I finally got around to editing some of the photos from our camping trip last weekend. We stayed at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores Alabama, just down the road from where we use to live in Orange Beach at Bearpoint Marina. This state park is one of the larger ones, but a little less on the “camping” side and a little more on the RV side of camp grounds.
We have visited this park several times before and it is a very well developed area just on the other side of the main road from the beach. It does border the lake that is in the area and there is a golf course in the park as well, but if you are looking for a camping spot on the actual beach this is not it (nor were we expecting it to be). It does have great access to the Gulf State Park beaches which are starting to get a little crowded at this point. If you want an empty beach in the same area, same beautiful white sand, just take a short drive down to the National Seashore in Florida called the Gulf Islands National Seashore (though they don’t allow pets on the beach).
One thing about this area is the hurricane damage that is still present in the tree line. Several years ago a hurricane topped all the tress around here so if you look at what is normally a pretty full pine tree forest type area, you see sort of a tree trunk grave yard. Pretty weird looking but some of the photos below are a few trees that made it among all the ones that were topped, and the smaller ones that have emerged.
We have been to all these beaches and most of the restaurants in the area so many times that we will probably make our way east next time toward Panama City where we haven’t spent so much time. All in all it was wonderful and relaxing as always, and I did get to take a few photos while we were there. You can see the complete slideshow of photos here on flickr.
About a month ago, August 18-20, we rode our bikes down to Panama City Beach for the weekend. We were originally going to ride down with a group of riders from Hog Heaven, in Columbus, GA for the Ride to the Beach, an annual bikers trip to raise money for the March of Dimes. We found out about the ride a little to late to garner sponsors this year so we just decided to make the trip ourselves for the fun and sun.
Along the way we took time to do a little geocaching.
We arrived at our hotel just as it began to rain. Since afternoon showers are common here we hung around in the room enjoying the view for a while until the storm subsided.
Once there was a break in the storm we headed out to dinner and to observe the nightlife of Panama City Beach. We decided to eat at a place called Pineapple Willy’s. This place is supposedly famous for it’s ribs that were featured in a Visa commercial some time back. The ribs were average, but the dinner was quite memorable. We arrived at Pineapple Willy’s just before it started to storm again. We were seated out on the far end of the gazebo pier and enjoyed our dinner while it rained heavily, complete with simultaneous lightning and thunder. Apparently we are braver than most because all the other tables in the gazebo cleared out as people finished their dinners and no one else wanted to sit out there in the storms. Eventually we had the entire end of the pier to ourselves. Magnificant!!
Saturday we spent the day exploring the city, marinas, and geocaching. We had lunch at a great little spot called Lime’s that was tucked away and was a bit of a challenge to find. Dinner that night was even more fabulous as we enjoyed the boat traffic and the sunset from the upstairs open air dining area of a place called the Boatyard.
We made our way back home on Sunday taking a few detours here and there to investigate some of the backroads of Alabama. Although the trip was very short it was a lot of fun and we were able to get a feel for how far we can travel comfortably on our bikes in one day (and how much stuff we can take along).