Saturday, March 28, 2020

Big Lagoon State Park - Pensacola, Florida (March 2020)

We knew what the Ranger was going to say before he reached Rosie, our Airstream trailer. The concerned look on his face gave it away. 

We were right. He told us the State of Florida was closing all state parks at noon on Friday and we needed make plans about where we would head next. 

Why was Florida closing all state park campgrounds? The simple answer is the Coronavirus, which is also the complex answer to any question during that time that dealt with human interactions. 

We were amazed and shocked at how fast the Coronavirus entered our conversations, sent everyone running to empty store shelves in a panic and left us afraid to be closer than a ten-foot pole to each other. (I think I finally understand that saying from my elementary school days.)

We were at Big Lagoon for our family version of Spring Break. 

Sign at the entrance to the park

Spring Break traditionally meant our family would be found camping in T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. For the second year in a row, that park remained closed to camping due to the damage suffered in 2018 from Hurricane Michael. In addition, the access road to the campground was breached leaving it an island. 

So, this was our second year of spending Spring Break at Big Lagoon State Park. That wasn’t to imply that Big Lagoon was a second tier park. It simply wasn’t the park our family historically went to for Spring Break. 

Big Lagoon is a park that we always want to bring our bicycles and kayak to. We brought both and used neither. Between my hurt ankle and the fear of the Coronavirus that gripped everyone, we mostly stayed inside Rosie and avoided other people when we took Suzy, our Yorkie, out for brief walks. We were thankful that there was a good distance and shrubbery between individual camp sites in this park.

Section of the boardwalk

Everyone else in the park was doing the same as we didn’t see children riding their bikes nor were people outside their trailers enjoying the park. It appeared to us that the campers on either side of Rosie were grandparents who were probably keeping their grandchildren while the public school systems were shutting down in most states. I guess the shutdown of Florida’s state parks instantly made things more difficult for those grandparents.

The swamp area where alligators are typically found

Suzy on the boardwalk

The alligator warning sign

Becky’s sister and her husband were camping in the Navy’s FamCamp while we were in Big Lagoon. We were able to visit them on Battleship Row and they visited us in Rosie. We would have seen them more but they had to head south to help with their grandchildren, who were suddenly in a homeschool situation.

Navy FamCamp area

Battleship Row in Pensacola Navy FamCamp

Becky and her sister in their RV

We hope our Spring Break trip next year will be completely uneventful and relaxing. 

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • There are three camping loops in this park. 
  • Our site had a concrete pad. 
  • Our site had 30 and 20 amp electrical service. 
  • Our site had a water connection. 
  • Our site did not have a sewer connection. 
  • There was one dump station located at the entrance to the campground. 
  • There were three restrooms/showers in the camping areas. We noticed that the volunteers were spending more than an hour scrubbing and cleaning the restrooms every day.  
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G signal over our campsite for voice and data. 
  • Similar to many state parks, Big Lagoon does not provide WiFi. 
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS TV stations using Rosie's antenna. We also received digital signals from GET, GRIT, ME-TV MY-TV, Stadium and Comet. The signal strength would fluctuate during the day. We were glad we brought our over-the-air DVR from home loaded with episodes of shows we wanted to watch. 
Evening photo of Rosie in Big Lagoon

Becky and Suzy in Big Lagoon

No comments:

Post a Comment