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Oct. 9, 2009, Friday, drove through town to the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and parked in a swampy area next to the old old shrimp boats. Then to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. The weather reports were coming in on the ETON portable radio very good, but still no TV stations on my new TV.

Oct. 10, 2009, Saturday, spent another day at St. Joe's and took pictures mostly of sand dunes, waves, birds, and beach.

St. Joe's beach (br>

Bird on the beach

Great Egret in flight

Oct. 11, 2009, Sunday, the road off the peninsula has had major repairs, but still a lot of building and rebuilding is going on. Stopped at Camp Helen State Park where a wedding was in progress. What a beautiful setting. Walked the plus mile trail to the beach and took pictures.

Camp Helen State Park

Beach with relic loading dock

Arrived at Henderson Beach State Park. Luckily I forgot to remove the carport tent from the van before I left home because it was perfect to shade the van - it was a very sunny and hot campground - low trees and right in Destin with the most beautiful beaches and atrocious big buildings along the beach in either direction. The flowers along the boardwalk were beautiful. All colors from yellows to oranges and white. The boardwalk to the beach had a placard stating that Highway 98 used to be directly under the boardwalk at that location before a hurricane changed the location of the road. The restrooms at this campground are equipped with air conditioning and heat.

Boardwalk to beach

Sign for old highway

Henderson Beach

Oct. 12, Monday, Columbus Day. Stopped at Gulf Islands National Seashore Headquarters for more information about the area. Arrived at Fort Pickens campsite, Site A-17, and then took the 2 pm free tour of fort. Went swimming at Langdon Beach and took cool shower at beach. This campground and the fort just opened recently because of a hurricane in 2005. There was no electricity, water, or rest rooms, only port-o-jons, and very little shade. S

Campsite on Santa Rosa Island

Fort Pickens

Oct. 13, Tuesday. Arrived at Ashbury Hotel in Mobile, Alabama, a few minutes before 4pm to register for the birding course by Elderhostel (Exploritas).

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