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

Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to Florida and 22 mph

Saturday November 30,  2013
Anastasia State Park
St. Augustine Florida



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Another cold and windy day  as we leave Walkabout for our 158 mile trip down I 95 to Anastasia State Park in  St.  Augustine Florida.  We’ve never been  here before and and since  it’s on the ocean I’m anxious to check it out.





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On the way, we stop at the Welcome Center to look  into  the Sun Pass and although they advertise that you can get them there, no one really knows anything about it.  So if you know anything about whether we need one for both Winnona and Ruby if we are towing her, how they work or what they cost please let me know.  Or if you even know where I can find a person and not a machine to buy one from that would be good too.



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After marveling at the people  in shorts and sleeveless tops with winter coats over them or those way under dressed but just huddling and shivering, we take our free sips  of yummy Florida orange juice and head  on down the road.

Not sure if there is a better way to Anastasia from the North than driving through St.  Augustine itself but that’s what happens to us. Sure is a good thing David is such an amazing driver in traffic and on narrow roads with cars parked on both sides.

The park is about 2 miles from Old Town St.  Augustine but once you are inside it looks  like old Florida with the maritime forest and a gorgeous 4 mile long beach.  BUT the wind is blowing at 22 mph and the low 60’s temperature feels like 40’s.  WELCOME TO FLORIDA???


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The park has two campgrounds.  One small, Coquina, with 33 campsites in one loop and one large with a total of 105 campsites spread out over 7 loops.  Both campgrounds have sites for rigs as big as Winnona, 35’, and there are a few which could accommodate larger rigs so whatever Reserve America says about site length, I’d trust them.

My luck holds in terms of picking a site unseen.   It’s a nice deep site although the neighboring sites are pretty close.  Luckily for us the one closest to us is empty on this Saturday night.

There are several loops for tents only and they are really great.  There are a lot of tenters here in all loops.  Happily for them the campground is in the maritime forest and protected from  the  bitter  winds which would leave no tent on the ground believe me.



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We bike around all the loops to check  them out and then bike over to the beach which is a much shorter walk from Coquina than from our Sea Urchin Loop.  Not sure you could carry all your beach “stuff” even from there.   Were we here in swimming weather, we’d hook up our bicycle cart to go to the beach.  Or you can drive since they have a huge parking lot.  Today with 22 mph winds and gusts stronger than that, it is  nearly empty.  That’s  it behind me as I hold on to the giant anchor.



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With really gusty winds there are double flags and  NO swimming.  Not a warning, a rule. 

Thus there is no one even walking on the beach.  It’s a gray dreary chilly day.  But of course we venture out to the edge of the water.  We should have taken another set of selfies out there.  We were dressed about the same as in the last ones.  We’re 250 miles south of Hunting Island but it isn’t much if any warmer and the wind is just as bad. 


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It’s a big beach as you can see.  4 miles long.  We are only here for 3 nights so I really hope the weather will  give us a break so we can walk along it at least once AND get to see some  of St. Augustine.






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After watching the power of the waves for about one minute, we leave the  beach, hop back  on the bikes and head  over  to the Ancient Dunes trail. 

We won’t notice the wind there deep in the maritime forest.  This is the only hiking trail in the park.  It’s only about a mile long but it’s a beauty.  It’s dark and mysterious with a thick canopy of tall giant slash pines and live oaks covered in resurrection fern and spanish moss.  The understory is saw palmetto with  its sword like stems. 

The trail goes up and down the ancient dunes which were created millennia ago when the sea was much higher and further in.  Over time the dunes developed soil  and  the maritime forest covered them.  These are actual hills to climb up and some have steps because they are so steep.  Imagine that in North coastal Florida. 

Unfortunately my camera batteries die on me near the beginning of the hike so you’ll have to come see the hills and steps for yourself.


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So far I really like the park but then we’ve only been here for less than 24 hours on a windy chilly day.  It seems a great place for playing in the ocean on an appropriately warm day.  I’d probably have half of the population of St. Augustine here with me though.  There is a kayak put in for paddling the lagoon but the exit from the lagoon is at the intersection of the intracoastal waterway and the Atlantic.  So tides are a real issue.   Don’t know about biking yet but it appears since the park is close enough to Old Town St. Augustine you might be able to bike there. 

Anastasia should prove a great close place to stay while seeing St. Augustine. Hope the weather will give us at least one day to do that.  I suspect that won’t be enough time but reservations are hard to get here and 3 nights was the best I could do at this point.


Here’s my favorite picture of the day.
Seen as we approached the water’s edge at the beach. 
Nature’s art. 
Simply beautiful.


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  1. Hey, look at that, you're finally someplace where I've been. Knew it had to happen eventually. St. Augustine is a fun place, hope you enjoy it!

  2. Haven't been there since the late 60's - it's probably all growed up now! ;->

  3. Welcome back! The wind was a huge issue for us last weekend, paddling against it down the Suwannee River. In sorry I've been such a stranger. I hope you'll be heading this way soon! Olivia asks about you all the time!

  4. It is just not right to need to wear sweats while on a Florida beach.

  5. I've heard that [park is beautiful. Al got our sunpasses at Walgreens I believe.

  6. That is a really nice picture of the day, but I like the one of you hanging on that anchor for dear life. Wouldn't like to see you get airborne without wings... ;c)

    Hope the wind dies down and the weather warms up. You've come too far to be chilled...

  7. Welcome to Florida, you are just too far North after that front pushed through. It was mid 70's here the last two days and in the 80's before that. Pretty comfy weather in my opinion.

    Sun Pass cards can be purchased in CVS stores and Publix grocery stores. As for the tow car, just make sure it stays attached ( my earlier post about a car going it's own way ).

    5. Can I pull a boat/trailer?

    A: When towing, you can use the SunPass lanes. The toll for additional axle(s) will be calculated and deducted from your account balance during subsequent use. This is only recommended for occasional usage. If you pull additional axles on a daily basis, you will need to open a commercial account. To discuss the terms of a commercial account, please contact SunPass Customer Service at 1-888-865-5352 and a representative will be glad to assist you.

  8. We haven't been to St Augustine yet, but it is on our list. It's only about 1.5 hour drive from Altoona. We aren't happy with the chilly weather here. It does 'feel' warmer in the sun, but not with the wind!

  9. Gosh I'd never have guessed you are so close to St Augustine in that lush forest. It's a fun town to explore and of course the fort. Hope the wind dies down.

  10. Having lived in Pensacola for 30 years I can attest to the fact that Florida can be very cold in the winter!

  11. I made a day trip to St. Augustine in the late 1980's, and all I remember was the Fountain of Youth and drinking a little dixie cup of water to keep me youthful!

  12. Thanks for the tour and info on Anastasia SP...hope it warms up and the winds slow down!!! There must be something wonderful about the park in nicer weather or reservations would not be so difficult.

    Here is a link to retailers of Sunpass from their website: https://www.sunpass.com/sunPassRetailers

  13. Since you know we are NOT shoppers or big on anything overcommercialized, it should come as no surprise that our favorite sanctuary in St. Augustine is actually the campus of Flagler College. The architecture of the buildings is beautiful and the history of the college is very interesting. It hasn't been a college all that long! I think you both would enjoy roaming around there as a respite from the crowds on the narrow walkways in Old Town although I'm guessing students are still there. We are usually there in very early January before classes resume and the campus is empty!

  14. Sorry it's been so windy and cold, but I think things are improving..at least here in central Florida.

    It looks like you have all the info you need for the Sun-pass. We bought ours at Publix. We replenish our funds online through their website. Very convenient.

  15. So glad Dad is a master RV driver..city driving, even in a car, isn't fun. Anastasia looks nice. I do hope the wind dies down and the sun comes out so you can enjoy the 4 miles of pretty beach!!

  16. Ride your bikes on the beach down by the water. Works well!

  17. Looks like you've found another great park, we are headed to Kartchner Caverns State Park today. Looking forward to getting out of the city. Sorry you can't find the warmer temps, we have another cold front coming through in a few days bringing 40's. I'll try not to complain it could be worse, it's in the single digits in VT.

  18. Nature's art is indeed beautiful. . .we love St Augustine too. . .

  19. "Nature’s art.
    Simply beautiful."

    love that ... and indeed... winter storm warnings here for this next weekend... sigh

  20. are you sure you weren't in Oregon?

  21. Now that's just not nice that the sunshine state greeted you with cold and wind. Temps here in SC are predicted to creep up into the mid-70's this week. Surely you'll at least match, if not exceed, those temps. Fingers crossed!

  22. You certainly picked another great site, sight unseen! Now if we could just get a reliable weather forecast 11 months in advance we could avoid weather like this. But I suppose everybody would and we would all end up in the same places at the same times, so the unpredictability serves a purpose I guess.


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