Friday, March 18, 2016

Gulf Coast–2016 part 1

I know it has been awhile, but I thought I didn’t have that much to post since mostly I have been walking on beaches and around campgrounds and biking.   The I started going through everything and realized it was more than I thought!  So this will take a couple of blogs.

Before I start I wanted to post a few pictures that I forgot about from my December Sanibel trip.  For 5 – 6 days there were hundreds, if not thousands, of pelicans.  It was a great sight.


After spending Christmas with my mom and some of my family I headed to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City.  You may remember that my 2016 plans were totally changed in December, so I had to make some last minute reservations.  Since most campgrounds in south Florida fill up early I decided to stick with the panhandle.  I knew it would be colder than South Florida but warmer than other places.

I started and ended my Gulf Coast trip at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City.  I was there Dec 30 – Jan 5 and Feb 15 – 20.  There was a great overlook and trail that I really enjoyed, in addition to the beach.  The overlook was at a pond that had a Great Blue Heron rookery on a small island.  Also on my second trip I saw a 4 1/2 alligator every day right at the overlook.

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I learned that they have brought in a lot of sand and as you can see below it has really eroded.  There is a “sand cliff” of 6 feet or so.  I talked with the man and his grandkids on the left and he told me that since the sand comes from further out in the ocean you can sometimes find shells that you don’t normally see on the beach. 

st andrews16Most days I saw some type of military aircraft.

st andrews17Several days paragliders flew by - st andrews18

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A large sailboat passes by one day -st andrews20

From St. Andrews State Park I headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama Jan 6 – 15.  I tried to get into the state park, but it was full so I found a place to stay nearby at Sugar Sands RV park.  It is a very nice RV park and not too far from the bike trails I like.  I didn’t take many pictures while there.  I hiked and biked several times on the Hugh Branyon Backcountry trails. 


More in part 2.

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