Thursday, December 23, 2010

Along the Underside of Florida

The coastal road along the underside of the Florida panhandle is leisurely and relaxing.  The white sandy beach is visible while driving. There are signs of damage from hurricane Dennis which left just walls of beach cabins...otherwise popular for summer visitors. Insurance costs and restrictions for rebuilding have left them shuttered and sad.

At about the furthest south point of this portion of the state, the highway goes through the town of Apalachicola (just like its spelled..just take your time) and turns left. It was time for a rest, lunch and a walk about this quaint town.  I found a antique store...sort of.  He was the former editor of the town newspaper, sold it but kept the old building as his "man cave" and had collected enough to almost be a museum.  The town was the home to the man who invented the first ice-making machine.  I guess in this part of the country they are very motivated.  I had lunch at the counter in "The Grill"...a cup of shrimp chowder and fish/chips (haddock).  All was delicious. 

The road got busier with more commercial development as I neared Panama City and further up the coast.  Lots of tall condo and upscale restaurants and amusement parks. I continued to Grayton Beach State Park and signed up for the night.  Florida state parks are outstanding with clean, private RV spots with water and electrical hook-ups.  There is an abundance of staff and it is quiet.  In the morning I went to the beach which startled me since the grassy dunes are made of pure white sand that looks like snow.  The sand is like
talcum powder and I was the only one there as far as I could see in both directions. A board walk ambles over the dunes to protect them until reaching the water.  The drifting sand over the boardwalk looks like snowdrifts.  Cost for the stay was about $20. 

Now the traffic, stop lights, and commercialism were testing my patience so at Pensacola  I returned to Hy #10...the main freeway.  I drove through Mobile, AL, and to the Gulf Coast starting at the eastern point of Biloxi, Mississippi. Sunny and no wind.


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