Friday, March 7, 2014

Sanibel Island

We were one of four motorhomes at Cracker Barrel last night (one other Roadtrek). Being the casual, laid-back folks we are, we were the last to leave in the morning.

We headed straight out to Sanibel Island. For those who may not know it, Sanibel Is. is widely recognized as the best shelling beach in the country.

There are a few shells on the beach.

 The beach is hard white sand, complete with lots of people. It was probably the most crowded place we have been. We despaired of finding a parking place in the public lot when we spotted a sign that said "Parking for vehicles 20 feet in length and over only." How civilized. There were two such spaces and both were empty. We are 22 feet long, so we grabbed one.

 We started at the lighthouse beach. Besides the lighthouse, there were several dolphins cavorting just off the beach (along with a few pelicans). That kept our interest for a while.

After about an hour we decided to head to the other end of the island to another parking area that we understood also had long-vehicle parking. The ride was long and slow and our "parking meter" was running. (You buy a ticket for X number of hours of parking. The same ticket works in any parking area.) The other parking area was larger and not as crowded and we found a space in the shade rather than using the RV spaces.

After collecting a few small shells, we decided we had enough (and our ticket was running out) so we headed out. We took the main island road back to the causeway. It was bumper to bumper and moving slowly for several miles. The island does not have any traffic lights. Instead, the police direct traffic at the busier intersections. Even after we got off the island, the traffic was slow and crowded.

It was a windy day, and off the causeway parks, the wind surfers and kite boarders were tearing up the sound. It's amazing they don't run into each other.

Our destination was a state park campground listed in the directories that Gene had stayed in several years ago. Traffic was heavy in Naples, and it was well after dark when we arrived --- only to find a locked gate and no sign of any campground. Major disappointment. Perhaps we will be able to solve that mystery tomorrow. Meanwhile, all the commercial campgrounds in the area charge $50 and up, and there is no Walmart parking short of Ft. Meyers. So we ended up in the Naples Cracker Barrel, our favorite backup situation.

But tomorrow we need to be in a campground with hookups.

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