Date: 12/4/14 – 12/7/14
Location: Fort De Soto, St. Petersburg, Fl
Back in August we were surfing around the campground reservation sites trying to find a location for a December camping trip. For some odd reason we were able to secure two adjoining sites at Fort Desoto Campground in St. Petersburg, Florida. Fort De Soto is a very popular park and difficult to get a spot during the busy season. So, we were surprised to find we could actually get a reservation here.
We’ve camped here once before several years ago and it was right after we bought our trailer. Julie also used to camp here when she was a kid. Her parents and 5 sisters would stay here for a week or so during the summer in the family's’ pop up trailer. I can’t imagine camping with six daughters, but I guess they all survived and actually had a fun time and now fond memories.
Julie and I were hoping we could entice some of our Florida family members to join us for the weekend. We put out the word to family and actually got a few takers. My brother and his wife (Jim and JoAnne) from south Florida along with our two daughters (Allison and Michelle) and a son-in-law (Dave) decided to join us. How lucky were we!! We love having company during our camping trips.
Our sites, # 207 & #208, were right on the water. They were good sized with adequate privacy between the sites, but we didn’t have a great view of the water as there were some mangroves preventing us from getting a good view. Luckily we were able to launch the kayaks from our site. On Saturday the site next to us was open and had a prime water view, so we kind of took it over for a time and hung out there and enjoyed the scenery.
This is site #207 with the matching tents. We really like the tent that Jim and JoAnne have, so when the kids decided to join us, we purchased similar tent from Amazon. When we set them up we realized that they were exactly the same.
This is our site, #208, right next door. Allison stayed in the tent right behind our trailer, but she felt a little cheated after she saw that her sisters tent had a screen porch. It’s always tough being the younger sibling!!
Our family enjoys playing corn hole (aka “bags” for those more refined southern family members). Sometimes these games get a little competitive and the trash talking flows freely. I brought our “corn hole” set up and found a somewhat level area in front of our sites. We got in a few good games over the weekend, but no champions were crowned. That will have to wait for the next ‘Curtis Cup Challenge” held every summer at Maine lake place.
This guy (or gal?) spent a lot of time in the trees near our site. A very good looking bird, but…
he would make periodic trips through our campsites looking for handouts. And he didn’t want to take “no” for an answer. The first day we were there, we ate lunch at the picnic table at our site. This bird walked up to us, stood about 2 feet away from our table and just stared at us. We didn’t give in and he finally walked away, but made many more appearances throughout the weekend.
One of the great things about Fort De Soto is the number of activities available. It’s really a well designed and run campground. There’s miles and miles of bike trails. One Friday Julie and I took a ride around the park. Here we came across a few white pelicans. It was entertaining watching them chase the fish around this small bay. It was almost too easy for them to catch their lunch.
The younger generation arrived on Friday night for the weekend camping trip. We were sure lucky with the weather this weekend and Saturday was actually a little warm with the temperatures reaching into the low 80’s. Here’s they are enjoying the water in front of our site. You know it had to be warm for our two daughters to actually be in the water. One (not saying who) is a cold water wimp and won’t go near the water unless it is VERY warm.
A nice little family pic at sunset of Jim, JoAnne, moi and daughter Allison.
One one of our bike rides I came across this “RV” as they were checking into the campground. I’m thinking this may be next our list of RV purchases. This thing was a beast and its’ tires came up to my chest. It really was way cool. It had a web site address on it, http://www.monster-worldtour.de/, which I tried to look up. But it was totally in German, so didn’t mean much to me.
Whenever Julie and I camp with Jim and Jo we split the cooking duties. Here they are preparing another fine breakfast for us. We always eat well when we camp!!
Jim and I did an early morning bike ride on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s ride took us by the fort and over to the west beach area. The picture below is of the lagoons just off the Gulf of Mexico. They have a large area roped off as a bird sanctuary and nesting area.
Here’s the GPS track of our Saturday ride.
Our Sunday bike ride took us to the east beach area:Fort Desoto Campground Bike Ride at EveryTrail
The water was calm for most of our weekend trip. Julie spent some time paddling around the bay and enjoying some time on the water.
Here’s Jim also taking a little paddle around the area. The last night we were there, the weather started to change, the wind picked up some and the fog rolled in. So glad we had good weather earlier so we could enjoy our outdoor activities.
On Saturday we had some visitors join us. Joanne’s sister Janice and her husband Bill came over from Dunedin and hung out for awhile out by the water. We tried to talk them into staying for dinner, but unfortunately they had to leave. Later that same afternoon a long lost friend of Julie and I stopped by. Garrett was a co-worker of ours when we worked at Chief Charlies way back in the late 1970’s (wow, that’s a long time ago!!). He’s lived in the area since that time and we re-united with him just recently when we spent a weekend in Dunedin. He now has a beautiful family, his wife Terry and two sons. We hope to see them again sometime soon.
And one final picture of a sunset from Fort De Soto and the now famous tree. Looking back at the pictures that I’ve included, I think this tree is in about half of them. Guess I really thought it was interesting enough to photograph..over…and…over!!