We really have to thank our friends Sparky and Eldo for blogging last winter about Gulf State Park; it’s a really, really great place to stay. Gate is open and registration is manned 24 hours a day as is the laundry so you can get everything done on your schedule instead of somebody else’s.
Today we got up and lazed around in the morning then after lunch decided to go on a hike in the park. We found a couple of nice trails that totaled about 3 miles and although we never were more than about 150 yards from parked RVs amazingly enough most of the time we could not see any of them.
Our first find was Red Winged Blackbirds…as at our last stop in Low Key Hideaway we could hear a lot of their calls but were unable to actually get a picture of one. We saw a few briefly as they flew but they have been amazingly elusive…typically they are as common to see as sparrows in our experience so we have no idea what the deal is.
We heard and spotted what really sounded like Mockingbirds…except they were brownish instead of gray…a quick check of Peterson’s when we got home revealed that they are Bahama Mockingbirds.
Neil got the obligatory shot of Connie hiking down the trail
and then we arrived about at the halfway point at the Middle Lake overlook where we got this nice shot of the water and reeds looking southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico.
Out last find was a Red Bellied Woodpecker; there are dozens of these in the park but this is the first one we saw that we could get a decent photo of.
Shortly after this we got to the end of the trail which is at the far end of the RV site section of the park where we turned around yesterday before we parked and we walked back up the road to the rig. Neil stopped by our next door neighbor and thanked her for rescuing us last night…she was out walking her dog about 2200 and knocked on our door to ket us know that the dome light in the car was on. Neil went out and didn’t find anything wrong but was able to get it to go off…he decided the switch was stuck. Thankfully our neighbor was helpful enough to alert us so we didn’t end up with a dead battery this morning.
After the hike we had a shower…and Neil decided he was too lazy to cook the pork and chicken he had taken out earlier tonight…so we tossed them into the fridge for tomorrow’s grilling. After a delicious wine cooler sitting out under the awning we headed off to find beer and dinner. We passed a place called The Hangout…back in the day this was the only place to go in Gulf Shores…but today it’s a 2 story 25,000 square foot monstrosity. Neil was amazed as we drove around the beach road at how much development has happened here since he last visited (but then it was 1974 or so the last time he was here).
Lo’ and behold; as we drove down the beach road Connie noticed a Wentzel’s on the side of the road. For those in the know about Mobile…Wentzel’s is an old local seafood joint specializing in oysters…their sign way back then said “Fried, stewed, or nude.” for the ways you could get them. In about 3 seconds we made the decision to eat there, made a quick u-ey (U Turn) and pulled in.
DInner was a pitcher of Yuengling beer, a 16 oyster sampler platter (which contained Oysters Rockerfeller with spinach, Grilled Oysters with Parmesan, Bienville Oysters with shrimp, crab, and Parmesan sauce and Oysters Monterey with Jalapeños and Cheddar cheese. They were really good but we were still hungry so we had a Crab Cake appetizer and a Smoked Tuna Dip appetizer as well. Yummy. After that we came home for another wine cooler and Neil is going to make cake and ice cream for dessert. Neil found this really neat recipe for microwave cake awhile back called 3-2-1 cake…I’ll post the recipe if you want. Anyway…it’s super easy to make and is designed to bake in a coffee mug in the microwave. Push a caramel into the middle before baking, put some ice cream on top and you have hot, fresh dessert. The nice thing about it is you can make 2 servings at a time and it’s always fresh made.
Don’t know what tomorrow will bring yet…Mass and breakfast out in the morning and then who knows what for the afternoon followed by grilled pork/chicken for dinner. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow night and Monday so we’ll stay home and work on stuff then have more fun on Tuesday.