Little Talbot Island 2005 / GoodeG Home Page / Trip Index

After a trip to the ocean in July had to be cancelled because of a hurricane, I had to get back to a beach. This time I chose a 3-night trip to Little Talbot Island State Park north of Jacksonville, Florida, because of damage to the beaches on the gulf. Camping fee is $19 per night; $9.50 for FL resident senior discount. Dogs are now allowed in the park, but not on beaches or in park buildings. Both bikes were packed, but I neglected to bring the battery charger for the electric bike -- I did remember to bring the keys.

Left Ocala on Tuesday, August 2, 2005, at 9 am, 79.3. Arrived at ranger station at 11:45, 83.5, but was informed that Site No. 18 would not be ready until 1 pm. Check-in time is actually 3 pm. Drove to south parking lot and unloaded the 3-speed bike to go across boardwalk to beach. In order to get back to the road at the north parking lot, I took boardwalk No. 1 and had to carry the bike up a bunch of steps since the ramp was still closed due to storms last year. Found out later that boardwalk No. 2 was wheelchair accessible with only one step and a lot of sand. Checked in at ranger station and my site was now open. By the time I rode back on the bike trail and drove to the campground, it was 3 pm and 107.4 on the car thermometer. Forgot about the big pine tree in the middle of the entrance to the site and had to do quite a bit maneuvering to park the Westy. This was a tent or pop-up site only. Next time I will choose another site. 131.3 miles; 10 miles on 3-speed; cloudy all day.

Entrance to park

The new bike trail

This all-purpose paved bike trail of a few miles is the first section of a planned continuous trail that will eventually go all the way to Fort Clinch State Park on Amelia Island. There is a a bike rest area/shelter that has an air compressor for tires, besides a water fountain for humans and a water spigot and drinking dish for pets. Part of the trail follows a small waterway similar to that on the Shark Valley bike trail in the Everglades.

Closed ramp on boardwalk No. 1

Sea oats on the beach

Biked 10 miles the first day on both the paved trail and the beach. When I got too warm, I played in the water, but the high waves caused me to bounce on the hard sand and caused a few black and blue marks. Each beach pavilion area had fresh water showers and restroom facilities. Many surfers were enjoying the waves.

miles of beach for biking and hiking

big waves to play in

These yellow flowering bushes were covering wide expanses of dunes.

Partridge Pea on the dunes

closeup of Partridge Pea (Cassia fasciculata)

There were many insects along the bike trail, road, and boardwalks.

female Gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

twostriped walking sticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)

This large antlion was almost indistinguishable on the blacktop road.

antlion (Myrmeleontidae) on blacktop

passion vine blossom

There were many indications of ghost crabs, but since they are more active at night, I was lucky to find one out on the open beach. The blue crab was found in a tidal pool.

ghost crab

blue crab

dead horseshoe crab

bagworm (Psychidae)

Dean and Ginny came from Jacksonville to the park to get a close-up view of my Westy. Their order is already in and their new Westy will be ready to be picked up in Canada this October.

Ginny and Dean

red flowers

The spiders are very plentiful here during the summer, but cannot be found during the winter.

Golden silk spider (Nephila clavipes)

Golden silk spider

Yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia)

Yellow garden spider

Orb weaver (Neoscona oaxacensis)

Spiny orb weaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis)

When I left Little Talbot on Friday, I continued north to Fort Clinch State Park. Planned to do a little biking, but the weather turned nasty and wet, so all I did was hike.

Fort Clinch State Park

the long fishing pier

There are always many birds at Fort Clinch. Even the shrimp boat had many birds flying over it. While I was preparing to leave, I heard a loud horn and hurried back to the beach to observe a submarine being taken into port past Cumberland Island.

birds on beach

shrimp boat

Left Fort Clinch at 1:30 pm and encountered a terrific thunderstorm. Had the wipers going at full speed for over an hour and couldn't pull off the road because of all the traffic following me -- nobody would pass me because of the flooded roads. One sign in a town said: "Road under water when raining." Luckily I got past that sign before the rain got too bad. The rain stopped just before I got home. No rain had fallen at home.

290.3 total miles on Westy; 8 miles on 3-speed on Wednesday; 8 miles on Thursday; 27.25 KM (16.9 miles) on E-bike on Wednesday and Thursday. Total bike miles was 42.9 miles. Gas mileage on Westy was 17.2 mpg.

Little Talbot Island / GoodeG Home Page / Trip Index