Gainsville to Fort Picken’s

It has been a quite busy trip and it has also been difficult to find time to write. Tonight is the exception. There is a line of strong thunderstorms heading our way and lightning is flashing all around us. It’s only 9:30 pm at present, and we retired early, it was a long day and it is sprinkling.

Before I go on, I must return to our drive from Gainsville and the “forgotten coast” before I forget. Not that where we came from is forgetful, it is because we have been doing so much we can hardly remember one day after the next.

Did I mention traveling from Gainsville to Mexico beach along Hwy’s 27 and 98 was totally enjoyable? No, we did not see much, I mean touristy things, we just saw beautiful landscapes, forests, clear water springs, and nice beaches. Suprisingly the ride and the roads were some of the nicest and least traveled I have ever driven. This was a special blessing because I like to drive the van between 50 and 55 mph; it didn’t hurt that the temperature was in the mid seventies and sunny. I would recommend this drive over the larger highways any day, any century!

I can now vouch for slow driving seniors! We seniors have fewer deadlines and driving slow is more pleasurable, unless of course you’re driving a new Dodge demon or an old Corvette convertible.

Clear water springs
No traffic!

Sadly, the joy we endured gladly soon turned to shock, then concern. About an hour and a half out of Gainsville we entered the “Emerald Coast” (leaving the “Forgotten Coast”). We entered Mexico Beach, FL. Mexico Beach is located 25 miles southeast of Panama City and was ground zero for hurricane Michael in October of 2018. The devestation is/was horrendous. I know in a few years it will look beautiful again, but if we consider the people who lost so much it is humbling. I put together a collage of photo’s to show you ghe destruction, I hope you will watch the YouTube video. It says more than I have energy to describe. Bascically, from Mexico Beach to Panama Beach the devastation will be evident for many many years to come. We could pray for the people who we under insured and lost everything, for the rest it is a dream lost, money spent, and a community forgotten. It is actually a sobering 45 minute drive.

Mexico Beach Devastation

Now, you may already know, we are currently in a gorgeous place and leaving tomorrow. I posted photo’s on facebook of Fort Pickens and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It’s a narrow sliver of white, like sugar, sand beach across from Pensacola Fl. The water is pristine emerald and deep blue in color, and at tbis time of year the beaches are empty; if you like this sort of thing, we do! Fort Pickens is also here. It was built and finished by slaves around 1834 and was manned up to WWII. The architecture is very interesting and it is most famous for housing the Apache Geronimo after his capture, ithink, in the lat 1800’s. Interestingly, the local authorities at the time thought the famous Indian would help tourism, so they advertised his captivity and sold tickets to see him at the fort (lol), capitalism before political correctness.

Well, I’ll not bore you to death, if I do I’ll have no furure audience. Besides, I’m itching to write something philosophical or faith based, maybe next time. This “write a 500 word essay on what I did on my spring retirement vacation” is getting old.

More important things to come, i hope.

One thought on “Gainsville to Fort Picken’s

  1. jamesdeweyburnett

    Well Bob, it may seem like it’s getting old, but I’m sure everyone who is reading and following your journey is enjoying every word. Keep posting the trip wit more pictures.

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