the park. They were small and reminded us of the Key Deer in the Florida Keys although not quite as small. They seemed tame and showed no fear and would let you approach very close.
To me though, the most fabulous sight was the beaches. The snow white sugar sand found along the Florida coast is the envy of all beaches. Walking through the dunes and sea oats to the beach reminded me of a time when the beaches near where I grew up were like before the emergence of high rise condominiums and luxury hotels.
We found the remains of an old fishing pier casting an early morning shadow on the white sand contrasting beautifully against a blue background and had to take some pictures.
We saw a World War II gun turret base that was recently exposed during Hurricane Michael. It had been buried for years under the sand unknown to the park rangers. The shifting sands are again working to bury the structure and with time will hide it from future generations.
We took a stroll out to the end of a fishing pier where we met a Great Blue Heron standing on the railing. He was waiting patiently for a handout from one of the fishermen. His amber eyes stayed fixed on me as I approached for a picture.
We took a day to explore Panama City Beach. We ate lunch at Pier Park and walked the street exploring the shops, eateries and pubs. Most were getting prepared for the onslaught of young adults as spring break starts this weekend. This is the epicenter of spring break activities for thousands of college student during the month of March.
This was a good stop for us as we trek westward. On our last evening I sat outside our camper and cast my eyes to the sailboats moored in the bay. I wondered what life would be like living aboard a boat and sailing from one place to another. But then I quickly realized that was what we are doing! Our boat, however, has wheels.