St. Joseph Peninsula SP
It was sunny, windy, and a chilly twenty-eight degrees when we pulled out of the SKP park! We took US Hwy. 98 through Foley, Elberta, and Lillian, Alabama. We entered Florida crossing over Perdido Bay, one of many waterways we’d see this day. We were about two miles north of the Pensacola Naval Air Station and the National Air Museum. We’d thought about going into the air museum, but decided we needed to get to our campsite instead. Our Garmin GPS indicated we’d get to our campsite around 3:30 PM Central Time. We also knew that we’d be losing an hour when we crossed into the Eastern time-zone. Then, there was the fact that Florida campgrounds close at sunset. So, we drove on through Pensacola.
Back to Perdido Bay. The highway there is about ten miles north of Orange Beach, Alabama. We’d been there the previous day, just driving through. We were looking for a restaurant on the beach side of the street. We saw lots of big condominium buildings, and even a World Mart property or two. But no restaurant. Then, in a shopping center parking lot, we saw “Hazel’s Seafood Restaurant.”
After we were seated, our waitress told us that that the $8.99 lunch buffet was available for those over sixty years old for $4.50. She also told us that the buffet food was “really good.” So we “bit!” The waitress had understated how very good the food was! And all for $4.50 each!
We drove this day through Pensacola, Mary Esther, Ft. Walton Beach, Laguna Beach, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, and finally, Port St. Joe. There were probably four times that many small beach town that we went through!
Last year Christina gave me a guidebook of Florida campgrounds. The book is divided into geographical areas. Within each area, the author rated campgrounds. “Most Scenic,” “Most Unique,” etc.
St. Joseph Peninsula SP is rated a “10” for “scenic.” A booklet by the Florida State Parks writes of this park:
With miles of white sugar sand, this park has one of the top rated beaches in the United States….As a coastal barrier peninsula, St. Joseph provides excellent opportunities for bird-watching. More than 240 species have been sighted in the park….Campers can stay in a full-facility campground, a short walk from the beach.
There are 120 sites in the park. About 25 of them were occupied. We stayed here two nights. The first night the temperature only got down to thirty degrees-- with a 10-15 mph breeze. We’re in the “Gulf Breeze” camping loop. This week It could be renamed “Gulf Freezes.”
This morning we walked through the park. Then this afternoon we went sea-shell hunting on the beach. The campground is beautiful, as are the beaches. The only problem was that when you’re really cold, you don’t easily see the beauty!
High Temp today: 44.6 degrees. Tomorrow’s projected temps in the area range into the mid to high fifties. By the time we get down to Tampa later this week, the temps are forecast to be in the seventies! Finally, Florida weather!
Next day. An interesting thing happened with the temperature last night. After the sunset, the temperature began gradually rising. By the time we went to bed around 10 o’clock, it was a magnificent 47 degrees. And that what it was upon awakening the next morning. Just awesome!