to Panama City Beach

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 02/07/2005 - 22:24

Another beautiful day!  I woke around dawn and took my time getting ready.   I made another trip down to the beach to look for my camera, but someone had already brought it to the park office, where I was able to reclaim it.

I guess I succeeded in getting well clear of New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras.  Although I was still seeing beads along the highway shoulders as far east as Pensacola, today came and went without a single sign that it was Fat Tuesday.

I followed the shore most of the day, but there was less bike path and more shoulder and sidewalk through a nearly continuous row of condos.  They're building lots of new high-rises ... at least, I assume they're new and didn't just get blown down by the hurricanes!

The day's destination was Panama City Beach, which I actually saw abbreviated PCB.  Yummy!  St. Andrews State Park is just east of town, on a point of land where a lagoon meets the gulf.  The campground is on the lagoon side, but it's a sandy Florida lagoon with little gurgling waves rather than a swampy Louisiana one with duckweed, and the sound of the breakers carries nicely from the other side of the park.  I went for a long walk on the beach before sunset and got too close -- my shoes got soaked through!  Fortunately they're not my walking shoes, though those may get wet tomorrow.

En route to the beach, I stopped at an alligator-viewing dock, and there was a small alligator waiting there to view the people.  Then while I ate dinner at my picnic table after dark, a blue heron stalked over and began fishing for its dinner about 30 feet from me.  The deer are even more tame -- good thing I don't have any fresh vegetables in my tent!