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

Henry David Thoreau

Camera Woes and the Primitive Trail

Wednesday March 26 and Thursday March 27, 2014
St. George Island State Park
Eastpoint, FL




I’ve got the camera zoom blues.  Is it fatal?


In yesterday’s post about my morning walk on the beach,  all the pictures were taken with my camera before it abruptly refused to zoom any more and said “turn off the camera and turn it back on”.  Over and over it said this as I tried everything to get the zoom to begin working again.  There was no warning, everything was working fine and then it wasn’t.

SO now what to do??  I know it will cost more to have it fixed, IF I could even find someone to fix it, than the camera is worth at this point.  Time for a new camera I guess.   I look up all the folks on line whose pictures I admire and try to find out what cameras they use.  Then I look up the cameras and see which ones are in my price range.   Then David says, “If you are just going to toss it, let me take it apart and see what I can do”.   So that’s where it stands at the moment.  If you have a camera suggestion, please send it along in your comment.

You’ll now notice that since I have no camera there are many more pictures with me in them.  David is now getting short changed I fear.





This morning David checks his on line medical record as usual to see if the big test result has come in YET!   Today is finally the lucky day, it has and you know that story.

After getting the good news, David is ready to celebrate and spends quite some time looking for THE breakfast place in Eastpoint or Apalachicola.  He finally picks one but it’s too late for breakfast by the time that happens.  So he moves to looking for Linner ideas.  By the time he comes up with something we decide to just wait until tomorrow and see if a couple of nearby friends we haven’t met yet want to go with us.


It’s all good we’ll celebrate with a hike instead and save the other for tomorrow.   We intend to walk on the beach but quickly find it is MUCH too windy.  There is only one brave soul bundled up sitting near the dunes trying to stay out of the wind and reading.  Otherwise, everyone out has feathers.  And they are mostly standing stock still which is most unusual.  Easy for a picture though.







So we head back and stop along the ponds where we see a number of birds hanging out.  Including a pair of love birds. 











What is a primitive trail??


We head to the back of the campground where near the playground there is a kiosk at the foot of the campground and a sign that says “Nature Trail”.  A sign saying use and return maps are in the little box but of course it is empty.   So we just go on down the way until at half a mile in we come to a junction.  Which way to go???   Slough or Primitive.   Well I know what a Slough is so we save that for another day and off on the Primitive we go.







Water is visible in the distance on both sides as we walk out to what I’m suspecting will be Gap Point.   Wildflowers are in bloom.  These lovely little yellows carpeting many areas.







At the one mile mark we see a sign explaining Dr. Charles Herty’s experiment which produced the Herty cup.  It’s a clay pot similar to a flowerpot.  When hung on the side of a pine tree it allows the resin to run from the face in to the cup by means of a galvanized metal gutter.  The resin was used for turpentine.  There was no date on the information so I have no idea how long ago this happened.  Most of the pine trees here seem to have been sliced open for this purpose.  OUCH!  






St George Island


We are walking up the outside of the island and to our left is a little inlet which you can see on the map below if you look at the spot labeled Cape St. George Lighthouse.  We get so close to the inlet that we walk over to take a shore side look and find a rather uncommon sight.  When was the last time you saw someone in a row boat?  It’s been a long time for me.  I’ve always found it very difficult to proceed backwards no matter what I’m doing walking or rowing.












Here is David approaching Mile Post 1.5 where we finally find out why this is called Primitive Trail.




Turns out this is the trail to the primitive campsites.  #1 and #2.  Which one to see first is the question.  We make a right turn where in about another quarter mile or so we find the VERY nice campsite right on the water of St. George Sound.  The “bay” side of the island if you will








Beautiful beach where someone has left a sweet message in the sand.   The tide is out and some lovely critters that I would not like to meet up with in the water are rather beached until it comes back in.





I’m definitely glad I’m here. 
This picture is for Carrie. 
We really do wish you were here sweetheart!








I could just stay and stay right here in this solitary place with its complete quiet and natural beauty but we want to be sure to see Campsite #1 as well.  So we walk back down to the fork and head to the very end of the spit.






It’s right over there.






This too is a kayak campsite.  They have to be reserved but I’m sure you could hike in the two miles and make it wonderful backpack hike or kayak around the island and spend the night under dark skies with nary another soul around.   Although it was clear that some other folks had been here before us.   But judging from the size of the foot prints he was a little guy.   Clearly some of them have been running around like crazy but they aren’t here when we arrive.








Another beautiful deserted beach in both directions at low tide shows lots and lots of foot prints and lovely art created by the waves.    Can’t you just imagine spending a wonderful few days here?









We head back down the trail toward the campground when we spy another little trail going off to another little beach.  This one turns out to have all the little footprint makers and more.









We are just awed by Nature’s artwork here.   So varied and beautiful!















As we watched, small flocks of shore birds came in.  They are all around us and quite near but moving constantly which make close up shots very difficult  Sanderlings, sandpipers, willets and a pair of what I think are mergansers.  Page or Judy??
David’s little Panasonic has a tough time with the light in the western sky.









We have spent over 3 hours on this little 2.5 mile hike and must get back.  But what a great time we’ve had on this fantastic little barrier island.




So the only picture we stop for as we return is one of the dunes close to the campground.  I can feel my heart sing as I see how tall and strong they stand protecting the island from winds and storms.  They will just get bigger and stronger and provide more protection if we will leave Nature alone to do her thing.  She really does know best.





Here’s the last part of today’s celebration!  





After dinner, David starts taking the camera apart. Pretty scary, lots of little parts, but the camera is useless at this point so there’s nothing to lose.   This wouldn’t seem like a celebration activity to me but he likes puzzles and he’s got himself a good one here.




Stay tuned, the “0.3 Celebration” continues tomorrow.


  1. I missed the good news, but that's all I need to know about it! It's news, and it's good!

  2. Sherry, my camera did the exact same thing in Charleston. Is it a Panasonic? What I did was just sort of "massage" the very delicate "fins" (for lack of a better term) after turning the camera off as instructed. I turned it back on and got the same message so I shut it off and "massaged", again. Works perfectly, now. Lovely pictures and I'm still basking in David's good news.

  3. Beautiful walk, and good to see you didn't blow or wash away today it looked pretty foul up there. My camera is old, but I love it. Nikon D50 they don't make it anymore. It is heavy for walking with, I bought a shoulder harness that helps a lot. I tried a smaller powershot camera that was supposed to be good, but I don't like it and wish I hadn't spent the money on it.

  4. No wonder you two love St George SP! I would love to kayak and camp at one of those sites. Still haven't actually gone overnight camping in our boats, although we do have plenty of enclosed hull space that we could do it. I guess like tent camping in general, it takes concentrated effort to not relax into the MoHo when night comes.

  5. Beautiful photo of the great blue herons!! We love that hike on St. George -- hope we can convince you to hike it again with us. We would love to see the herons. ;-) Fun to see David immersed in the camera puzzle, haha! All of those little bitty parts would drive me crazy. Don't want to give anything away, but we sure did have a wonderful time finally meeting you two!

  6. Canon - my favorite is the 4500 is. Go to Amazon and search for "canon 4500 silver." I like it better than the newer ones. I paid 350 for mine and now they are 150, or 100 for refurbished. Great zoom for such a small camera.

  7. Will stayed tuned (of course) to see where the celebration breakfast ends up. Wish we were there to celebrate with you. I heard Bill telling his mom last night (we were at her house for the UT basketball game) that his "friends" whom he's never met had gotten good news this week. Imagine an 86 year old woman trying to figure that one out!! We love St. George Island.

  8. I think you broke the camera just so David could enjoy taking it apart;o)) Is that part of his "0.3" Celebration!?!?!!! We did that same hike and if I was a tent camper that would be a place I would want to stay...absolutely gorgeous!!! Bill and I were just talking about that hike and those sites earlier in the day:o))

  9. Maybe you should pack a tent and spend a few days at one of those primitive sites. They sure were nice.

    I love the beautiful sculptured sand. I think David took some excellent pictures.

    I love my Canon SX 50hs. I found an old blog where I showed what a strong zoom it has. check it out here. It's the part with the tan house.

  10. I have a fuji finepix HS 10 with 30x optical zoom. I think it takes great pictures especially for the price. It has also held up well under a fair amount of abuse. My only complaint is that it uses lots of batteries. I really like the manual zoom lens because it seems easier to adjust while taking shots than the electronic zoom.
    Keep celebrating!

  11. Very peaceful remote camping sites, beautiful. I have not seen Jellies with that marking before, not a jelly fan, but they are pretty. Looks like a very fun day and a beer with a project after is my way of having fun. He is all set with bottle caps for the screws and a tiny screwdriver and hopefully a great memory of how it came apart. If not then it does not matter, he had fun exploring how it was put together and that is the best part. I have no camera recommendations. I take poor shots with all brands and models.

  12. I hope David was taking pictures as he took that camera apart, to know how to put it back together. Oh wait, can't take pictures with a camera in pieces... :cO

    I seem to ruin (wear out?) a camera a year. And each new one I buy is more capable than the previous one. But how come my pictures keep getting worse? ;c)

  13. What a pretty place! Definitely a sweet message in the sand :) I wish I was there too!! I thought Dad's pictures were pretty good. Of course, I'm bias since I think we have the same camera :) Victory beer...perfect! I would have shared that ;)

  14. Love my little Canon with the 30X zoom and it is very reasonably priced. Canon Powershot SX500 IS. Eldy gave it to me for a Christmas present and it was under 200.00 on sale.

  15. Those primitive sites look they are a million miles from civilization - perfect. Still smiling about David's good news and really the celebrating should continue for several days!

  16. You can't miss the unmistakable outline of the head and beak of a merganser. Good call.

  17. Ok these are what I have and use:

    Sony Cybershot is old camera employer said keep it. Out of focus most shots, but otherwise great pocket cam.

    Fuji pocket camera that uses 2 AAA batteries. Best small camera, takes high quality shots in focus. No low batt warning so we have to cary spares. I see it is what I used to get all my great Pelican shots with. Love it.

    Nikon Coolpix S-3100 pocket camera is the smallest and most abused on roller coasters and water rides. Works OK, but menu hard to change from out door to indoor and flash quickly drains battery. I always carry this.

    Cannon Power Shot A3500 IS, this is Kathy's pocket camera and it takes great pics, she won't let me use it.

    Nikon D-50 DSLR is what I take a lot of bird pics with. I like it due to light weight and small picture size of about 600KB. This is great for internet or blown up prints to about 8 X 12 max. I have sever lens I use with it.

    Nikon D-7100 DSLR is what I use daily if out planing to take a pic. It is very heavy, but takes awesome pictures with it's image stabilized 18 to 200mm lens. I take high resolution pics and they are 1.2 to 4 mb size, this allows for much larger prints to hang on the wall, but too big for blog so I have to shrink them. This is just me as the camera will take any size you want or make a movie etc. The shutter snaps 3 times a second and that helps with flying bird pics. the auto focus is amazing also. ( almost all these features can be found in a D-3100 or D-3200 and they weigh a lot less) Mine came in a bundle from Costco. I would check there for a new camera of any type.

  18. I enjoyed David's pictures - you can really tell the difference in your picture-taking styles. I like both, but the change is very nice.

  19. If nothing else it would be fun to see what the inside of a digital camera looks like. Those camp sites look just perfect to enjoy a dark and quiet night on the beach. Or two, or more. We've already talked cameras. I think it just depends on how much you want to spend.

  20. Nice to see David enjoying the camera puzzle... I can tell you that his brother Roger would do the same thing. It must be the challenge of it all. Hope he is able to determine the problem... and put back all those teeny, tiny pieces in their proper places. He is, after all, a very patient man. Glad you both continue to enjoy your nature experiences. Always hoping for good weather so that you can paddle more.

  21. Can-do men are great. There is nothing like a challenge. Are there alligators near those walk / kayak sites?

  22. Catching up on reading blogs as I was without good wifi this weekend. Love the primitive campsites, the night sky must be incredible from there! On to the next post... :-)


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