My introduction to St. George Island came at the
end of a long day of driving from St. Petersburg. After checking
into my hotel in Apalachicola, I drove over the John Gorrie Memorial
Bridge to Eastport, then took the very long Bryant Grady Patton
bridge across Apalachicola Bay to St. George Island. After a quick
stop at the public beach access, I headed straight for the State
Park, about 4 miles to the east. On the way I passed hundreds of
beach houses and villas which abruptly ended at the State Park
entrance. Then next 4 or 5 miles of paved road led past numerous
beach access trails on the Gulf side, and the camping area on the
wooded bay side of the island. After the paved road ends, there is
another 4 or 5 miles of dirt road continuing to the east end of the
island. I didn't go down the dirt road.
The beach here is very
quiet and peaceful. The sand down by the water is a light brown
color, but the sand in the dunes is pure white quartz crystals.
There are no trees to be seen on the beach, just sea oats and dunes
as far as you can see. The trees are on the bay side of the island.
There are some tall pines, which the campers must be grateful for.
It can get really hot out here in midsummer.
The restroom facilities are very good, as are the covered picnic
pavilions. After a long walk on the beach, I sat in one of the empty
picnic pavilions and watched the sun go down behind the island, over
the bay. Because of the orientation of the island, the summer sun
does not go down over the Gulf.
When it was nearly dark, I reluctantly got back on the paved road
and headed home. As I was driving, I noticed in the dim light some
ghostly shapes scurrying across the road. There were lots of them. A
closer look revealed that they were very large ghost crabs crossing
the road toward the beach. I tried to get a picture, but the light
was too dim, and they were too fast.