Monday, February 16, 2009

Checking Out a Beach

WHEN? Monday · February 16

WHERE? Perdido Key, Florida · find us on the map

WHAT? Gulf State Park Florida Point

Neighbors have been telling us about this public beach they go to ever since last year, but we had not been there. We've passed the turnoff for it many a time and really wondered about it, but just did not check it out. Since the weather was good, though cool, we decided it was time for an outing in the sunshine.

As the map shows, Alabama Point is on the west side of the Perdido Pass bridge, and Florida Point is on the east side, which is the state line location between Alabama and Florida on Highway 182. As their sign indicates, it is part of Gulf State Park in cooperation with the city of Orange Beach, Alabama. Florida Point has lots of parking, a bathhouse, a covered picnic area, and the beach runs the length of the pass and around to the Gulf. It has four boardwalks over the dunes and sea oats if you want to go directly to the Gulf.

Until a person has been here awhile, it is hard to even know how many beach locations are part of Gulf State Park, which has over 5 miles of beaches available in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. All areas in Orange Beach are free of charge to everyone.

Hurricane Ivan struck this area in September 2004, causing extensive erosion damage to the this beach on the east side of the pass. When we arrived in this area in early 2008, it appeared that the environmental restoration was still underway, which included dredging approximately 560,000 cubic yards of sand from the shoaled navigation channel and placing it on Florida Point.

I am not knowledgeable of maritime terms and such, but I am learning some. The photos of piled up rocks that go out into the water are jetties. A jetty is a protective structure of stone or concrete which extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away.

Honorable Mention:
Although it's a slightly further drive from our home than other area beaches we've visited, this is the only free-of-charge public beach we've found so far that that has real restrooms.

To check out our photos on Flickr, click on Florida Point Beach Access Gulf State Park

While walking along the beach, we encountered a young couple from Bowling Green, Kentucky on the beach and asked them to take our photo together and we did the same for them. I hope we hear something from them because I have forgotten information that might allow me to find their Christian work on the web.

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