Day 165: Out of the campground and on to the beach.
Our week at Fort De Soto is up today but we have no intentions of leaving just yet. The nice thing about staying at a state or county park is that your day entrance fee is usually included and you don’t have to leave until the day use area closes.
Just like we did in Anastasia State Park back on Day 123, we are headed to the beach parking lot to hangout for the day.
Just like Day 123, Kyle is staying here a few more days and he came out to hang with us.
The last time we were here we did the same thing after our check out. There is a historical fort, gift shops and snack shops and plenty of parking.
Armed with artillery and mortars, this place has a lot of history in its defense of Tampa Bay. Fort De Soto is located on Mullet Key which was originally an island accessible only by boat. Union troops were stationed here during the Civil War as the blockade of Tampa Bay was part of the strategy to suffocate the confederate forces. The Fort however was not built until 20 years after the Civil War ended as part of the fortification during the Spanish-American War.
The Fort operated until 1923 when it was abandoned by the army. Four of the fort’s mortars were disassembled and shipped to Fort Rosecrans in San Diego a few years before that. For the next 25 years, the property changed hands a few times between the army and the county until Pinellas county finally bought it in 1948 and has kept it ever since. In 1962, the toll road was built that connected the islands to the mainland and it has been a popular spot for locals and tourists ever since.
After our self-guided tour of the fort, the girls were rewarded with shaved ice for good behavior.
The weather today is awesome. Being this far up on the gulf coast, the water is not as warm as south Florida but the beaches are clean and beautiful.
Kyle is smiling because he thinks the beach is not the only thing beautiful around here.
I was worried that Kyle will be bored here after we leave but I think he will be just fine
After leaving Fort De Soto, we don’t have any specific plans of being anywhere for awhile.
We will start meandering our way up the coast and make our way to the panhandle in the coming week. We will try to stay at campgrounds that we have not been to but have heard good things about.
There will still be plenty of beachside shenanigans in the foreseeable future as we will be hugging the gulf coast until it is no longer practical.
This is the kind of shenanigans I am talking about.
Of course if big sister did it, little sister has to do it, too.
These kids had a great time hanging out with Kyle for the last week. We first met him finally in person almost 5 months ago in Denver during Alumafandango. We had a brief visit in Columbia, SC just before Thanksgiving. For more than a week, we caravanned through Georgia and into Florida. As we depart St. Petersburg, Kyle will be headed down towards the keys for a month. Even though we had just spent a month there ourselves, we are already envious of the adventure ahead of him.
We won’t be seeing him for awhile and hopefully will rendezvous up again as he makes his way west after summer. We have become great friends in these last few months after finally getting to know each other and know we will be friends for a long time to come.
As darkness descended, we packed up and left Fort De Soto. The road led us up the coast to Chiefland where we boondocked next to another Airstream for the first time ever at a Walmart.
over and out,
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