Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

What a moving day! St. Joe to St Andrew

Tuesday April 23, 2013
Site 8, St. Andrews State Park
Panama City Beach, Florida




These past 5 days have flown by and now it is time to leave St. Joseph State Park

By now you have probably figured out, or did I tell you, that we are sampling the state parks all the way up the Panhandle Coast, 5 nights at a time.

So this morning is the day to move from St. Joseph Peninsula State Park to St. Andrews Recreational Area State Park.  Don’t you love these names.  Hope nobody has to write these out by hand as their address.



But first, the sunrise….


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As usual, moving day or not, I’m out for the sunrise at St. Joseph. 

Today I bike over to the picnic area as usual but go on a ways down the “nature trail” to a nice overlook with a water front path going around a point.  At first it looks like the clouds will win. There is a sort of pale, very pale, pink just above the heavy clouds at the horizon line.




But then, here it comes.

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What a beautiful time to be here just in this spot.  I spend a while walking the nice paths along the shore before starting back to the packing up.


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And then a surprise……….

But light is growing and I need to be on my way.  When I get back to the picnic area small herd of deer is here.  I stop, they stop.  We all look at each other.  I sure am having lots of Close Encounters with deer lately.  Very nice. 

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I hang out with them for far to long and then I REALLY have to get on my way.  Not nearly enough days of sunrise and sand dunes, beautiful beach and close encounters here at St. Joseph.  I am beginning to see that my idea of 5 days in a place just won’t work.



So on to St. Andrews……….


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Today’s drive is 66 miles to St. Andrew.  Boy do I like the distances of these moves.

I am surprised at how far away the little town of Port St. Joe is from the park which has it as its address.   Not much of an internet or cell signal until we get beyond Port St. Joe and nearly to Mexico Beach.

In Panama City we stop to get take Ruby off the dolly and get gas for both Winnona and Ruby.  With prices in the high $3.40’s we are surprised to find a Raceway at $3.359 so we fill em up.  We stop for groceries and then David goes on to the park while I run some other errands including a stop at our bank.



St. Andrews map

Still it is only early afternoon by the time we pull into Site 8, waterfront on “Grand Lagoon” .

As the map shows the park is situated between the Grand Lagoon, which is a part of St. Andrews Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.  The campground fronts on the lagoon.






And we have a waterfront site!


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With a view like this we decide not to back in which all the other class A’s seem to have done.

Lucky for us we have lots of water hose and electrical extension cables.  We’re prepared just like we learned in scouts and from Howard and Linda Payne.


Look who is right outside our front window.  The Duckie brothers are a little worried about the size of these fine feathered friends.  At one point in the afternoon there are as many as 17 pelicans, a great blue heron and numerous gulls on the rock break water right in front of us.


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We manage to get things mostly set up in spite of my stopping constantly to see what the birds are doing and take pictures of them. Dinner is served at our water front dining table.  





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Let’s get a look around……….


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After dinner, we tear ourselves away to bike over to the Gulf Side beach for the sunset.  We are over an hour early so along the way we see the Gator Lake trail.  We don’t have time for the full trail but we do take the short spur hike to Gator Lake.   There are an amazing number of birds here and they are all dressed up and singing their hearts out.   Even the Great Blue Heron.  Now that’s a sound.


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This time ‘we’ have a close encounter.  This is 3 days in a row.  Are they following me?????

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Sunset has been moved up an hour……oh dear…….


We have run out of time and have to cut our visit here shorter than it would have been were it not for the sunset.  WHICH by the way is earlier now that we have moved into central time.  I get to do a Fall Back just as I had finally gotten acclimated to Spring Forward.

As we are leaving I notice the nearly full moon in the sky over Alligator Lake.  One quick picture.


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We race up to the pier in time to catch our first St. Andrew sunset and it is a fine one. 

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As we are leaving, I take one last shot of the moon.  It sure looks full doesn’t it.  But the ‘real’ Full Moon isn’t until Thursday.

glorious sunset in front of us, full moon behind us. 
What a great first day at Saint Andrews Recreation Area State Park
(hereafter known as SARASP)   :-))

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  1. You really know how to bring your appreciation of the natural world to life! The way you personalize these intimate encounters with Nature is simply beautiful. Nicely done!

  2. Each park is amazing and nice to have a water view. Plus you're already seeing the wildlife. Look forward to 5 days here.

  3. Let's see now, you're a magnet for buffalo, indigo buntings, and now deer. Wonder which species will be next. ;-)

  4. The view from your window is crazy beautiful!!! And the view from the dining table....wow. Deer every where, beautiful sunrises and sunsets....You make me feel like I'm right there with you.

  5. SARASP looks like a real jewel!!! The full moon photo is amazing:o) Terrific first day... can't wait to see what else you find!

  6. VERY nice! It's so great you are providing reviews of all these parks for us!

  7. What a fun moving day! Really like your waterfront site!

  8. Great pictures of the deer - seems you may be following them ;) Terrific waterfront site! So cool - with the birds right there - how fun! What does a heron sound like? I actually don't think I know. I agree with the first comment above. Nicely done :)

  9. You're going to have a difficult time leaving that waterfront spot in 5 days! Beautiful!

  10. Since the deer live so close to people they do become accustomed to their presence. Since you keep your distance and watch without movement they are not frightened by you. I always feel touched by God when I am able to be in their world for a few moments. Birds, Sun, Deer, It certainly looks like a HAPPY DAY to me!!

  11. Al and I enjoyed our ONE night there last spring. We were in Site 120, another waterfront. I look forward to spending more time there another time. Enjoy your stay!

  12. You were fortunate to get such a nice waterfront site. When we were there in our former life, since we could only go on the weekends, it was always crowded and we didn't get a sie on the water. Enjoy!

  13. We're enjoying your "Saintly" travels. ;c)

    We carry extra electric cables, sewer and water hoses, just in case we run into a great site like you have. It pays to be prepared to get such an amazing view like you've gotten.

    PS: I really had no idea the bird picture I posted was a Gamecock. Guess that comes with being a D*** Yankee... ;cO

  14. Love the parks you are visiting. Maybe after we leave Ocala in April next year, we can move our way up the panhandle too :)

  15. When we can, we go in headfirst as well ... worth the price of the extensions we carry around just so we can do this when the occasion warrants. Nice that you're trying out the FL state parks on our behalf ;-)

  16. I love all the deer pictures and have always found it fascinating that most people will stop to look at deer, an animal that is everywhere. A lot of animals might get a second glance, but deer are special.

  17. Great tour and pictures! We are planing a major study of FL state parks this next year:)

  18. Sherry and David - This is Anne of "Jorie, Anne and 3 pups" from St Joseph St Park. So happy to read about your recent adventures and love your sharing of words about this state I call home and have loved since my birth (or soon thereafter). The pictures are wonderful and tell a story words cannot always describe. This blog of yours and those of your friends have convinced me "near bout" that this full time rving is around the corner for Jorie and me. I look forward to your posts!

  19. Saint Andrews looks amazing. What a peaceful way to start the day right there on the water with all that wildlife around you. Looking forward to hearing more.


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