Beach Art

IMG_4890Bob is a guy who has to have a project. If he doesn’t have something to do, it is miserable for him and for me. So when the weather report showed a couple of cold and rainy weeks coming, I panicked. What is Bob going to do for two weeks? He is not an indoor-type of guy and he does not often sit down and read a book (where he and I differ, I devour books!)  The thought of two weeks holed up in the fifth wheel with Bob and his TV shows blaring was not making me happy. I worried about it as we went for our early morning walk. We were discussing ideas of things for him to do when we tripped over a piece of driftwood. Bob picked it up and looked at it. We both at the same time said: “Wow, that looks like a Dorado fish!” We laughed and he put it under his arm as we walked along, continuing to talk about what project Bob could do in cold weather. Bob looked at me and said that he thought one thing he could do is paint the driftwood. “Paint the driftwood?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said, “I think it would be neat.” So the next trip to Panama City we bought some acrylic paints and paint brushes. He came home and found some pictures of Dorado fish and went to work. It came out fabulous! So that’s how it started. Now whenever we walk we are looking for driftwood that looks like something other than a piece of wood. It has also led to “field trips” to search for wood. On cold and rainy days Bob gets out all his paints and he is happy for hours. And I’m happy! Here’s some of his driftwood art:

 “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster:

Dragon

Wiley Rabbit:

Rabbit

Dog (or something, we’re not exactly sure!):

Dog

EL EEL:

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Mr. Fish:

Fish

Mr. Frog on a log (this is really tiny and his first “commissioned piece. Our friend found it on the beach and asked him to paint it for her!):

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Silly Fish:

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And my favorite: Alligator With An Attitude. We found this piece of driftwood on St. Vincent’s Island:

Alligator driftwood

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Indian Pass, Florida

Indian Pass CampgroundIndian Pass Campground near Port St. Joe, Florida, is in an area also known as The Forgotten Coast. The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce registered the name as a trademark in the early 1990’s. The reason is because compared to the rest of Florida, the coastline that stretches from Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks on Aplachee Bay is relatively quiet and undeveloped. In between the boundaries lie Simmons Bayou, Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, and the quaint city of Apalachicola which lies on the banks of the Apalachicola River.  Continuing east is Eastpoint, St.George Island, Carrabelle, Lanark Village, St.James Island, St.Teresa Island and Alligator Point. St. Marks Lighthouse and nature preserve is the easternmost place on the Forgotten Coast. All these little towns and beaches are uncrowded and picturesque. The nearest major city is Tallahassee, about 90 miles northeast of Apalachicola, and Panama City (home of Tyndall Air Force Base) is about 60 miles to the northwest.

IMG_4119The first thing I was told when we found Indian Pass Campground five years ago was: “The only rules here are: there are NO rules!” That sounded pretty good to us so we stayed for a couple of months. And then we came back, year after year. And so have most of the others who are here. It is one of the few campgrounds where one can have a campfire on the beach, run their dogs without a leash (most Florida beaches don’t even allow dogs!), drive their golf cart or vehicle (with a permit) on the beach; or for that matter, camp right on the beach. I watch pelicans dive, dolphin play, egrets, herons, loons, ibis, while I sip my coffee in the morning or sip my wine in the evening. Every once in a while a Bald Eagle flies overhead. At night, the Night Heron leave their perches around the campground and head out for whatever they do in the dark. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Bob and BoatBob keeps busy fishing from the shore, checking his crab traps or heading out in his little “port-a-bote” to his favorite fishing hole. The Raw Bar is just up the road, so when we get a hankering for oysters, we head there. Or, we buy a bushel of oysters at 13-Mile directly from the oyster men and bring them back to the campsite and shuck them there. The “Shrimp Lady” comes through once a week with fresh shrimp that we buy from the back of her truck. Occasionally we head out to town (Port St. Joe or Apalachicola) for fresh veggies and to stock up on liquor; and every couple of weeks we head to Panama City to get our Walmart fix,  but other than that, we have no need to leave!

View from our campsite.

View from our campsite.