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Published: February 12th 2020
Morning view. No sunrise today
Today I woke up to fog, and not just any fog, dense fog. The window screens and sill were wet, the balcony was wet and I could just barely see the dunes out my window. This put a slight hitch in my plans as the ferry was not running at all, visibility for driving was poor and I couldn't decide what to do. In the end, I decided I should not plan anything and should just go wherever I felt like.
After laying around the room, I finally got moving and drove into Gulf Shores and further along the coast to Orange Beach. This time of year the traffic is pretty light so it was a nice easy drive. The fog was all along the coast and I couldn't see much so I turned around. I stopped at the Interpretive Center for Gulf State Park. This building is really neat in that it provides all it's own water and power via rain collection and solar panels. The water is filtered and used for drinking and hand washing in the restrooms, the toilets are composting and the sun provides more power than the building uses in a day. There are also
a bunch of signs about the life of a sand dune and the animals that inhabit it.
Time for lunch. I decided to try Sea n Suds, which was recommended to me yesterday by the lady at the visitor center. This is one of the only restaurants on the water and on any other day would have had a fabulous view! I decided to branch out and ordered the fried oyster sandwich with a side of hush puppies. Oysters weren't something I ever wanted to eat, but the fried version seemed much more appealing than the slimy raw or baked versions. I had hush puppies once before in Charleston and wasn't a fan but thought I would give them another try. I'm glad I did as they, and the sandwich, were delicious! The best part was getting a free cup of iced tea to go at the end of the meal. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting Gulf Shores as the food is good, the price is right and the staff is friendly. The waitress even called me "love" which is another example of the warm Southern hospitality.
After lunch, I returned to Gulf State Park
Fried Oyster sandwich and hush puppies. MMM good!
to visit the nature center. This building is located in the campground and there is a $2 fee to get in. I would say skip it as there wasn't much to it other than some snakes, turtles and a few owls. The rest of the park is free with plenty to do.
I returned to my room and took a long walk on the beach through the fog. I was really hoping it would have lifted by afternoon but oh well. There is something nice about stopping and not being able to see anyone else because you are enveloped in a cloud of fog. It's like you have the whole beach to yourself! I collected some shells and found a sand dollar which I promptly destroyed. Word of caution, sand dollars are extremely fragile! Saw some more herons and stood watching and listening to the waves for a long time. There is something about the ocean that just soothes my soul and clears my mind.
After my period of reflection I grabbed dinner to go from Sassy Bass. This time I got the crab cake with fried red tomatoes and a side of cheesy grits. Everything was delicious!
No, humans cannot drink from this fountain.
I only planned two days in Gulf Shores, but I learned there is a lot more to do in the area than I thought. I don't know if I'll ever make it back here and I'm glad I was able to get a brief taste of this friendly town on the white sand beaches of the Gulf!
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