Funny Florida

Trip Start Sep 05, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, November 4, 2012

We set off the next morning, with only 2 days to get home. Just as we hit Mississippi, Catherine remembered that she was supposed to pick up a Saints t-shirt for Brad while she was on the trip. Well, we stopped at every reasonably convenient truck stop in Mississippi, but there were no New Orleans Saints shirts to be found. Oops.

The drive through Mississippi and Alabama brought the first powerful rain storm of the entire trip. Just as we hit the Florida state line, the rain cleared.

Due to the recent time change and our proximity to the time zone boundary, dusk came on much earlier than we expected. Like around 4:30pm. We hurried to find a campground, but the first few we stopped at were full. Finally, we found ourselves in the dark outside the locked gates of Grayton Beach State Park. Florida was the first place we had been on the entire trip (state #16!) where the state parks close at dark. Most other places would leave a gate open and had a drop box where you could pay for a night's stay. Not in Florida. Once that sun sets, no matter how ridiculously early that may be, the ranger locks up and heads home.

We were ready to get off the road, so we tested the entrance gate a few times but it turned out to be pretty solid. The exit gate, however, proved a bit easier to handle and we made our way into the park. 

One of the first sights we saw in the park was a rotund guy playing a guitar and singing loudly by himself under large Christmas lights strung up on his RV. He was sure having a great time. We kept driving.

We found the 'tent loop' pretty quiet, although the raccoons started descending from the trees within minutes of our arrival. We introduced Cat to our almost nightly routine of cracking a beer, setting up camp, pulling out all the cookware, and sorting out the evening's meal. We played some cards, caught up, and roasted s'mores, avoiding the topic that this would be our last night of the trip. 

Jonas and I got up in the morning and went for a walk on the soft white sand of the Gulf Coast while Cat enjoyed the rare treat of sleeping in. We both agreed we weren't ready for the trip to be over, but it was time to get back to reality. As we packed up the tent for the last time and climbed into the car, I think we both dawdled a little more than usual.
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