We decided we o try the new rig close to home at Fort De Soto park in St. Petersburg beach.
After all, some of our favorite beaches in the state are just due south of here in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Plus, we had never been to “the fort,” but have heard good things.
The good, the bad, the ugly
As luck would have it, we decided to pull the new rig through heavy rain the day we arrived.
One of the joys of living in a tropical climate is rain every summer day by 3 o’clock.
Call if Florida happy hour where the sky must drown out its sorrows. Let’s make it a double.
Our main route was closed to construction so we took US19 straight down.
Needless to say with a 17,000 rig I got to use my trailer break a bit in the stop and go traffic.
Then when we arrived, I had to dodge some low lying trees in this old Florida campground.
Hopefully the entire weekend is this fun.
Dog Doo Beach & Red Tide
Often when the weather starts to warm up there is a occurrence called Red Tide in Florida.
Basically a bacteria is introduced in the water and causes some fish to die and wash ashore.
It’s like coronavirus of the sea.
Unfortunately we arrived at the tail end of the season so there was some fishy smells washed ashore.
But that wasn’t the worst of it as most of the red tide was in the bay now, not in the gulf side.
The worst was the dog beach here.
The first day, we realized that we had forgotten Low Rider’s crate that he stays in when we leave the house.
So we decided to check out the dog beach and bring him with us.
After all, we had a really good experience at the last dog beach in South Carolina, and ever since our other dog passed away, Low Rider doesn’t like being alone.
In our 1.5 hours there, we saw over a dozen dogs relieve themselves in front of us, in the water or on the beach. Yet not a single dog owner cleaned up after their dog.
“Shame on you owner! Bad owner! Bad…”
I wanted to rub their nose in it but didn’t feel it was appropriate.
That in addition to the rotten fish smell definitely kept us out of the water.
No Full Hookups
We have become used to campgrounds with full hookups.
Ah, yes. We live the high life.
So with a price tag of $40 per night, Kristi and I didn’t even think to look up the hookup situation.
We assumed they did have full hookups.
Turns out that all sites are electric and water only.
It wouldn’t have been a problem but we didn’t plan for it.
After the first two days of mud, dog doo beach and red tide, we got a little too shower heavy and filled up one of our grey tanks.
The park doesn’t have sewer hookups at each site, but they have 2 dump stations.
So I had to hunt down a local place that had a large enough dump tank so that I didn’t have to do too many runs to the clean out.
Most places like Walmart only carry the smaller ones in stock.
Our tanks are quite large so that wouldn’t work for us.
Amazon has them but it wouldn’t get delivered until we were home.
I did track one down and Kristi’s grandfather picked it up for us in route.
Being that we moved to a 5th wheel, I also forgot my hitch. So he brought his. Thanks Pa!
The sun finally shines
The weekend finally turned for the better after Kristi’s mom and grandfather arrived.
We still saw some rain but we’re able to get a couple of days of fishing and beaching in.
This time on the gulf side where we didn’t have to dodge both red and black tide (if you know what I mean).
We also got to check out the fort, see some stingrays and dolphins (even though they scared our fish away), and a bonnet head shark which Brayden really wanted to catch.
Camping at Fort De Soto
If you camp at Fort De Soto, come prepared to dump at a central dump station, don’t come during summer, avoid red tide, and the dog beach if you have kids that want to play in the water and sand.
Instead, go to the regular beach, and come when the weather isn’t so rainy.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Happy Independence Day everyone.