Friday, November 21, 2014

11/21 St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, FL

This is a great state park on the barrier island. While the campgrounds overlook the "Grand Lagoon" on Panama City, the Gulf of Mexico with its sugar white sands is only about 1/4 mile away.  Nice campsite and huge.  I headed in rather than backing in so I could have a good view.  Since the hookups were on the opposite side, I needed my 30 Amp extension cord as well as both water hoses.

Since it was such a nice day, I got my bike out and went for a ride to the beach.  (High was 68 today!)  There was a very pretty swampy area on the way.    

Now, why does the turtle cross the road?  Apparently this one decided to stop in the middle, so cars were going around him/her.  He was really a box turtle, but so covered with algae that his shell was almost entirely a green-black color. Several of us tried to get him to move, but he wouldn't so I picked him up and moved him to the shoulder in the direction he was headed.

Ah, finally, the beach!!  Not a huge beach, but the water was shallow and crystal clear.  Perfect for swimming had the weather been hot, or for a pelican to go fishing. 

Some big condos or hotels in the distance, but the state park beach was beautiful and not too crowded. 

One of the ladies who were helping me try to get the turtle moving was walking up to the closed beach store and asked me if I knew about the fire.  I did not, but she did go back to her car to make the call on her cell phone.  Check out the smoke.

It was not as big a burned area as it has looked like based on the smoke, but I took this photo when I rode back past it.  Looks like someone tossed a cigarette butt since it was right by the road.

 I headed back to the west end of the beach where the fishing pier was. 
Hard to believe how clear and sparkling the water is.

One interesting thing I saw on the pier was sea turtle rescue equipment.  There are instructions here on what to do if you accidently get a turtle on your hook. You are supposed to bring him to the surface, slip the net underneath it, and without pulling on the line or hook, "walk" the net with the turtle in it to the beach, and cover the animal with a wet towel until help arrives.  Are not supposed to try to remove the hook, although you can cut the line about 2 feet from the place where it is attached.

 Some of the dunes behind the shore. 

Very nice campground and pretty beach that I will come back to.  Met several people in the campground today that I had a long chat with.  Two ladies work each summer in Glacier National Park and were on their way to Florida for the winter to look for work until next summer.  Met two other couples also "migrating" to Florida for the winter--one set from Montana and the other from Saskatchewan.  Should get pretty busy pretty soon as all of the snowbirds arrive. I enjoy meeting interesting people on the move as I am.
This day's bike ride and short beach walk reminded me that I need to get some good beach shoes before I ruin another pair or good ones.  I forgot and wore my expensive sandals today.  Can't do that again, so I may go out shopping to one of the many beach stores tomorrow. There is also a Croc shop not too far away.   

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