It was a great day for everyone who loves Pensacola Beach! After more than four years, we can finally make the drive to the western tip of the island! Just look how beautiful it is.
You may find it a bit unnerving, especially if you're making the drive during high tide, to see how flat the island is in places.
From the road it almost appears that you are slightly below sea level and if you make the drive around high tide and during times of high surf such as this weekend you will notice how close the water runs up to the road in places.
Dunes still stand fairly tall in some areas, cut like old canyon walls by high winds.
So good to see the old fort again - one hundred and seventy-five years old. Unbelievable. The Visitor's Center is open and they have a great selection of books. They also have working restrooms at the center.
When you visit and drive around the loop inside Ft. Pickens, notice how much the island has shifted west past the old sea wall since 1834. If you click HERE you can see a sketch of the fort published in Harper's Weekly in 1861 which shows the water hitting against the seawall.
Damage from the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 is still very evident by the remains of trees killed by salt water and storm surge. Slowly they are decaying and being reclaimed by the land. Ospreys are still able to use some of them for nesting.
There must have been quite a line of campers waiting to get in the park this morning. I got there around 9:30 a.m. and there were already people staking their spots.