Sunday March 30, 2014 If you are reading, Please comment so I’ll know you are out there.
St. George Island State Park
Breakfast today, Sunday, is the end of the party. David did pick a place in Eastpoint so we go and have the usual. The food is good but the restaurant has the distinct odor of rancid oil and thus we probably won’t return there although it is filled with folks who thought it was fine.
We then meet Laurel and Eric at Battery Park in Apalachicola for a bike around town. Battery Park is the town dock area and there are some great house boats docked there. Two of them permanently without any motors including Hannah’s Ark.
I love the whole attitude of this place including the two residents sunning on the back deck.
We take a walk up the pier and there is a loon in the water. I am really surprised to see him here. Somehow I just didn’t think about loons migrating to Florida along with the rest of us.
Laurel knows a lot about the town since both her father and grandfather were born here. She visited her grandparents nearly every summer and we ride up and down the streets as she shows us their house as well as the houses of a couple other members of her family. It is really a darling little town with some beautiful Victorian homes. It was an easy town to bike in at least on a Sunday late morning and afternoon.
We stop at the lovely community garden where there is such lush spinach, rainbow chard, arugula and other greens growing it is hard to heed the sign which says “Harvesting by Gardeners only”. One box has a dozen little corn plants about 6” tall in it. Too cute. And one is so over grown with beautiful unharvested vegetables it seems like a crime. Lettuces, peas, carrots, beets, cilantro and more just going to seed. Someone should definitely slip out after dark and harvest these goodies before they become too bitter to eat.
Next stop, the Ormond House State Park where I get my park book stamped and the ranger there gives us an enthusiastic 90 minute tour of the house and the history of Thomas Orman and his son William. The house had remained in the family until the state bought it in the 1990’s. We learned a great deal about both Apalachicola history and the Ormon family.
The house, an antebellum home, on a bluff overlooking the Apalachicola River was completed in 1838. the frame is of local cyress and probably built by craftsmen skilled in ship building since it was joined with wooded pegs and rope hawsers. The remainder of the house was made of long leaf or heart pine from Syracuse New York. It was brought down around the peninsula of Florida by sailing ship.
The ranger, over his eight years as head of the Ormon house, has managed to procure a number of the original furnishings on loan from the family, such the dining room table and Ormon’s canopy bed. Other beautiful period pieces have come from several members of the local community.
The house is filled with beautiful quilts and quilt pieces. I just love antique quilts. I have several created and given to me by my Great Aunt Carrie. This sort of hand work always reminds me of the love she stitched into each piece. Somehow today’s machine made quilts are just not the same.
Also on the grounds is an original slave cabin awaiting funs for repair. The azaleas are in bloom here as well as all over town.
We brought our lunch with us as we always do thinking we would all have a picnic but Laurel and Eric had not so we went again to Up The Creek so that Laurel and I could both have the Conch cakes. They are very good but I have to say that the week-end cook does not do quite as good a job as the chef did on Thursday. Mine were very good but David’s were superior. So if you decide to try them, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed but how fabulous they are may depend on who the chef is that day
We finish off the afternoon by riding over to the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge headquarters area and around the working waterfront. It’s here that we see the last and biggest of the oyster piles.
Apalachicola is famous for the large quantity and size of its oysters. Riding around town we found several large hills of oyster shells. Are they oyster middens? Guess this is how the Native Americans did it too, eat em’ and throw the shells in a pile that gets bigger and bigger and bigger. The small pile in the front is gravel. The large one in the back is all oyster shell. Eric on his bike provided perspective. Thanks Eric.
This has been beautiful day outside in a really pretty town with good friends. They are leaving on Thursday so we have to get together as much as we can before that. It’s wonderful of her parents to share them with us.
After leaving them and driving back over to the island, we stop at Harry A’s Sports bar to check it out in case we want to watch the ACC semi finals there next Saturday before we too leave the area.
We then drive on into the park and check out both of the kayak launches to see which would be the first one we’ll do when/if the winds and waves die down. Stay Tuned!