My camping equipment

My camping equipment
Campsite setup

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Florida State Parks, Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine, FL

Anastasia State Park

St. Augustine, FL

Anastasia State Park is just east of historic St. Augustine, FL The Park is a beautiful place with great campsites, pristine beaches, and amazing landscapes all nestled in old growth forests native to the area. 

Our campsite in the Coquina Loop near the beach
The campsites at Anastasia are nestled in the parks sand dune landscape populated by plants and old growth trees that are native to the area. There are paved roads with sites that have great spacing providing a bit of privacy that campers love. The restrooms are clean and the facilities are well maintained. The staff is very friendly and the wonderful volunteers here are  helpful attending to the park visitors needs. 

The Island Beach Camp Store and Cafe
The Island Beach Camp Store and Cafe is a great place to shop or enjoy lunch while visiting the beach. The staff is friendly and the food is good. There is an outside pavalon adjacent to the Cafe with tables and a soothing breeze from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. 

The walkway out to the Beach at Anastasia State Park

View of the beach from one of the two observation points in the park

So easy on the feet, like a highway to the beach

Sea Oats are some of the natural plants that create a landscape that is amazing

A little lagoon left over from the high tide

The waves break against the shore line at Anastasia beach
The beach at Anastasia State Park is a wonderful place to relax and spend some quality time enjoying the unspoiled landscapes of the park. The dune line stands out like a sentinel protecting the natural lands nearby. The facilities are well built and nicely designed to create an atmosphere that is perfect for beach goers. It is a great place to enjoy the sounds of the surf. 

The St. Augustine Lighthouse

The Ancient Dunes Trail at Anastasia State Park
The historic St. Augustine lighthouse can be seen from the observation boardwalks at the park. The history here is amazing with lots of places to visit that beckon back to a day long ago. The Ancient Dunes Trail is a nicely shaded trail  that meanders through the old dunes and old growth forests that are native to this area. 

Anastasia Watersports Rental Store

Canoe & Kayak launch at Anastasia State Park

Gopher Tortoise on the move near the kayak launch area
Anastasia State Park has a nice store near the bay where visitors can rent kayaks or canoes. The launch area is just behind the store with plenty of parking available for those who bring their own kayaks and canoes. There is a turtle crossing nearby where I was lucky enough to see a Gopher Tortoise out for a late afternoon stroll. 

St. Augustine Amphitheater

Spacious and comfortable seating
St. Augustine Amphitheater is adjacent to Anastasia State Park. The park has a walk through entrance from the park that campers can access with there gate code that they get when they check in at the ranger station. Many visitors to the park plan their trips according to the performance schedule available on the Amphitheater's website. 

The Old Spanish Coquina Quarries

The viewing area of the Quarries

The Quarries are barely visible due to the erosion over the years
The old Spanish Quarries are visible near the entrance to the park. Many years ago this area was used for extracting Coquina rocks for building in the area. The Chief Tomoka statue at Tomoka State Park was constructed partially out of coquina rock.

Chief Tomoka at Tomoka Sate Park, Ormond Beach, FL
I would highly recommend a visit to Anastasia State Park. It has beautiful beaches, lovely hammock forests and great facilities with historic St. Augustine nearby to explore. I would like to take you on a little walk out to the beach followed by the sunrise. Happy travels.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Summer Trip 2019, Tyler State Park, Tyler, Texas

The Spring feed lake at Tyler State Park

Our nicely shaded campsite at Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park is about a hundred miles east of Dallas, TX just off I-20. We stopped on our way back from out west and stayed a couple of days to rest from our trip across the Texas after leaving New Mexico. The park has lots of tall trees that provide shade to seek relief from the warm August sun. It also has a lovely spring feed lake, a nice camp store, kayaks & canoes for rent and a lovely swimming area.  We enjoyed our stay enjoying the grounds and cooling off in the lake.

The Boat house at Tyler State Park

Kayaks and Canoes can be rented at the Boat house 

The area behind the camp store for picnics or just gazing at the tree lined lake

The swimming area with a diving platform for extra fun

The CCC built Bath house with changing rooms 

Tyler's infrastructure and buildings were built by the CCC giving this park a special historic designation that is shared by some of our Florida State Parks

Much of the masonry and landscaping was done by the CCC

Barbara cooling off in the refreshing waters of the lake

Tyler State Park

Monday, August 12, 2019

Summer Trip 2019, Cimarron Canyon State Park, Cimarron, NM

Tolby campground 
Toby Creek, a trout fisherman's paradise

Cimarron Canyon State Park is located just east of Eagles Nest, CO. in the Sangre De Cristo mountain range, spanish for blood of Christ. Toby campground is the head quarters for the park located high up in the foot hills of the mountains at about 8,000 feet. The days in the summer here are pleasantly cool with highs near 80 and lows at night in the mid to upper 40's. The park is nestled in a river valley with abundant trout fishing opportunities for campers that love to fish.

Cinarron Canyon State Park visitors center at Tolby campground

Trout fishing is popular in the parks rivers and lakes

The Palisades Sill formation in Cimarron Canyon State Park

Sun flower enjoying the high mountain rays of the August sun
During our visit we took a drive through the park to the old western town of Cimarron, NM, located on the Santa Fe wagon trail. We enjoyed the many historic buildings and museums in town including the St. James Hotel. Many a gunslinger of the likes of Doc Holiday and Jesse James spent time at the hotels saloon drinking and playing poker. The St. James is haunted and is the subject of many a TV show featuring ghost hunters how explore many of the known haunted places around the country. For the brave visitor rooms are available for an over night stay. The food is excellent at the St. James as it was founded by the chief for President Lincoln back in the day. The tradition continues to this day of good food and drink. The rooms are themed and named after the hotels many famous visitors who passed through this area during the hay day of the old west back in the eighteen hundreds.

The haunted St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM

Lobby of the St. James Hotel

Bat Masterson lower left and Wyatt Earp upper right,
famous guests at the St. James

A ghostly image can be seen in the window to the far right.
We discovered this image after reviewing my photos on our way back home.

Jesse James another famous guest at the St. James

The original bar and saloon at the St. James.
Many a gunslinger meet their maker at the St. James

While in Cimarron we also stopped at the Aztec Grist Mill which is now home to a museum that chronicles the areas history. This building is also haunted according to the volunteer who was on watch the day of our visit. He mentioned that he heard plates and cups clanking in the chuck wagon at times along with other strange happenings at unexpected times. I guess many a story can be told regarding the lives and unfortunate deaths of the many hard scrabble folks who came through here on the old Santa Fe trail.

The Old Aztec Grist Mill which is home to the historical museum

Original Chuck wagon used on the Santa Fe trail

Two headed calf 
While walking around town observing some of the historic buildings in town I spotted a male deer with a good set of antlers near a apple tree that attracted him to the area. I love this picture as he is look right at me not far away.

The deer are at home in Cimarron
New Mexico has a lot of western appeal and is a great place to see a variety of landscapes from the deserts in the south to the mountains surrounding Taos and Santa Fe. It is truly the land of enchantment. 

Eagles Nest Lake

The town of Eagles Nest, New Mexico

Cimarron Canyon State Park