One of 3 original forts guarding the entrance to the coveted deep-water Pensacola Bay, Fort Pickens sits on the western end of Santa Rosa Island. What is now a popular tourist site within the Gulf Islands National Seashore -- with miles of beaches, campgrounds, biking trails, picnic shelters, and, of course, the fort itself -- was considered something of a purgatory for those who were sent there when it was in operation. Its remoteness and exposure to the elements could be brutal.
By the middle of the 2nd week of March, we had to hitch up and head out, but with Spring Break coming into full swing, where we would head next was not quite clear.
“Sure. There’ll be plenty of sites available.” We had heard such a consistent refrain of “nothing available” that we had to ask a second time. Are you sure? We were talking to someone from the city of Chattahoochee about their city park near the river and just below the dam. It looked like a beautiful spot. Why was everyone staying away? Well, maybe it was the fact that the 2 major employers were the state prison and the mental hospital. Mmmm. . .
So, we headed back to Jacksonville and Faith UMC.
While we were staying at Fort Pickens, because the campground was so full, we had to do some maneuvering to find a site for all 10 nights, which had us moving twice during our stay -- 3 sites in all. That meant hitching and unhitching. Since our arrival had been something of a disaster, we weren’t sure how this was going to work.
We had 5 days at our first site, so we wasted no time in contacting Reese, the hitch manufacturer about our difficulties unhitching. In addition to some process changes in the unhitching process, we were encouraged to get the custom wedge for our particular hitch. The wedge is a guide the sits on the underside of the hitch pin that guides the hitch (in the bed of the truck) to capture the pin. If that would make it easier, we were sold. Dave ordered it the same day and we picked up on Tuesday.
But installing it could be problematic.
It wasn’t long after returning to Faith that Cathy had made a trip to the doctor and gotten some medicine for her sore back. And Pat and Fred quickly had the chair out to start their repairs. We connected with Barry and got a list of new projects to tackle for the next couple of weeks.