Monday, April 11, 2016

Gulf Islands National Seashore: 10,000 Steps With Friends

I saw this plaque at the farmer's market ... and it has proven to be very true as we enjoyed our time this week at Fort Pickens with fellow travelers and new friends, Joanne and Gary.

We first met Joanne and Gary last November at Rocky Bayou State Park.  As we passed them during one of our hikes, I noticed Gary was wearing a "Many Point" jacket ... one of our favorite Boy Scout camps in northern Minnesota. We started talking and quickly realized that besides being native Minnesotans and the parents of all boys, we shared many other common interests. We are so happy that our paths crossed again here at Fort Pickens!

As you know, I like to be active ... and one of Doug's daily "jobs" includes taking me for a walk or two. 


We were both happy to meet up with our new friends, and I was ecstatic to learn that Joanne's daily goal of walking 10,000 steps could become mine also! We quickly realized that this goal was easily achievable and fun when walking and talking with friends on the beautiful beaches that surround Fort Pickens.
Short people ... UNITE!
 Discussing the latest RV fix-it project
A reward was needed for Doug and Gary for their valiant effort to accompany us on the 10,000 steps for the day. Doug's "Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake" was one yummy way to replenish calories and help Gary celebrate a birthday.

Happy Birthday, Gary ... camping at National Parks just got less expensive for you!

One Saturday, we took our "10,000 step quest" to Pensacola. Again, it was a win-win-win situation when we found a farmer's market for the ladies, a local brewery for the men, and a beautiful city to explore for all ... and got our 10,000 steps in for the day!

Highlights of Pensacola included: 

Admiring and becoming a part of the local art ...

Appreciating all the beautifully preserved historical buildings and homes ...

Appreciating warmth and sunshine during lunch at the outdoor "airstream" food court ...

Discovering the Blue Wahoo's baseball field and bay front amphitheaters and parks ...

Remembering the sacrifices of our military and their families at Pensacola Veteran's Memorial Park ...

Sampling a local brew at Pensacola Bay Brewery while enjoying the music from the Jazz Fest down the street. 

It was a great day for all!

Another fun "10,000 step" activity was a night beach walk. The park volunteer had told us about ghost crabs that come out at night, so we set out in search of them and other beach creatures. Equipped with flashlights, our scout leaders observed the tracks on the sand and found:

Lots of mice foot prints and a few beach mice too quick to photograph ...

Big spiders staring at us before they disappeared in their sand holes ...

And lots of ghost crabs just daring us to come closer ...

Joanne's hope to see and photograph an armadillo proved difficult, but we sure had lots of fun during the pursuit!

By the end of our stay, we think that our husbands realized that the concept of a "happy wife, happy life" 

...is achievable when the 10,000 steps include enjoying our beautiful surroundings with friends!

Soon we will be heading back north, so we tried to complete our 10,000 step days with a view of the sunset over the Gulf ... even more spectacular when shared with friends!

Until next time ... walk those 10,000 steps with a friend ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

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  1. Wonderful memories for life!! Thank you for sharing them with us!! And keep on walking!
    Joanne & Gary

    1. Ditto the fun times and wonderful memories! Safe travels! We look forward to when our paths cross again, and we can share more stores around one of Gary's awesome campfires!