We had thought of visiting the RV park at Tyndall Air Force Base a few years back, but in 2018 Hurricane Michael changed that. When Michael came ashore with 155 mph winds and a 9 foot storm surge, it leveled almost every building on the base. The whole region was brutalized by the storm. Over two years later, the signs of the storm are still visible; there are still blue tarps on many roofs.
We took a drive down to Mexico Beach, one of the hardest hit communities, for some beach time and lunch. Rebuilding was going strong with a lot of repairs and new construction. The boardwalk on the beach had been repaired/replaced and we enjoyed walking along the beach. We stopped for calzones at the quaint, roadside restaurant called Crazy Beach Pizza.
Most mornings we would walk or ride our bikes around the base. The damage from Hurricane Michael was very evident; there were many temporary structures and new construction. Some of the people stationed on base are living in the RV park, as the housing areas are still largely uninhabitable. One day we paddled our kayaks across to Shell Island. The waves were rolling in and I had a great time body surfing. After a light lunch as we relaxed in the sun, we paddled back.
Two of our friends who are also full-time RVers, Steve and Linda Destasio, had recently closed on a condominium in Panama City. They helped us celebrate my birthday by going out for breakfast and joining us for a birthday dinner at our rig.
Steve and Linda had painters at work getting their new place ready to move in. After the painters were done we helped them unpack and put some of their furniture together. We’re looking forward to seeing them again when we pass through.
March 30th saw us driving to Meaher State Park in Mobile Bay, AL.