Saturday, December 19, 2020
Friday after saying goodbye to our team, we were on the road again for a short day’s drive. We opted to drive US 98 and stay off the interstate most of the way. We had an easy and relaxed drive on a road in much better condition than much of I-10. We stopped at Buc-ee’s for our first time – the world’s largest gas station convenience store chain recently opened in Robertsdale. It was pretty crowded and we really weren’t very comfortable with that, but we are happy to say all but two people that we saw had on masks. We were only inside a few minutes but it certainly looked like a fun place to look around on a non-COVID day. It’s definitely a huge convenience store and supposedly has the cleanest restrooms anywhere. We didn’t visit those so can’t comment. We really just stopped for a short break and a little walk and were then back on our way to Gulf Shores.
We arrived at the state park mid-afternoon, found our site and got set up. We didn’t realize how much we have missed this place and how happy it makes us until after we arrived. It’s been about five years since our last visit. We had hoped to spend Christmas here but when we made reservations there were no sites available after 12/23. So, we made plans to spend Christmas in the Everglades. However, Max just happened to look on-line last night and found our site was now available for four more days, meaning we could stay until 12/28. We hurried to the office to extend our stay. So excited!! We will celebrate Christmas here. We love all the hiking, biking and nature trails. Alabama has spent a lot of the BP oil spill money making improvements in the park and this is one thing they have gotten right. Today we decided to hike and ended up with over 9.5 miles. This park has 28 miles of trails through 9 different ecosystems. We are hoping to cover most of them while we are here. It was a great first day!
The wildlife we saw on our hike today: