We looked but never saw the gator. Domino did not want to look.
Sunday morning was calm and clear. Waves in the Gulf were minimal. With anticipation, we gathered up the snorkel gear and headed for the St Joseph Bay side where water was warmer and there was the promise of good snorkeling. We rode the scooter to the bay, walked to a picnic pavilion, and got ready to wade in. Way out was a fisherman—standing. We started walking and shuffling our feet to ward off sting rays and kept walking…and walking…and walking. The fisherman was coming in and so we asked him how far out we had to go to get to deeper water. He pointed and said about another ½ mile. We hiked a bit more and finally decided we really didn’t want to go to all that work. So we turned around and came back in.
Not wanting to change out of swim suits, after we dropped off the snorkel gear, we walked down to the beach and thought we’d try the Gulf. Water temp was still cool and the beach seemed to drop off quickly. Trish was not eager to get in so after a brief splash, we went back to the RV. By now we were discouraged and the
bugs seemed to be even thicker after the rain the afternoon before. We talked it over briefly and decided to cut our losses and leave a day early. The ranger at the state park was very understanding and assured us we would receive a refund with no penalty charge.
We drove through Port St Joe and on to Mexico Beach where we found a small campground, Rustic Sands, about ¾ of a mile off the Gulf in a stand of pine, magnolia, and palm trees. The campground is part of Passport America and we got a good rate. It has about 120 sites and a pool, heated, which we quickly took advantage of.
There is no need in this park to put out a dog bowl of water. Huh?! A friend told me he learned about this at another Florida park. Seems raccoons will come to the water hose and bite the hose to get water. Next morning, your hose is full of holes, you have no water, and you have to spend money to buy a new hose. BUT, if you put a bowl of water near the hose, the raccoons prefer the easy way and leave the hose
Domino waiting for dinner
Both cats know when it is dinner time. Problem is, we were in Central time and they weren't.
alone. There were raccoons in the state park (one got into the tenting neighbors food one night) so we were justified in putting out the bowl. No problem there—thanks Dave. There may be raccoons here, but the sign at the edge of the campground near the canal says, “Beware of alligator” so I’m not worried….about the water hose. Bugs here seem less of an issue, so hopefully we’ll be able to sit out.
Monday we went for a motorscooter ride to see the town and see the beach. The town is maybe a mile long and stretches back from the Gulf for .5-.75 miles. The first half (eastern side) has minimal development on the Gulf side and LOTS of parking and access to the beach. Further down there are condos and homes, but they are on streets perpendicular to the water, so more folks have access. In addition, at the end of each street is some parking and a boardwalk to the water. All in all, it is a much nicer way to have access to the beach and allow all to enjoy.
We tried to watch TV, but the cable hookup did not work. This was the 2nd time
we tried and failed to get connected. I suspect the technician at Camping World messed it up when he hooked up our analog/digital converter in April and this was the first chance to find out. So I sent an email to Camping World HQ and let them know of the problem and said I would be contacting the store in Winchester. About 3 hours later I had a phone call from the General Manager of Camping World in Manassas/Winchester apologizing for the problem. He offered several solutions, from taking it to a Big Box store (Circuit City) and have them do it, to find a handyman, to get it to a Camping World. He was most concerned and wanted to make sure I could enjoy cable while camping. We finally settled on heading to Dothan, AL (we were going through there on our way home) and have them fix, for free. He even called to set up the appointment and make sure they made it a priority. We’ll see how they do.
Tuesday we finally made it to the Gulf to swim. Water was very calm, though still cool, and the beach much gentler and shallower than at the state
park. We swam for a while, rested under our umbrella, and then collected shells. No snorkeling, but a least we got to swim in the Gulf. Coming back we got out of wet swim suits and then went back down the road to get lunch at a local fish spot. Trish had a dozen oysters, steamed, with garlic butter and parmesan cheese melted over. They were delicious!! We picked up a pound of steamed jumbo shrimp to take back for dinner. Then back to the campground and back into swim suits and over to the pool to exercise and do our water aerobics for 30 minutes or so. (Hey Nydia, we are thinking of you and Macie.) We’ve managed to get in some water exercise every day we’ve been here. Back to the RV for chips and homemade guacamole and beverage, then on the scooter and back to catch the sunset over the Gulf. Finally, back to the RV for the steamed shrimp. We had over 15 jumbo shrimp (oxymoron!) each and dipped in cocktail sauce or garlic butter from the fish shop. It’s been a good day. Tomorrow we leave for AL and getting the cable fixed, then north towards Montgomery. We have a reservation at a campground in Troy, AL.
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