2015 Trip 1, Feb. 12, Florida in Winter

Santa Rosa Beach, Thursday Feb. 12

Along the Deer Track Trail in Topsail

Along the Deer Track Trail in Topsail

Another beautiful hiking day. Four and a quarter hours but probably only 8-9 miles. The third straight day of extensive hiking left us a little tired plus walking on the softer sand of interior sand dunes made for slower going. The weather again was great for hiking; a light breeze, temperatures started in the 50s but ended in the mid-60s F.

Part of the Morris Lake Trail at Topsail

Part of the Morris Lake Trail at Topsail

Morris Lake Trail

Morris Lake Trail

Morris Lake Trail

Morris Lake Trail

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Today’s destination was the Morris Lake Trail, another of the freshwater dune lakes. To reach it, we had to once again hike parts of the Campbell Lake Path and the Deer Track Trail. The last two are primarily forest; Morris Lake Trail climbs up and down older sand dunes-along an approved trail. The area appears to have suffered from at least one of the hurricanes in the area as one observes downed old trees with new pine growth occurring also. Morris Lake appears slightly smaller than Campbell Lake; the trail goes past the lake to the end of the park. High rise development is just past the park boundary.

Along the Morris Lake Trail

Along the Morris Lake Trail

A little pool along the ocean

A little pool along the ocean

Our hike back ended with a mile or so hike along the ocean. Today was warm enough to walk barefoot in the sand. There were a few people out walking this stretch but I believe most people currently staying at Topsail either stay around their RV or maybe bike along the interior roads.

Spending time watching the birds along the ocean

Spending time watching the birds along the ocean

Birds were much more abundant today, both in sight and by sound. Nothing particularly picturesque; we did throw in one sandpiper photo for you. Their antics along the beach are fun to watch.

Walking along the shore

Walking along the shore

We treated ourselves to a late lunch at Goatfeathers. Their mahi-mahi daily special was excellent. They re-affirmed that we were in the South since I received a to-go cup of Coke without even asking me if I wanted it. Instead of a nap, Chris did laundry before we attended the evening entertainment.

“Lucky Mud” is a couple about our age singing honky-tonk, folk and R & B. They play around Florida with traveling stints around the U.S. and Ireland. The performance was held in the clubhouse instead of under the stars in the amphitheater since the temperature is currently 52 degrees F. I even got to use my headband flashlight for the first time since the park lighting is hit or miss.

Lucky Mud seems to play only songs they have written over the last decades. Two particularly striking ones to me were about female song writers and the power of water in life. The crowd was appreciative and we had a fun time. The cover charge seems to be split between the musicians and the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.

Ed and Chris Feb. 12 8:30 pm

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