Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A trip to the Gulf

It had been awhile since my kids had been to the beach. Since I had them for spring break, it was the perfect time to do something about it! They had asked could we go camping again since i had them for a whole week, and I said sure...just didn't tell them where.

We loaded up the car with our stuff, including my tent, and off we went to Gulf Shores Alabama. It was a Monday and traffic was light so we made good time getting there. The kids kept wondering when we were going to get where we were going, and I told them it would be awhile but we did stop a few times along the way to eat and to just get out of the car.

Once there, I went to the Gulf Shores State Park without a reservation, and was pleased to find there was space available. I'd guess 90 percent of the campers there are the RV and trailer types, but I did see a few other tent campers. Camping there is a bargain, $25 a night and the sites have power and water, and I speedily pitched our tent and we then went to the state pavilion nearby to play in the ocean.

The next morning we went to my all-time favorite beach: Pine Beach in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is 6700 acres on Fort Morgan Road of pristine wilderness--the beach the way the Spaniards found it, as I like to say. It was a 1.25 mile hike from the parking area to the beach getting there, and man, was it worth it.

Imagine 25-foot tall dunes...a beach hundreds of yards wide and miles long with no houses, no hotels, no nothing that nature did not put there. Oh and there were no people the four-plus hours we were there, I guess a Tuesday and the hike took care of that. We did see two wildlife biologists when we left, there to trap, check and study the endangered beach mouse, but they didn't count as people there to go the beach. The refuge is also home and nesting area to three specie of very endangered sea turtles and seldom-seen birds.

Those with children know the kind of fun an 8-year-old boy and 5-year old girl have on a beautiful day at the beach with no people around and nothing in their way, so I don't guess I need to write about that (grin)

By the afternoon they were tired and back to the tent we went, where they voluntarily napped (gasp!) Then it was out to eat seafood and play videos at a fun center (they are still not tall enough to ride the go-karts....awww)

It was time for our second night's sleep in the tent, which we did, soundly. Next morning back north toward home we went to make ready for a trip the North Carolina mountains...but that's another post...here's the beach photos!