Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Big Lagoon State Park Volksmarch - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Well, we did not start our walk as early as planned so we paid the consequences later in the walk as the temperatures climbed. The Volksmarch instructions had warned us this walk would be only 20% shade. But, c'mon, how bad could it be?

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 nest
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

Viewing tower

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
A lot of this walk is in sand or somewhat deep sand which is (1) hot and (2) hard to walk in. But we persisted in our quest to finish the 10k walk.

We loved the scenery...

...and especially loved the shade, when we found it.

We won't be swimming here!
My question is, "What happens if you're kayaking and you fall in?" Is that considered "swimming?" Will the alligator get you?

"Which way do we go, Bob, which way do we go?"

We get it!

Just gorgeous!
We liked hanging out here watching the turtles. We saw a mama and baby turtle. The baby turtle was riding on the mama's back.

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!

Batter up!

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.

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