Day 5 Final Reconnaissance.
We made it back to my dad’s and Sara’s beach condo in time for the Super Bowl game yesterday.
But first the day started with rain and wind and fog and cold at camp. We lowered our pop top and got back at it: John behind the wheel of our truck/camper and me at command central in the passenger seat with three mini computers (aka 2 iphones and 1 ipad mini), a road atlas, guide book and maps.
Having a choice to make as to whether we paddle the outer coast or the intracoastal waterway in these final stretches, we’re now leaning towards the intracoastal route after we checked out a portage trail and mostly after seeing the unattractive seemingly endless miles of beachfront condos along the Pensacola, Panama City, Fort Walton, Destin strips. We checked out a private campground that’s on the trail and learned they charge $54 per night for a tent site. Ouch! At least they’ll have hot showers, a laundromat and can charge our devises with electricity at our site if we choose to camp there.
The rain cleared, we ate lunch at Lulu’s in Destin, which actually can be reached from the Trail, and then made our final stop at the official launch site for the start of the Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, at Big Lagoon State Park near the Alabama border, complete with an alligator caution sign.
There was also a sign-in trail log book which we looked at. There was an entry from a paddler who passed through in late August after starting in Ohio and paddling down to the coast via the Mississippi River. A family had signed in too, starting the trail here early last month. It was good to see that these others were out on the trail too. We weren’t the only crazy ones.