Saving the best for last…
On the second test run with the 300, I swung over to Florida’s panhandle, to do some beach side camping. This state park is on a peninsula, which drew me to it in the first place. On one side is the Gulf of Mexico, and on the other St Joseph Bay and mainland Florida.
This may have been my favorite of all of the Florida parks. I absolutely loved the place. I had a nice, relatively secluded campsite, and wonderful weather. It has been several years since I fell to sleep to the sound of the pounding surf.
The beach walking was fantastic, and in the first few hours after dawn, it was just the birds and I out on the sand. There is also a great nature trail that runs down the center of the peninsula, that was well worth the hike. It took me most of one day to walk the entire beach on the Gulf side.
Between the beach and the pines are some beautiful sand dunes. Like the beach, the dunes are constantly changing their form. A boardwalk runs over the dunes, to try to limit the damage done by thousands of feet.
I saw tons of gulls & terns, a few pelicans, several sleek, black snakes, and one deer. I also heard the raccoon break into another camper’s cooler and steal their fish bait. In the afternoon, there were several people fishing the surf from the beach.
I had a great time hiking the beach. The waves were really pounding on day 1, and slightly less on day 2. The day prior to my arrival, there were tornadoes and thunderstorms across the entire area. It must have been pretty wild out there when those went across. By the day I left, the Gulf had calmed down considerably. The peninsula is a tad out of the way, but well worth the effort. Plus, it’s a damn nice drive to get there.