Friday, January 22, 2010

The Great Southeast American Indian Mound Tour of 2010. Part VIII. Henderson Beach State Park, FL

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The drive from Macon, Georgia to Destin, Florida was a delight. Fine weather all the way. The GPS, as usual, proved a big help. Losing its sense of direction for only a few miles through one section of new highway.

Visual cues on the GPS screen, including the direction of the next turn, and spoken directions make driving on unfamiliar roads much easier. And much safer! No need to look away from the road to consult written directions, or to try to make sense of hard-copy maps.

Much of today’s route was along high-speed interstate highways. But the GPS did route me through one section of two-lane rural roads in Southern Georgia and Northwestern Florida. That was the nicest part of the trip. Lots to see along the way. Both natural and social scenery. Quite a different style of agriculture. No opportunities for photos, though.

All of that ended when I reached I-10 in Florida, of course. I-10 is a beautifully maintained high-speed highway. It cuts travel time considerably. But, all told, I prefer to take the back roads when possible.

Front Gate I arrived at the gate of Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida, at 3:00 p.m. Which, of course, was 2:00 p.m., central time. Nice to gain an hour. At least for a few days.

Fee Sign Henderson Beach is one of Florida’s most popular state parks. And their fee schedule reflects that popularity. As you see on the sign above, it costs $2.00 just to walk through! And a campsite with 30-amp electricity and water is $35.00 per night.

Award Sign In compensation, this really is a beautiful Park. It’s certainly the cleanest and best maintained facility I’ve seen so far. More on how that’s accomplished in a moment.

Aliner on Site Site # 13 proved ideal for this five-day visit. The gravel surface had even been raked perfectly smooth. Reminded me of a Zen Temple garden!

Bushes 1 The surrounding plants and trees all had been pruned to their most attractive. Not a scrap of trash. Electrical fixtures and water connections all in perfect order. What more could one ask?

Well, I guess a view of the ocean would be nice. These sites do not have ocean views. However, the sun shining directly across the pure white sands of this section of Gulf coastline might be a little hard on the eyes after a day or so. And this site, like the other 59 in this campground, is well protected from the strong winds that blow through the area from time to time.

Site Tree You may have noticed an unusually shaped tree to the rear of the Aliner in the photo above. Well, here’s a closer look. An incredible sight. Notice how well it’s been pruned and maintained.

That doesn’t just happen. Especially in this climate. It’s the nicest tree in the Park, according to one of the Campground Hosts. So, site # 13 was a lucky choice when I made the reservation a few months ago.

Speaking of reservations, if you’d like to visit Henderson Beach State Park be sure to make the reservations well in advance. Months in advance, if possible. This isn’t one of those spur-of-the-moment pull-through overnight places, by any means.

Sinks After set-up, as usual, I ventured over to have a look at the bath house. It too was in perfect condition. How often do you find a nice floral arrangement like that in a state park? I mean!

Shower This is a relatively new Park. At least, compared to South Carolina’s state parks. Opened with much fanfare in 1991. So the facilities are relatively new. And they’ve all been well maintained. As you see above, the shower stalls are spacious. And the water is hot and plentiful. Couldn’t be better. They even have two relatively new coin-operated washers and two dryers.

More on this beautiful Park in the next post. So stay tuned.

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1 comment:

  1. Looks like a successful trip, very interesting information. Great Job!