Heading Home Soon

View of the beach at Gulf State Park
Gulf State Park

After our stay in Paul B. Johnson, we headed to Gulf State Park. We stayed in Gulf State Park for two weeks. Now we are ready to head home.

What? You haven’t read any posts about Gulf State Park? Well, that’s because I didn’t write any! During the first part of our stay here, I wrote the posts to catch up on what happened on our way here.

After that, well, there wasn’t a whole lot different than our visit last year. We spent two weeks here a year ago, and we pretty much did the same stuff. We even stayed in the same campsite. I wrote five posts about Gulf State Park last year.

Here’s what different:

E-Bikes

Betty and Dan wearing bike helmets with the ocean in the background
Sportin’ our Helmets

Like last year, we rode the wonderful trail system here at the park. Back then, we had regular bikes with 21 speeds. We rode about 50 miles. This year, with our e-bikes – remember both times we stayed 14 days – we rode about 165 miles. That’s more than three times the amount of riding. Since e-bike riding isn’t real tough, we did make a point of taking walks – usually in the evening.

Last year, I complained about Bear Creek Trail which had been really rough and bumpy. I said it needed to be rethunk. Well, it is now repaved, and it is smooth as can be. I did put a one line update in last year’s post, so readers will know it has been improved.

The Pool

The pool

Last year, the heated pool did not have its heater working. The water was colder than Lake Michigan in June. I think one toe made it in about one quarter of an inch. I did not take advantage of the pool at all. This year, the heater was working, and the pool’s temperature was about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I went several times and enjoyed my water exercises as well as relaxing and reading poolside.

Money

I thought I’d include this topic because of current challenges with our economy. Of course, gasoline and food costs have increased. We brought a whole lot of food from home which meant we didn’t have to purchase it while traveling. Food costs more in Gulf Shores than it does at home. In addition, food is taxed at about 10% at the grocery stores in Gulf Shores. That’s a lot higher than home.

I’d like to say we saved money by not eating out, but that’s simply not true. We ate out for my birthday, our anniversary, Mother’s Day, our last day here and one time to try the Woodside Restaurant here in the park. That’s five times, but it’s over the course of 24 days. Life should be celebrated.

Just as an fyi, our campsite cost $552.06 for two weeks – fourteen nights. However, there is a 15.25% resort fee and 13% other taxes which added another $155.94 to our total campsite cost. The base cost is about $39 a night but the additional fees and taxes add a bit more than $10 to the nightly cost – if you think of it that way, as I do.

The Gulf State Park Pier
Display at the pier showing "Recreational Size and Creel Limit for Alabama State Waters"
Only one shark per day per person

It’s worth it though; many of our activities here in the park do not cost us extra – like e-bike riding, walking, the pool, visiting the pier, and playing games at a picnic table with the ocean nearby. It does make us appreciate even more though the Army Corps of Engineers parks where us seniors can camp for $12 to $14 a night with full hook ups.

Summary

We very much enjoyed our stay here at Gulf State Park. However, Dan and I agreed that it’ll be awhile before we return. For us, two weeks at a place we’ve been to before is a little bit too long. But mostly, we want to see and explore new places. After all, we are Chambers on the Road!

Picture of our Ford Expedition and the Micro Lite travel trailer at our campsite
Gulf State Park
Site 192

20 comments

  1. It’s good to read that the park made necessary improvements. I enjoyed your photos and your recap of your stay. Prices everywhere are certainly on the rise. I wonder if it will impact folks’ decision to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Terry! My guess is that the rising prices won’t affect some at all but will very much affect others. There were 2 or 3 side trips we were on the fence about, and we decided to skip them. If we had really wanted to do them, we would have. While we were here, new metal roofs were going on several buildings, and the trail had numerous places where it was being patched. They are also doing something with the RV storage lot to create a more automatic check-in. It is a very large park (28 miles of trails!) and is much used. Fortunately, there are funds for continual improvements and maintenance. Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You will love it!!! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I do check my Jeffco email once in a while. But my guess is you have it all figured out.
      That would be great to get together soon. Maybe after you get back? We’ll need more than one lunch hour though. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful time at Gulf State Park. Safe travels!

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  2. So great to hear that you had a wonderful time and were able to do so much. About staying in the same place twice, I believe in the four years we’ve been traveling we’ve only stayed at two parks more than once. That was when we were visiting family in PA and Maryland. And we did that because they were the only game in town. One place we’ve never visited, however, is the shore. Maybe starting next year since we’ll only be taking short trips we’ll get there in due time. Safe travels and miles of smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, we liked it because it was close to the pool, the nature center, and the tram pick up. If those things aren’t important to you, site 277 – and those around it – are really nice. But you can’t walk to the pool. Also, the site next to us, 193 had a nice shaded area in the afternoons. It was really nice; we sat there and visited with the people staying in that site. We would likely pick 193 in the future.

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  3. I’ve never stayed away from home anywhere for 2 weeks but I can certainly appreciate your thought that it is hard to find new things to do at a place you have been to before and stayed two weeks. I know you will be heading off to some exciting new places in the future and I look forward to reading about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I started reading this and saw you were at Gulf State Park, I thought, “Has it been a year already?” Then I remembered you and Dan had an anniversary. Then I saw where you went out to eat for your anniversary. I hope you two had a lovely dinner. Looks like you are making good use of your e-bikes and putting on the miles. Sounds like you two had a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are getting great use out of our e-bikes. 15 miles yesterday at a nearby park. I just love ’em! I hope you and Grammi are getting good use out of your e-bikes, too. You know, sometimes I read a blog, and it says, “We’re here for two weeks.” Then it seems like in a day or two, the two weeks is up! That’s why we have to make the most of each day we have been blessed with!

      Like

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