Wednesday, January 26, 2011 (St. George Island State Park, FL)

Today marks our 7th month anniversary...we started this adventure 7 months ago today and have traveled 14,926 kms (that’s 9328.75 miles for our American friends)! I still have to pinch myself to believe we are really doing this!

Well after all the rain we had yesterday, the sunshine was a welcome sight this morning! Time to get outside and enjoy it! We were on the beach just before 10:00 a.m. to start a lovely walk along the beach. We had a long walk along the beach and then cut through the sand dunes (walking around the dunes, not’re not allowed to walk on the dunes) to a closed road and walked back with a view of the other side of the island. By the time we got back to the truck we had had a great 70 minute walk. Exercise along with great views....

After our walk we drove into the town of St. George and parked at the Lighthouse Visitor’s Center. The ‘Cape St. George Light’ is the fourth construction of the historic lighthouse. The first was built in 1833, with reconstructions in 1848, 1852 and 2008. Although the lighthouse had been built 500 yards inland from the water’s edge, by the 1990’s the beachfront between the lighthouse and the Gulf of Mexico had eroded down to less than a few hundred feet. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Opal in 1995, with powerful tidal surges that washed the lighthouse from its foundation, it began to lean at a precarious 7.5 degree angle. The door was boarded up with plywood, and the iron staircase which had been ripped from the walls by the surge was removed. The community rallied in support of their beacon and The Cape St. George Lighthouse Society raised funds to “Save the Light”. The delicate rescue operation involved digging sand from one side of the light's base with a backhoe, and the 400-ton tower gradually settled back onto a vertical position.  Unfortunately, subsequent years saw continued erosion, and by the spring of 2004 the lighthouse was completely surrounded by thrashing Gulf waters.  The historic lighthouse collapsed around noon on Friday, October 21, 2005.  The fourth Cape St. George Light was completed in December of 2008 using many of the salvaged bricks which had been carefully cleaned by the volunteers. Original pieces of the iron lantern room were preserved as artifacts and used as patterns to reconstruct the graceful birdcage enclosure that once housed the lens.

After learning all about the lighthouse, we asked the lady at the Visitor’s Centre if she could recommend a good seafood restaurant for lunch. Of course, she was not allowed to give her recommendation but she did give us a couple of options. We chose The Blue Parrot which is a funky little place right on the oceanfront. We decided to try sitting outside and it wasn’t too bad sitting in the sun, out of the wind. You can tell this place would be very popular in the heat of the summer months!  The owner stopped by our table for a chat.  He asked where we were from and when we told him he said that he had flown into Vancouver many time as he used to be a pilot for FedEx. Unfortunately, the Popcorn Shrimp basket Steve had and the Bay Scallops basket I had were “so-so”. They had been battered and deep-fried and weighed heavily on my stomach for the rest of the day. Oh well, the location was great!

After a drive through the rest of St. George...which appear to be mainly vacation rentals...we decided to drive off the island to the historic town of Apalachicola. We wandered around the streets there for a bit, took a few pictures and then headed back to St. George Island and our campground.

We are leaving St. George Island tomorrow...continuing our travels west towards Pensacola.

No comments:

Post a Comment