Gulf Islands National Park, ...
We just got back from a week at the Gulf Islands National Park campgrounds on Santa Rosa Island. .. The campground is located adjacent to old Fort Pickens across the bay from Pensacola Florida. The trip down took 5 hours from Birmingham and was mostly uneventful. This is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited with the bay on one side of the park and the Gulf of Mexico with its white sandy beaches and emerald green water on the other, both only a short walk from our camp. .. The camp is located in a well shaded area with pine and live oak trees everywhere. The temperatures were very pleasant for October with the lows in the 60s and highs in the low to mid 80s. We carried our bikes and took advantage of the nature trails and bike paths that run the length of the island end. .. If you are a history buff like me you will find this place a dream with a masonary fort built in 1835 and many coastal gun fortifications built prior to the Spanish American War to explore. Apache Indians including Geranimo were kept in the fort as prisoners in the 1880s. Guided tours were at 2:00 PM each day .. The campground is located over the area used by Federal troops during the Civil War and I can certainly see why they chose this spot. They now have bath houses convienant to all camp locations with hot and cold running water. There were 30 and 50 amp connections and water at each spot BUT, .. I did miss the sewer connection I like in the private campgrounds. It is hard to get Margaret to remember that I have to transport the black and grey water to the dump when she is washing dishes. The draw backs, ... Some of the sites are small and overhung with tree limbs but they know where these sites are and will try to help you to avoid them.. You WILL need to make advance reservations and be sure to tell the Park Service what you will need in a camping spot. They do assign specific sites .. They are very strict about keeping your vehicle on the pavement as I saw two tickets given while I was there. .. Bird watching in the morning was great and the wild life was guite abundant. I was sitting at the table outside with the camper next to us when a small bird landed on his finger and took a scoop of applesauce he was eating.We were both taken by suprise when he came back and missed his finger and walked off across his applesauce. Needless to say at this point the applesauce became food for several birds. ... I think the smart little buggers had it planned this way. .. Armadillos are everywhere and pay no attention to you. .. If you go to Pensacola a must visit is the Naval Air Museum located at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. You cannot follow the signs to the main gate as they no longer allow entrance there but go to the western gate. All the signs lead you to the main gate but I suggest you get a map of Pensacola from AAA and map out you trip across town.The posted time for guided tours on our day was 11:00 AM .. The Blue Angels are based there and if they are in town you might be treated to a free practice show. .. No trip to Pensacola is complete without a trip to McGuires Pub and Restaurant. .. Go with an appatite as the food is abundant and excellent and best of all reasonably priced. They are located on the right just as you cross the bay bridge coming back into Pensacola from the Park. We are thinking about going back in November for a week so I hope Margaret and I catch you there. ...
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Edited by - Relichunter on 10/07/2003 09:56:22 AM