We woke to rain and squalls. A friend called and warned us about winds. But after orienting our sticks and bricks renters to our home, we hit the road at 11am just as the rain was beginning to subside. Frankly, I was a bit anxious. I’ve been looking at the weather on line for over a month now, worried that things may not go as planned.
We left the rain within 30 minutes of leaving home. Using secondary highways (27 & 98) we drove just three and a half hours to our first night destination Newport Park and Campground, a tiny county campground with only 6 electric (30 & 50 amp)/ water sites ($22/night) and 11 primitive sites ($11/night). Bill, the camp host, is welcoming and helpful. The restrooms and showers are clean. The campground is on the St Mark’s River and directly across the street from the St Mark’s Wildlife Refuge, considered by many one of the best birding sites in the US. In fact a group of audubon women are staying in the park for the weekend.
Just across the river, a 5 minute walk from the campground is Ouzts Too Oyster Bar. As raw oyster lovers, we were pleased to read the reviews online and ecstatic to see we could walk to it. Since we didn’t have lunch, we set off for a very late lunch or very early dinner. Three Blue Moons, 13 freshly shucked Apalachicola oysters, and an order of crispy fries set us back $30 (with tip). Captain Outzs was the original owner, and though the new owners are no relation they continue his fine tradition. Everyone was so friendly, we are likely to plan our trip home to include a stop at this hidden gem.
When we returned to our campsite we were pleased to find that the camper next to us was in a vintage 1960 Yellowstone trailer. Denise, the owner, has restored the trailer herself and it is cute as can be. All and all, a great first day on the road.