Justin had a conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. He could have flown me out to join him, but I decided a camping road trip with the pups would be much more fun. However, we had a few chores to do on the Airstream before our departure.
Things don’t always go as planned, especially when restoring a vintage Airstream. We expected to have our black tank and toilet installed before we embarked on our trip to New Orleans. It’s February, and it’s cold (yes, even here in the South – we’re wimps). Trudging to the camp restroom in the middle of the night is less than desirable. But due to a winter storm in the northeast, our tank shipment was delayed. It arrived at 11 a.m. the day we were supposed to leave. So much for an early start!
It was all good until we got to St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge in the panhandle, where the National Deer Convention was apparently taking place. I’ve never had such a white-knuckle driving experience in my life. Deer everywhere! Herd upon herd, upon herd, grazing on both sides of the road. I thought for sure one of those dumb does would dart in front of the truck. So, I drove below the speed limit with my high beam lights on, eyes darting back and forth, willing the deer to stay put. We made it through “Deer Alley” without injury or casualty to our rig, or the deer, an absolute miracle in my opinion!
St. George Island
We arrived at our campsite (Loop A, site #45) at St. George Island State Park in Eastpoint, Fla. in 8.5 hours (approx. 431 miles from Stuart, Fla.). It was about 5 a.m. and pretty darn cold (30s) when we arrived. Finding our site and parking the Airstream in the dark after a long night of driving was a delight. Ha. Try not to yell at each other and wake the neighbors as you’re backing in! We’ve finally begun to use our cell phones when parking – it helps, especially during “quiet time” hours. We walked the dogs and did a minimal set up, wanting desperately to just go to sleep. When we finally settled into bed, we noticed we could hear the sound of the Gulf waves coming to shore. Aaaahhhhh.
Later that afternoon, we set out to find a dog-friendly restaurant with oysters. Because when in Apalachicola, you must eat their world-famous oysters. It’s a rule. Look it up. We ended up at Eddy Teach’s Raw Bar, just the kind of divey joint we like, with live music, picnic tables, and pitchers of beer. It was on the island, bayside, close to the park. Rumor is it has since closed, but there are plenty of oyster joints on the island, including the Blue Parrot Café, also pet-friendly, and right on the beach.
It also happened to be Super Bowl Sunday (Patriots vs. Seahawks). It was our first time spending the Super Bowl in the Airstream and since we didn’t have a TV or a satellite, we decided to watch it on our iPad. Well, that was a terrible idea. It ate up our entire data plan and the NFL broadcast didn’t even show the commercials! To top it off, the Patriots won. We HATE the Pats! What a waste. We ended up paying several increments of $15 throughout the course of our trip to boost our data plan. We’re so used to having a decent WIFI connection. Lesson learned!
If you go:
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island, FL 32328
$24/night, plus $6.70 reservation fee
Water/Electric hookups (60 sites), dump station
Max length: 43 feet
Restrooms with hot showers
Playground, beach, nature trails, boat ramp, canoe rentals, fishing