November 13 - The sunrise over the Gulf was beautiful! A great way to start the day! We took our time over breakfast and then packed a lunch and set out to tour the area and see the lighthouse at St. George's Island. The town of Carrabelle is small, with a good grocery store, but other businesses are mostly oyster/shrimp based and run down. Properties are expensive though - a sign advertised a 60 x 100 foot lot for $200,000! They call this the 'Forgotten Coast', but 'rediscovered' is more like it - the cute and funky old places are giving way to large and very expensive waterfront properties. The bridge to St. George's is a great work of engineering - beautiful curves and, we learned, the company building it was so sure of its method of construction that they guaranteed they would do all repairs free for the first 10 years. Once on the island we were surprised at the number of houses, all on stilts, nestled in the dunes, that made up the community. Many are for sale and more are for rent. At the end of the island is the state park, and entrance was free today. We discovered why - much of the park was damaged and so only the beach area is open. Beautiful beach though, fine white sand, so we spent some time shelling. When we asked about the lighthouse, the park warden (who came originally from Illinois, sold out, bought a 5th wheel, and is now living here) said that while it withstood hurricane Dennis which had done the damage we have seen, it collapsed under Wilma, and he is doubtful that it will be rebuilt.
Heading back, we stopped at a seafood stand and picked up some shrimp for supper - while oysters are the main staple here, even the radio station is called 'Oyster Radio', shrimp come a close second. Shrimp creole tonight!
Instead of returning directly to Carrabelle, we turned the other way and went to see Apalachicola. We had our lunch overlooking the Gulf ICW and watching a traveling sailboater get his anchor unsnared from a tree branch he had hooked. He finally got his boat settled on two anchors, and hopefully he won't have any more surprises when he goes to leave.
Because the WiFi isn't working at the park and we are out of cell phone range, we brought our cell phone along to check in with the campground we have chosen for tomorrow night and to call family and friends - have Dejarlo and Escargot been able to leave? Was Josh delighted with his new sneakers? Are Harvey and Margaret back in Indiantown? But our phone just told us it was searching for a satellite, even in Appalachicola, so we remain incommunicado.
Back at the campground we visited with Dave for a bit and then settled in with our books, one eye on the book, the other on the view, and contemplated what a tough life this is!