Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today we departed St. Andrews State park in Panama City Florida almost on schedule, around 9:15AM...only fifteen minutes later than expected. We're getting better :-). It was another sunny warm day as we continued west on 98 through the lovely beach towns of Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar, Destin and Fort Walton Beach. That's the point where we jumped on I-10 for the rest of the day.

Our destination for the night was Fountainebleau State Park in Mandeville Louisiana. It isn't far off of the highway, and looked like a nice place to spend the night. I had checked online and saw that there were plenty of sites available, so I did not make an advance reservation. I figured why pay the reservation fee to ReserveAmerica if I could just walk in? Imagine my surprise when I had no trouble getting a site for the night, but the ranger informed me that I still had to pay the fee for ReserveAmerica. Is this something particular to Louisiana State Parks, or is it normal now for any park that uses the ReserveAmerica system? Its my first time NOT having a reservation, and I was getting brave about not having one :-).

Anyway, we arrived by 3:30 in the afternoon, and decided we would take site 8, a long pull-through that enabled us to not have to un-hitch for the night...quicker getaway in the morning :-).

After getting set up, we set out with the dogs to explore the park on foot. Its a fairly large park, 2800 acres that used to be a sugar plantation on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, which is not a true lake, but a brackish estuary which is the second largest body of inland salt water in the United States ( Utah's Great Salt Lake is number one).

Part of the beach area for the enjoyment of park guests. From the size of the picnic areas this park is very popular with the local population. The dogs were not happy that they are not allowed on the beach here, as it was pretty warm and they really wanted to go swimming.

A long pier extends out into the lake from the beach

More of that drippy Spanish moss giving off a deep south atmosphere

We then took a walk down the boardwalk trail to Alligator Marsh. It was very pretty, and waiting for us down at the end....

the gator! Just hanging out.

We continued walking along the nature trail, but as the sun was getting lower in the sky, the mosquitoes were making their presence known. It was also quite warm, so we started to head back to the campground area. It was a fair distance away, and Chelsea was making her displeasure at walking so far be known. When we finally reached the picnic area, she decided it was enough, and just stopped and laid down. Time to rest! She even had some picnic'ers feeling sorry for her, and brought us over some water for the dogs. Too funny. It was really nice to see their concern for her, and we thanked them very much. She then rallied and we made it back to the trailer and she relaxed in the air conditioning...that's her favorite thing after food!

So tomorrow we plan on driving as far as Shreveport, Louisiana. There is the possibility of thunderstorms tomorrow, so we will be keeping an eye on the weather. 

Here's looking at you!!


  1. A few years ago, I went round and round with a lady at the gate at a state park. She told me I had to pay a reservation fee even though I didn't make a reservation and was not wanting to make one.

    I told her that I didn't want to make a reservation and that i just wanted a site. She finally admited that the fee was to pay for the reservation service that they were using and not actually for making a reservation.

    I told her that if that was the case, they should just raise the rates and quit trying to imply that it was for making a reservation.

    Of course I got nowhere with that arguement. : )


    1. Hi Jim! No, I didn't think I would get anywhere by arguing either. It just seems silly to me, but people are trying to get a buck wherever they can now.

  2. Reservation fee for making no reservation? That is absurd! However, most of what goes on nowadays I think is absurd. :)

  3. Too funny about the concern for Chelsea. I personally think it was a protest against no swimming for dogs. Are people allowed to swim?

    Great header and closing pictures!!

    1. Yes, people are allowed to swim, and plenty were! But I find dogs are terribly discriminated against in a lot of places :-(.