Upon entering the park, we stopped at the entrance station to sign in for the walk. From there we drove a few miles to a big parking lot near the lagoon to start the 10k walk. One thing was evident from the get-go. Many osprey call this park home. Osprey nests were everywhere.
Being from the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years, you come to expect certain things at the beach: beautiful scenery, sand, tall trees, and cool temperatures, fog, or rain. Today's walk had the beautiful scenery, tall trees, and sand, but no cool temperatures to be found, not even in the shade.
The walk started out along the park road as we walked from one parking lot to another. An osprey had chicks in a nest, but was in another tree preening and having a quiet moment when we ambled by. I got the "you eyeballin' me?" glare from the bird.
|Osprey parent in a nearby tree|
At the East Parking Lot, we took off onto a boardwalk to a lookout tower. We had a great view of the lagoon and more boardwalk. From the tower, we walked in the wet sand along the edge of the lagoon before setting inland across the sand and more sand.
|Great blue heron|
|Where we'll walk out on the boardwalk to the sand|
|Osprey eating a fish|
|Sailboat on the lagoon|
|Looking toward West Pensacola|
|Osprey still working on eating the fish|
|Bob enjoying the "beach"|
At this point our walk had us turn inland to get a better feeling for the rest of the park.
|A kind lady took a photo of us together|
|We loved the scenery...|
|...and especially loved the shade, when we found it.|
|We won't be swimming here!|
|"Which way do we go, Bob, which way do we go?"|
|We get it!|
If you look closely, in the photo below you will see a bug just in front of the big turtle's nose. The turtle wanted it for lunch but didn't get it. You can even see the reflection of the bug in the water!
The parts of the trail that passed by water were so delightful. However, there were long stretches without water...just sand and scrubby shrubs; although I did find a few wildflowers. Haven't looked up what they are, but they're different.
But wait, what's this? Loud, screaming jets broke the silence. The Blue Angels were practicing!
|More sand to slog through|
|Different kind of lichen (also referred to deer moss)|
|Bob's hot, sweaty and whiny.|
So, this is a beautiful walk with lots of bird life, but it gets very hot. Both of us were ready for lunch after this. As we were driving back toward Bob's brother's place, I saw a diner and asked Bob to stop there.
|Wane's Family Diner|
|Interior of Wayne's Family Diner|
|This is Wayne. He's been here 30 years.|
After the walk and lunch, we headed to Tom and Rosemarie's place where we took showers and ate left-overs. Then we drove to Pensacola to see the Blue Wahoos play baseball. It was a lovely evening out under the full moon.
|Rosemarie, Tom, and Bob waiting for the game to start|
|Can't beat the location of Admiral Fetterman Field!|
Our day was tiring, but enjoyable. Tomorrow we will go to Pensacola NAS (Naval Air Station) to watch the Blue Angels practice and check out the museum.
That's enough for one day! I'm falling asleep typing this. Good night.