Saturday, July 20, 2013

Grayton Beach State Park

 We left Huntsville, Alabama at around 6:30 pm with a 6 hour drive ahead. We had picked out one final destination before the Warrior took us home. Grayton Beach State Park was the first Florida beach side park on our route and sounded both unique and pristine. We booked the site via iPhone, got the after hours gate code, and were off. Snaking southward through Alabama, we stopped for gas in my hometown of Montgomery at around 11pm. It was too late to contact family or drive by my old house, plus the kids were sleeping. As we stretched our legs at the gas station, a young guy (like many others around the country) asked where we were from and where we were headed. We told him about our journey and then I threw in "But this is my hometown!"
  We pulled into Grayton Beach State Park at 2:30 am. Our campsite was sweet, right on a dune lake with a kayak launch directly at the back of our site.We went to bed listening to the hum of the cicadas, happy to be back in Florida.
  The next morning we surveyed our surroundings.

Lotus, up early and exploring, ran down to the dune lake. There, right at the back of our campsite, was an eleven year old boy throwing a castnet! Lotus immediately grabbed his net and joined in the fun. For the next hour Lotus and Josh from Louisiana compared notes on fishing, vacations, families and more. Priceless.


We decided to launch the kayaks and explore the dune lake.


There are only a few hundred dune lakes in the world. They are found exclusively in Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, Oregon, and the Florida gulf coast.They are mostly freshwater, with only a bit of salt entering through severe storms and seepage, and heavily colored by tannins from surrounding vegetation. 

We crossed the dune lake and were just a stones throw from the Gulf beach, so we parked the kayaks and went for a quick dip.

Coast to coast to coast!!

Having seen the ocean, we were ready to fully explore the dune lake.

After exploring for over an hour with no signs of gators, the kids decided it was time for a dune lake dip. They acted as our motors for a bit while Sky and I sat back and relaxed.

We arrived back at our campsite and had to prepare for checkout. This little guy reminded us we were getting close to home.

After leaving our campsite, we played in the ocean a bit more.

The kids could have stayed all day, but the tides of time were pulling Sky and I home. We somewhat reluctantly loaded up for the final drive to complete our journey of over 12,000 miles. As we drove home and the sights became more familiar, we reminisced about our amazing journey.
We pulled into our dirt road at 10pm. Lotus was literally jumping up and down as if it were Christmas morning! When we arrived at the dome, he ran out as fast as his legs would carry him and kissed the ground!! For a boy of 10, a month is  long time to be away from your home.
We're settling in now, and preparing for summer camp and glass orders. These things are fulfilling in and fun, but they also will provide resources for our next Summertime Adventures!

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