On Friday, December 14, 2018 we drove from Coe Landing County Park near Talahassee to Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola, where we stayed for two nights. The campsites had plenty of privacy and were level and spacious.
Big Lagoon refers to the lagoon behind the barrier islands offshore in the Gulf. There are several boardwalk trails across the marshes and observation stations to look our over the lagoon.
There are also some sandy trails to be explored as well, but NO DOGS allowed on the beach (which makes perfect sense to me).
In addition to staying in the State Park, we had the opportunity to explore Pensacola a little. Within the borders of the Pensacola Naval Air Station, one can explore the Pensacola Lighthouse and museum. We just stopped for the picture!
Just down the road from there was Fort Barrancas, one of the sites included in the larger Gulf Islands National Seashore area. Fort Barrancas is a Civil War-era fort built as one of four forts guarding Pensacola Bay. It had four walls, with a moat lying between the two inland walls and an outer defensive berm. The moat was spanned by a drawbridge which could be raised during an infantry attack while musket and cannon fire rained into the moat.
You can explore the entire circumference of the wall and peer through the gun sight holes.
On the seaward side is an even older fort, of Spanish origin, which was incorporated into the design of Fort Barrancas. Underground passages connect the main fort with the Spanish barricade and the defensive berms.
We drove across the bridge to Pensacola Beach, which is on one of the barrier islands offshore. We chose to eat lunch (seafood nachos and key lime pie) at Flounder’s Chowder House.
Tickfaw State Park
We drove from Big Lagoon State Park to Tickfaw State Park in Louisiana on December 16. Of course, we’re on our way to Colorado for Christmas, so most of these nights were just stopovers en route. Tickfaw was one of those. We prefer staying in State Parks (or similar) rather than private parks because of cost (they’re generally cheaper) and surroundings (more privacy and better scenery). Tickfaw has a beautiful campground with lots of space for each site.
The park is primarily in bayou country and is known for its boardwalk trails and canoe trails. Here’s the canoe trail access point.
One of the boardwalk trails extends through the forest to overlook the Tickfaw River.
This is not the Tickfaw River. Scooter and I didn’t go very far along the boardwalk because the sun was already setting!
Ajax Country Livin’ RV Park
We did stay in several privately owned RV parks on our way to Colorado. Ajax Country Livin’ RV Park was about forty miles south of Shreveport, LA and we stayed there on Monday, December 17. The owners were nice and the sites were scattered across an open sloping field area, but sites were still fairly level.
Lavon Lake is located northeast of Dallas. On Tuesday, December 18, we stayed in a campground operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Since its a federal site, the Senior National Park pass we have allowed us to camp for half price. The campground is built on a slope toward the lake, so the sites are difficult to get level in, but the campground representative gave us the most level site in the park since we were only going to be there one night. It would not have been available if we had stayed longer.
We spent Wednesday and Thursday nights just east of Oklahoma City at a KOA campground. On Thursday, Darlene and I celebrated our thirty-third anniversary by touring the Oklahoma City National Memorial and eating Mexican food at Abuelo’s. I didn’t take any pictures because we were fighting heavy winds and colds that we’ve both developed over the past week. Here’s a post I did about the memorial last year.
Scooter is doing fine with the traveling. He likes to ride in his bed perched up on the dashboard while we’re on the road.
However, his attention gets sidetracked my direction when I happen to be eating a snack!
I’ll also quickly mention the progress on Darlene’s leg healing. As you’ll recall (see this post from August), we’ve been nursing Darlene’s leg back to health from a bad bout with cellulitis. The resulting wound still has not completely healed and we continue to change the dressing every day. Here’s how it looked in July (left), and as of today (right). The area is on her right leg, outside, just above the ankle. Continue praying for us!