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

Henry David Thoreau

To the Point

Sunday and Monday November 12 & 13, 2017                                            Most Recent Possts:
Anastasia State Park                                                                   Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
St. Augustine, Florida                                                      Fort Caroline National Memorial is a Lot More than a Fort

Anastasia Map

This morning after watching the sunrise I walk the length of the peninsula and back,  a 7 mile hike.   I’m starting from the red and gold star at the bottom and walking to the gold and red star at the top.  David was still asleep when I left so he didn’t join me.

Another beautiful dawn started my hike off perfectly.


As I walk down the long boardwalk over the dunes, I can see the lighthouse light shining in the dawn sky.  It looks far away.


It’s a red flag flying as I approach the stairs down to the beach.


When I get to the steps I find that today there are only two of them and I’m going to be walking a sand hill down to the beach.



The sky is turning yellow as I head north up the beach.


I keep checking over my right shoulder to judge the progress of the sun.

It rises up over a bank of clouds rather than directly over the water.

But then there it is sending its beam of light over the water to me and of course anyone else at any point up and down the beach.  I always find that amazing.

Lovely art.   I don’t get my footprints near it.   So beautiful without any intrusion.


A group of sanderings, sandpipers and plovers are gathered along the shore.





Perhaps half way up I can see the lighthouse clearly



Up in the air there are squadrons of pelicans.    Not sure I’ve ever seen groups larger than these and they just keep coming flying south down the beach sometimes over the water, sometimes over the dunes.


But when I reach the point, I really can’t believe the gathering of  birds.  Everyone I’ve seen all day and more are there.  The stretch between the two yellow arrows on this picture.


They don’t seem bothered by the size of the waves.



I know I’m at the point, the gathering of birds is on my right and straight ahead the sand ends and across the water I can see houses.   Lots of houses.


Anastasia Map

Just a reminder of the map.  The houses I can see across the little straight are on the tip of land across from where I am.  Although it looks as though I could walk all the way around and back on the other side of the peninsula, what the map doesn’t show is that entire side is sand dune.  No walking there so I walk back the way I came.


I am now walking into the sun.  The pictures I take of the congregation of birds turn out to be black and white without any selection on my part.  The smaller birds are much harder to see.  Looks like mostly pelicans.  But I like all three of the black and white.


Footprints in the sand.


Other fishermen also in black and white.


Back across the boardwalk I see the lighthouse again.  Of course the light’s not on now but tomorrow we’re going over to see it up close.


That night we have a big storm and the next morning walking over the boardwalk the clouds are pastel and the water is in giant ponds.  At least one wading bird has moved in.

Can you see him?   How about the itty bitty lighthouse on the horizon?

It’s a rainy, cloudy, windy, drippy day so we postpone the light house visit AGAIN.  The red flag is flying.  No swimming today. 


Anastasia State Park, St Augustine

November 7-11, 2017                                                                               Most Recent Posts:
Anastasia State Park                                                       Fort Caroline Memoria is a Lot More than a Fort
St. Augustine, Florida                                           Beyond Fort Clinch – Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

IMG_5788These are the travel days I love.   It’s 80 miles from Fort Clinch to Anastasia.  We arrive at the Ranger’s Station for check in and as I walk across the parking lot to go in side this gopher tortise is there to greet me.  Well maybe that’s not his intention since he’s headed away from me but it seems like a good omen anyway.   He takes up a spot by the curb and lets me study him for a while before heading up onto the grass and off on his merry way.



We pull in to our site in the larger campground area and set things up.  The site is spacious with nice vegetation on three sides.  The path to the bath house in the center of the loop is just across from us. 


You can barely see the campsite entrances from the campground road.  Great privacy.


The following morning when we take the kayaks off the car so that David can head over to his clinic appointment, he notices we have a hitch hiker.  Not sure when he came aboard but if it was at Fort Clinch, he’s had an exciting ride.


He looks a little worried or maybe I’m projecting.


We’re really having a run of close up wildlife sightings between yesterday and today.  While David is gone, I’m doing a bit of straightening and cleaning the inside windshield when I look out and on the fence directly across from us, this is what I see.



I think he’s a juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk.  He’s certainly majestic.


He sits on the fence for a long time, looking this way and that.  Boy would it be convenient to be able to turn my head 180 degrees around in both directions to see what’s behind me.  Real eyes in the back of your head.



When the hawk flies away, I start the one mile walk from our camp site to the beach.  As I mentioned earlier, we’re in the larger of Anastasia’s two campgrounds you can see on the map.  The older is in the lower area and called the Coquina Loop with 32 sites fairly close together.   The newer area has 105 sites on loops of various sizes and shapes.  As you are coming in the road to the loops, the first two are reserved for tents and popups or very small casita type trailers.   We are in the very next loop. The red star marks our site. With a bigger rig, that’s as close as you can get to the beach.  The Coquina loop might be slightly closer bu not much.

In either case, it’s a long way to the barrier peninsula that is the beach.

You can walk out to the beach directly onto the sand behind the building with the gift shop, grille and restrooms or you can take the boardwalk from the parking lot which is what I do.  The boardwalk is labeled and doesn’t look on the map nearly as long as it is.

It is a LONG boardwalk over the dune and protects it very well.



From midway up the boardwalk, I’ve zoomed in just a tad so you can at least see the St. Augustine Lighthouse on the horizon.


It’s a yellow flag caution day on the beach.  The waves are strong.  Next step up is a red flag meaning only idiots swim or surf on a red flag day.


The beach at Anastasia is most likely the widest of all the State Park beaches on the East Coast of Florida.


The sanderling and sandpiper are combing the beach.

Folks are in the water.  I’m rather surprised since it is only 77 degrees with a cool wind.  Maybe they are Canadians!


Those who know David understand that he likes to go out for Breakfast and diners are his favorite.  So on Thursday morning, that’s what we do.


Happy Camper with his plate full of food.


Returning to the campground, as we reach the park check in gate David swerves over into the parking lot instead of going in through the gate.   He’s seen a really unusual tow vehicle and has to check it out.


Like us, the owner has just come from Acadia.  We can hardly believe it.  He’s made some modifications to his Model T to be able to do that.


Later in the day we decide to head over to the beach.  David chooses to drive the car over.  I need to walk off that breakfast so I put my things in my backpack chair and off I go.  My back pack chair is a Tommy Bahama and I hate it.  It’s poorly made and even though it is the large chair with a supposed capacity of 250 lbs, after less than 2 years the seams are splitting and I weight about 110.  Not sure if I can mend the seams once they totally rip.  This chair was a gift and I know it was not inexpensive so I’m very disappointed in the quality of Tommy’s product. 


But I’m not disappointed with my view from the chair.



David’s is not a back pack chair, was much less expensive and is over 7 years old and is doing fine.  Just goes to show that you don’t always get what you pay for.


Our neighbor has no need of a chair.


We spend a pleasant afternoon reading and walking on the beach enjoying the waves and the birds in the air and on the shore.


Those who follow along with us kmow that Brusters is our favorite ice cream and Jamaica Me Crazy is our favorite flavor.   Anywhere we stay, we always look to see if there is a Brusters near by and St. Augustine has one.  When I call they agree to make up some JMC for us.  “well then, we’ll be right over”

As usual, our selfie is a miserable failure but you get the point.  David takes a regular picture of me at the table with my dish of TWO scoops.



On Saturday morning I’m out early but rather than walk the mile to the beach for sunrise, I walk the campground Nature Trail.   It basically connects the two campgrounds and goes up and down over some ancient dunes.  At the time of their creation, the ocean was nearly a mile closer in from where it is now so that the Coquina campground would have been under water and the larger campground would have been behind the dunes.  Global warming may recreate that situation.


Over time, the maritime forest has covered the dunes.


The only way you know you are on a dune is when you begin to climb up which the path does.  When you get to the top, steps are provided for you to descend.  Not sure if it’s for your safety or the protection of the dunes.

Among the nice things about Anastasia State Park is that there is a farmer’s market just barely outside the gate.  That means very easy access from the campground especially from the newer area that we are in.   David’s favorite whole bean Ethiopian coffee is sold here so he is anxious to go on Saturday morning.

On the walk over I smell this glorious sweetness and look around to find magnolia blossom petals on the ground.  We each take one each and find the perfect hands free way to keep that glorious smell close to our noses.    This one is for you Carrie!!


The market is bustling.


David gets some sort of raspberry pastry from this booth.  He eats it immediately.  No picture.


The Fish Chics were selling the larges claws I have ever seen.  This batch cost $42.00 I heard her tell the customer as she wrapped them up for him.



I’ve done other posts on this market from previous stays so today I’m just including some things we hadn’t seen before like this pepper roaster. 


He turned the barrel round and round and the smell of peppers roasting filled the air.  I guess this is what they mean by fire roasted.


That pretty much takes care of the first helf of our stay at Anastasia.  We’ve got a few more things planned for the second half including a visit to the St. Augustine Lighthouse.