Mouse Sized Gulf State Park Dismeet 2020

bama_ed

It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
Joined
Sep 23, 2004
Did the chicken or the vegetables come from the Gulf?
Actually, Pluto, DD informs me that she upgraded the default meat option (chicken) to mahi mahi (which either came from the Gulf or Brazil - they "try" to locally source) as well as the avocado upgrade - I need to look at my receipt more closely, don't I? :magnify:

Picnic Beach Website "About Us"

It aims to have something for anybody - vegan/vegetarian, gluten free, seafood, bbq, salad, etc. I liked it but I would rate it 4th in my foodie rankings for this week (Original Oyster House, Sunliner Diner, and Desoto's in order and all excellent precede PB).

It didn't take long after lunch and a respite to finish up the puzzle. These little 750p puzzles are no match for my crowd (as I said I mostly supervise).

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(Having an issue with Photobucket tonight so doing the direct upload for these pix).

It was getting a little late in the afternoon so I headed over to Little Lagoon Pass. On the way out the check-in lanes were rocking on a Friday afternoon here at Gulf State Park.

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Sorta sad now that it's almost as hard to get a reservation at Gulf as it is to get one at the Fort (especially on a weekend). November-March are really limited as snowbirds book up nearly all but 50 sites with monthly reservations. I got a site for a November weekend about two months ago but it's way in the back which is fine for that time of year. But April-October just book as early as you can. However, I will say I have met three people this week who were all having to move off their current site and relocate to another site to keep their stay going (you reserve a specific site). It's back-to-back reservations at different sites. Folks do what they have/want to.

The Pass is a neat place from an environmental science point of view. It's located about 3 miles west of the Hwy 59/Beach Hwy intersection (the Tee). I've circled it on the map below in yellow on the left side.

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Ever wonder where all the water in the lakes at GSP goes? The lakes are spring fed . Besides evaporating, the water flows through the marsh from the east side of Hwy 59 to the west side just north of Waterville and into Little Lagoon. Little Lagoon has an interesting history (which I won't bore you with) but in the end the state is required to keep the pass between the Lagoon to the north and the Gulf to the south open and clear of sediment (to a minimum level). At high tide, Gulf seawater flows NORTH into the lagoon. At low tide, water from the lagoon (a brackish mix of fresh and salt water) flows SOUTH into the Gulf. It creates an interesting dynamic.

A city pay parking lot is on the northeast corner of the bridge over the Pass.

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It is a pay parking lot with a machine that take cards at the restroom building.

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Not too expensive to park.

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On the parking lot side (north) of the bridge and highway is the lagoon side. It's shallow close to shore (the whole lagoon is only 4-6 feet deep with some parts of the pass a little deeper). This place is popular for people who want to wade in shallow water (small kids) and look for sea life in the sand and current.

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Yes there is a lifeguard stand (and one also down on the southeast side of the pass on the Gulf beach side, #10).

Out in the distance you can see the dredge that is currently at work removing the sediment from the pass and keeping it clear to allow the flow of water in both directions. Here is a close up of the dredge.

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Gonna roll to the next post.

Bama Ed
 
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bama_ed

It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
Joined
Sep 23, 2004
I think the Pass is neat and I'll tell you why later.

But more pictures now. Lets walk along the seawall from the lagoon side down to the gulf side and back to see what we can see. Here is the view to the left of the lifeguard stand. The pass is widest at this point. Shallowest on the right side and deepest (over your head) on the left. These pix were at high tide (gulf water coming in) and folks were wading pretty far out.

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I turned around at the lifeguard stand and looked south at the Beach Hwy bridge towards the Gulf.

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Note the boys next to the sea wall on the left side in knee deep water. I walked down to them and they had some sieves to dig into the sand to see what they could get (or catch in the water).

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Under the bridge now, here is the view to the Gulf.

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I walked down the sea wall towards the Gulf.

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Note the sediment on the left inside part that will need to be removed since it restricts water flow.

Now I'm down at the gulf end of the sea wall.

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The sea walls, although necessary for the pass flow of water, causes problems with the sand deposited up on the beach building them up the way nature does. The gulf waters here flow in a CCW direction so the east side of the beach (before the sand gets to the sea wall) develops normally. The beach on the west side of the sea wall is "starved" of sand for a few hundred yards because of the outflow from the pass. You think the property owners on the west side were going to settle for that arrangement? Oh no. Besides removing the sediment from the pass, it (along with anything else needed) is deposited on the west beach side and filled out to generally match the east beach side. Now everyone is happy, right?

Okay, I'm at the end of the wall, let's look back the way we came and head in that direction.

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Up at the bridge you can see through to the lagoon side.

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It's pretty shallow up here as I said and the folks with the sieves were having some luck.

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One of the guys showed me a crab he caught.

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I'll tell you why I like this area in the next post.

Bama Ed
 
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bama_ed

It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
Joined
Sep 23, 2004
Little Lagoon Pass is a partially fresh water experience without the wind and surf of the Gulf side. The lagoon is know for its sea life.

What has been fascinating for me to see is when it is low tide in the afternoons (early AM during this week). When the water is flowing SOUTH out of the lagoon to the Gulf, it carries lots of little plankton and growing "thingies" (a technical term) out the pass and into the sea waters. (Remember at an average depth of 4-6 feet the sunlight can reach the bottom of the lagoon thus lots of things grow in the water). The fish gather in the shallow Gulf surf to eat this rich water full of food. The water literally churns with fish kicking around in a feeding frenzy.

And where there are fish :fish:, there are ....... fishermen 🎣.

They stand on the beach and in the surf casting into the broil of feeding fish (license required). They have an urgency on their end just like the fish do.

Me and my boys have also used the pass as a sort of one-way lazy river. Slip a pool noodle under your arms and let the flowing water carry you out the pass from the lagoon side. It's not very fast at all. Stand up when you reach the shallow gulf sand, walk back along the sea wall to the lagoon, and repeat. Some parts of the pass were over my head in places and that section is not life guarded so you need to be able to swim.

An interesting place indeed.

We had one heck of a sunset behind me as I typed these posts. Lucky thing is I managed to catch a few pix of it before it was gone.

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Loaded up all I could tonight in the Suburban. Hoping for an early getaway tomorrow (whenever we wake up) and heading for home. Arc and DW were great camping buddies. :thumbsup2

Next campout planned is the October DISMeet.

Thanks for reading about our little gathering and thanks to Arc for getting this trip report started.

Bama Ed
 
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  • tiggerdad

    I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2009
    Ed, have you noticed if Scoops has been open?

    DDs are inquiring
     
  • Bishoparc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2014
    My this trip went by far too quickly!

    As Ed mentioned, we joined them at Picnic Beach yesterday for lunch and my was it good! The pit master came out and spoke to us while we were looking over the menu. He said someone at the table had to get the BBQ melt so I volunteered to be that person. It didn’t disappoint. The french fries were actually really good too.
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    DW got a BBQ brisket sandwich which she also said was good.
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    The night before we went to Hopes Cheesecake. They had a large variety and you could buy per slice or an entire cheesecake. We got Red Velvet and Reese’s.
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    After Picnic Beach, a brief nap and then I decided to do some more ham radio play while DW helped Ed & family finish the puzzle.
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    Got back home around 10 this morning. I can’t thank @bama_ed enough for letting us tag along on this trip. Ed, DW, and his DD definitely made the trip for us. Wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without having such great neighbors!!!
     

    Attachments

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Thank y'all for the wonderful trip. Stay safe & God willing see everyone in October.
    We'll be looking for you and Arnold in October, Gloria.

    By then the Aggies should be, what, 5-0? 🏈

    See you then. :wave:

    ED
     
  • friendofeeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2014
    Ed, Arnold said miracles do happen sometimes? Oh! I saw where Disney cancelled all reservations? Do you know if they meant the Hotel Resorts & not the The Fort?
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Well they have cancelled all the Advanced Dining Reservations (or are planning to) through the end of the year. The last of my October DISMeet ADR's were cancelled today. I think they had to "wipe the slate clean" to clear out tables and they will soon allow people to "start over" with new ADR's. But it will be on a 60 day advance window now (no longer the 180 days which IMO was way too long).

    I'm sure due to social distancing, etc. that there will be fewer seats/tables available thus making them harder to get. Whatever.

    But the resort/Fort reservations are still out there. For now.

    Ed
     

    Bishoparc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2014
    Well they have cancelled all the Advanced Dining Reservations (or are planning to) through the end of the year. The last of my October DISMeet ADR's were cancelled today. I think they had to "wipe the slate clean" to clear out tables and they will soon allow people to "start over" with new ADR's. But it will be on a 60 day advance window now (no longer the 180 days which IMO was way too long).

    I'm sure due to social distancing, etc. that there will be fewer seats/tables available thus making them harder to get. Whatever.

    But the resort/Fort reservations are still out there. For now.

    Ed
    Yup, the last of mine came through today. It’s really the only fair way to do it with the limited seating capacity. As long as I get my Trails End reservation in again I’ll live.

    Sure did have a great time last week Ed. Thanks again for letting us be neighbors!
     





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