Sunday, October 27, 2013

ISLAND TIME

About ten days ago we traveled from Topsail Hill Preserve RV Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, FL to St. George Island, FL, with our friends, Fred and Evelyn Wolf, from Florida Grande Motorcoach Resort in Webster, FL.
5 mile bridge to St. George Island, FL

Fred and Evie Wolf in front of us going to St. George Island, FL


Welcome to St. George Island - The Uncommon Florida

St. George Island Lighthouse

Fred and Evelyn Wolf - Oyster Experts

Fred and Evelyn Wolf
  We are parked beside each other and have enjoyed some of the best times ever these past couple of weeks at their tent affectionately known as Halloween Central.   
Halloween /Central - St. George Island State Park, FL
St. George Island has about 9 miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay.  St. George Island State Park occupies 1,962 acres at the end of a long narrow barrier island. 
Dr. Julian G. Bruce - St. George Island State Park
Tomorrow we leave one of the most beautiful and best preserved state parks in the state, maybe even the United States of America.  St. George Island is a state treasure and the state park is being maintained in such a manner that future generations will enjoy it just as much as we have.  The park rangers are very serious and knowledgeable about their jobs as well as how fragile this area is from an ecological standpoint.
St. George Island, FL - Sugar Hill Beach Access

Slash Pine Forest - St George Island State Park

Shoreline on St. George Island Sound at Sunset

St George Island State Park Campground - 2013

St. George Island State Park - 2013

St. George Island State Park Dunes

 We have enjoyed the beautiful white confectioner sugar sandy beaches and dunes, forests of slash pines and coastal scrub, the sunsets on St. George Island Sound, shore birds, oyster beds, sunrises, and we'll accidentally but affectionately take lots of the sand back with us in our shoes, clothes, car and coach.  The shore fishing was my favorite part.  You can buy bait if you want but sand fleas are plentiful and the fish love them.  I had several strikes each time I used a sand flea.  I didn't catch any fish, but I definitely had a lot of fun trying.
Serious Fisherman - St. George Island State Park

Getting bait fish  in St. George Island State Park

St. George Island Sound - Dolphins

East end - St. George Island State Park
We bought a day pass to go out to the protected east end of St. George Island and enjoyed the beaches in a very secluded area where the ocean meets the St. George Sound.  B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l!  You aren't allowed to do anything but look and fish unless you want the park rangers to write a ticket in your honor.  Unfortunately, I didn't have bait, but we found a small green frog in one of our chairs and I fished with him for about an hour.  Something really big hit my line, but no fish.  Seriously.   The state park allows only 20 vehicles out at this area daily at one time and we understand why.  A combination lock is at the gate to this area which is changed every day, so they know who and what is out at the end of the island at all times.   Needless to say, we will be back again.  Seeing the fishermen catching Spanish mackerel even had me hooked!
Spanish mackeral 



East end - St. George Island State Park

St. George Island State Park

East end - St George Island State Park - Dog Island in Distance 


St George Island State Park - 2013
We had a special opportunity to spend the day with our high school friends Bob and Jennifer Nix who have had the good fortune to retire from Nashville, TN to Port St. Joe, FL.  At the end of our visit it was hard to leave such gracious friends, but we're looking forward to seeing them at our 50th high school reunion in St. Augustine, FL in 2014.  Honestly, being with Jennifer is better than watching the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network!  

We've probably eaten more Apalachicola Select oysters in the town of Apalachicola in the last week than we've eaten in our entire lives!  This  may look like what we have left behind:  

They've asked us to leave ...
We ate that many oysters - no kidding!
  We enjoyed fresh caught red snapper which Fred Wolf grilled to perfection on his birthday.  We had fried oysters one night that had been swimming in the Apalachicola River the day before.  We have filled our freezer with fresh gulf shrimp to be enjoyed at a later date.  While we would love to bring back bushel bags of oysters to share with our friends, it really is a mess to transport in the coach, so we'll probably just buy a couple of pints of oysters and reminisce about St. George Island when we decide to eat them... somewhere down the road.

Please don't take our word that this is the most beautiful state park in Florida.  Take an opportunity to visit and see for yourself.     

  
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