|A little drive up the coast
This time I wanted to try the coastal route up through Florida, since I’ve not ever seen the west of Coast of Florida. So, my route followed Hwy 19 from Old Town up to Perry, where Hwy 98 veered off to the west. It finally caught up with the coast about in the crook of the panhandle, just below Panacea. From that point on it pretty much followed the coast line, other than going through Tyndall Air Force Base.
It was really nice taking the secondary roads, as I got to see more of the countryside, and less traffic. I continue to be very surprised at the number of pine forests throughout this region. And much of it looks as though they have been planted, as a lot of the trees are in rows. (pretty much a giveaway, huh). This area is also comprised mostly of farm land – not industrial. Of course, you have to take a few swamps here and there as well.
It’s been interesting to notice that any place that seems to be 5 feet lower than the roadway, is a swamp. Or so it seems. Swamp lands are everywhere, and range from a 50 foot diameter pond to a few hundred acres. Sort of takes the desire out of going for a hike in the woods!
At any rate, it was a nice drive up the coast. And by the way, I passed through the cities of Salem, Eugene, Newport and Springfield. Hold on to your hat - maybe some of our early settlers and shirt tail relatives are from the south!!!! Ya’ll understand??
I’d been thinking about stopping at a fish market to pick up some seafood, so I took a quick turn off just after Panacea – one of those ½ second decisions as I spotted the market. Almost didn’t slow down enough to make the turn. Good thing no one was coming towards the intersection on the side street! Actually, I was good, but thought I’d throw that in to get your reaction.
Anyway, they had some Stone Crab, which I had never had before, so got some. Actually, it is only the claw, as you can see from the photo. And in spite of how well the salesperson said they were going to be, they were sort of a pain to crack and eat, and weren’t as good as ours. Besides that, I picked up a few shrimp, which I BBQ’d for a little appetizer.
Okay, so I got to St. Andrews State Park in one piece. As you can see from the pictures, it has a very nice beach. Apparently, it is one of the finest in Florida, due to the fine sand. I read a poster in the registration area that said the sand is the result of Quartz erosion and sediment being brought down from the Appalachian mountains.
And although the water is very clear here, there were signs posted all over the place regarding rip currents, so not too many people were swimming – primarily just the surfers. But, I couldn’t resist getting my feet wet.
Unfortunately, there was too much wind tonight for a campfire – besides being a bit on the tired side. And the wind was blowing right into my trailer, so didn’t want to breathe smoke all night.
Travel time: 8:55 am – 2:20 pm (eastern); 5 hrs, 25 minutes.
Distance : 236 miles