2012 Mar 15
|Our site at Big Lagoon|
Our next reservation, after St George Island State Park, was further west along 98, near Pensacola, at Big Lagoon State Park.
I have been very impressed with the state parks in Florida. Big Lagoon was very nice. My only complaint would be the noise from the nearby Naval Air Station, but there's not much you can do about the Blue Angels. :) There are ample trails for walking and plenty of places for solitude. Greyla and I went out each morning for our walks together.
Our only mishap occurred the morning that I decided to allow her off lead, as we were well down the trail, with no sign of anyone else around. For those who don't know Greyla, she is nearly 13, a black lab mix, who does not get on well with other dogs. You see where this is going, don't you?
As we trekked along, seeing not one other soul, and knowing we were getting near the Intracoastal Waterway Beach of Big Lagoon, I let Greyla off her lead. I know, I know! I broke the rules. She was walking along with me, sniffing and bouncing for about fifteen minutes or so, when she suddenly took off around a bend in the trail. I, of course, took off after her, calling her name. As I rounded the bend, I saw her challenging another dog. The other dog, a black Lab named Smokey, was also off lead. He, however, was more social than Greyla, as well as several years younger. As I got her back on lead, she continued to fuss at Smokey, who to his credit, mostly ignored her. Smokey's human, David, was a very nice guy from Panama City and was more concerned about Greyla injuring herself than about her bad manners toward his dog. Seems that when Greyla was challenging this large male, she managed to bite her own tongue! No serious damage, but David was very much the Southern gentleman, in his worry about her self inflicted injury. It was not the ideal way to meet another dog lover, but we shared some doggie stories before heading off in opposite directions. Greyla hasn't been off lead since that day.
While we were at Big Lagoon, we saw two converted school bus campers. One was at the site right next to us, but we never got the opportunity to introduce ourselves, which was disappointing. They were always either away from the site, or inside their bus, and the right moment for introduction never seemed to present itself. They had several children, one of which was just a baby, so I had hoped to get to at least hold the little one. I am sure their schedule was full, so I didn't want to intrude.
Meeting other campers seems to be one of the hardest things for me, so far. Because I am somewhat introverted to begin with, I find it difficult to know when or how to approach strangers.
The weather while we were at Big Lagoon was mostly sunny. And we enjoyed lots of bird song at our campsite. Along one of the trails, there was a large pond with a sign, "NO SWIMMING ALLIGATOR", but we never did see him. Just as well. Greyla may have wanted to challenge him, too, and I don't think alligators are known for their tolerance of pushy, barking dogs.
Both Big Lagoon and St George had fire rings and you could purchase firewood from the camp hosts, which was a really nice change from all the private campgrounds we had been in up till then. Perhaps the location came into play, as well. It was awfully nice to be able to have a campfire, though.
And, these state parks offered us our first opportunities to use a dump station. We did great at St George. However, when leaving Big Lagoon, I managed to squirt myself with the clean up hose. Oh well! It could've been soooo much worse! Sorry there's no picture of that!