Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mexico Beach and Panama City

It turned out there wasn’t that much to see around Tallahassee. We toured around the rather anemic looking capitol buildings - I’ve seen nicer city halls than the Florida State Capitol Building. We also toured the campus of FSU but weren’t much impressed. Few Seminoles were sighted due to the deluge of rain that had developed. We were told that we never would have been able to procure our campsite, or any other one around Tallahassee, during football season, which ended with the Seminoles winning their bowl game.

In the morning we drove west, towards Mexico Beach. Stopping for an early lunch at Carrabelle Beach where we went for a long walk and discovered that this was where the US Armed Forces practiced for the storming of the beach at Normandy, which they did on D-Day in 1945, ending the second World War.

Pictured is Carrabelle Beach, where we walked out to the point.

We set up at Rustic Sands RV Park at Mexico Beach about noon. About noon, because we had just crossed the time line and half of Mexico Beach is in EST while the other half is in MST. We rode our bikes all around the town, learning that properties, many of which are for sale, can be purchased for as little as $25,000.00. A three bedroom, two bath house on The Gulf is offered at $100,000.00.

Now called The Forgotten Coast, this is as beautiful as any place in Florida but not as warm as the more southerly destinations. It’s been developed for a long time but seems to be more of a spring through fall destination because it’s not as hot and humid as the tropics in the summer months.

In the evening we did some laundry while visiting with some of the locals at the communal campfire, many of whom are workers stationed here while constructing a new power line. Walt, one f the workers, told us about a place back towards where we had come from, where the trees’ roots are exposed to an extreme degree at low tide. Of course we couldn’t find the spot in the morning, but we did get to see some of Cape San Blas, which runs perpendicular to the coast for twenty miles, from Port St. Joe to Mexico City.

We returned to camp for lunch before driving west to Panama City and Panama City Beach, which is a mega tourist area. Part of the draw to this area is the thirty miles of white sand beach, called Sugar Sand because it is so fine and compact along the shoreline. We also discovered that the twenty miles that separates Mexico Beach from Panama City is occupied by Tyndall Air Force Base - it’s enormous. That would explain the sighting of an F-18 fighter jet overhead yesterday.

Pictured: We were told we’d see some of the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Katrina, but this? Actually it’s part of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum at Panama City.

In our travels of the last few days we’ve passed by Ochlocknee, Apalachicola, Wewahitchka and Sopchoppy. Repeat those words ten times, fast, please.

At sunset we went to Toucan’s Bar & Grill for a cocktail, about a ten minute walk from our park.

The pictures below are at Toucan’s on Mexico Beach.

In the evening we were invited to play a card game called Screw Your Neighbour with about fifteen other people, at the park’s community hall. Each person puts in three quarters and the last one in takes all the money. The game took almost an hour-and-a-half but the last one in was Janice, so she walked away with $11.25, the next couple of weeks’ laundry money.

After the game we sat around the community campfire until about 1:00am. Most of the people here are from Georgia and Missouri as well as one interesting and funny guy, Bernie, from Virginia, who just sold his business and is motorcycling around the country.

We revisited Cape San Blas and Indian Point today. After quite a bit of exploring we failed to find the elusive tide stranded trees.

Pictured is the beach at Cape San Blas.

We did find the one-hundred-and-seven-year-old Indian Point Café though, which had come recommended for their gumbo. The gumbo was excellent as were the steamed shrimp.

Pictured is the Indian Point Café; the serve yourself draft beer, (they don’t even serve coffee, patrons help themselves to beer, soda or bottled water from the glass fronted refrigerators or the self serve draft beer.) The waitress is the cook as well. One other guy stands shucking oysters and chatting to customers at the bar.

We decided to stay an extra day here and had planned to head for Alabama tomorrow, but the weather report is now calling for freezing rain there. So, we’ll let you know…


  1. This one may be easier. Say "eleven benevolent elephants", three times. What do you hear? Evidently no one can say it perfectly. Did you hear "benelephants?
    Great blog again. Photography so fantastic.
    Bright sun and 48 hour snow in the loops.

  2. Didn't even try and read those towns, lonely looking beaches and excellent picture of a happy couple.

    Are you still on budget?