S3E6 Fort Desoto County Park, St Petersburg, FL

2015/01/img_0746.pngOn Sunday, 1/11, we cleaned up the trailer, Sue defrosted the refrigerator and I replaced the weatherstripping on the leaky window over her bed. We rejoined the Coverdills at Fort Desoto Monday afternoon, a cloudy drizzly day.

The rain held off for a couple of hours while we got setup and went for a pleasant two mile walk around the park. Dinner was at Jean and Craig’s campsite across the street. Their motorhome has a large awning and Craig had moved the picnic table under it so our dinner would not be disturbed by a little rain. That proved providential as it started raining as soon as Jean served dinner. Sitting warm and dry outdoors enjoying a gourmet dinner with the palm trees rattling and rain falling a few feet away was magical.

Tuesday morning dawned bright and sunny. We took advantage by going for a long beach walk.

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By wading across a tidal pool we made a loop instead of back tracking a good distance.

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There’s an old fort here (Ft Desoto , duh!) with a small museum. We rode our bikes here in the afternoon and just wiled away a couple of hours.

This followed by showers, an hour sitting in the sun reading, an nice dinner in the screen room and another walk around the park before bed.

Wednesday morning we lazed around the campsite then rode our bikes to Billy’s Oyster Bar for lunch.

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The bar overlooks a tiny little arm of the estuary where we enjoyed grouper salads while watching ospreys, herons, egrets and even an otter. Another beach walk in the late afternoon then an excellent dinner (see prior post) in the screen tent.

Thursday was foggy with occasional light rain all day – perfect weather for visiting the Dali Museum in St Petersburg. Of course I’d heard of Salvador Dali and could probably have linked him to images of melting clocks but I had no idea he did so many really interesting paintings. Some of them have another subtle image hidden in the obvious one. This one shows a woman looking at the Mediterranean through a window but from far away becomes Abe Lincoln.

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This was easier to show photographing the posters for sale in the gift shop but the actual painting (much bigger than a poster) is in the museum. I couldn’t get back far enough from the real one to get a picture that looked like Abe though.

All in all a great place I wouldn’t mind visiting again.

The sun finally came out Friday morning as the cold high pressure filled in behind the rainy weather. It was a welcome change even with the chilly temps (high of 61). We did an exact repeat of Wednesday, rode our bikes to Billy’s Oyster a bar for lunch, stood at the same spot along the bar watching the birds and hoping to spot an otter again (nope) and had the same grouper salad. It was just as good the second time. Afterward went to Island Produce for some more terrific oranges. I don’t know what kind they were but big, almost blood red inside with a thick easy to remove peel. Rode home and then drove to the beach for an hour and a half walk. Just got showered and now sitting watching the sun set before dinner. Ahhh…..

We had to vacate our campsites by 11:00 AM Saturday so we both took out campers to the beach parking lot and had a nice walk on the bayside beach before lunch. We saw a small group of porpoises feeding just off the beach. A few times we saw them jump all the way out of the water. Jean had her good camera and a long lens but not the phenomenal luck needed to catch them in the air. She did get this cool picture of two porpoises and a pelican. She also captured an Osprey delivering lunch.

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After lunch Craig and Jean departed for a couple of days camping around the Crystal river. We walked for another couple of hours on the Gulf beach before driving back to Sue’s parents house in Port Charlotte.

Fort Desoto is our favorite park in Florida. We camped here three times last winter and will certainly be back again at least one more time this year. All the good things are just as good plus they made an improvement – they got rid of all the raccoons. There were so many last year they were real pests, in the trash, stealing food from your picnic table, etc. We forgot to roll up a car window once and one got into the car and made a huge mess including eating the armrest. After a couple of days of seeing zero raccoons I asked a ranger where they were. He said they “relocated” more than seventy last summer. Good riddance.

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