Niceville, Florida

Monday, March 8, 2021

We did laundry then went to U-Haul to get propane. A gentleman said they were at lunch, so we sat on a wall and waited. About 15 minutes later, a wiry, weathered 60-ish man backed a rental trailer into a tight spot like he had done it thousands of times. He took care of the gentleman waiting and another regular customer. Then he came over, put the propane tank on the scale and said hello. He did his work while talking. “See you’ve got kayaks. Are you going to float Turkey Creek?” We told him we didn’t know. He proceeded to tell us all about it, referencing roads and put-ins we knew nothing about. He also had a full description of Rocky Creek, which comes into our campground. Both are on Eglin Air Force Base. There are just some people you just like right off the bat. He had given us more information in 10 minutes of filling a propane tank than I would have thought possible. 

Wanting to see this stream, we drove the wrong way a couple of times before stumbling across Turkey Creek Park in Niceville. It’s a beautiful park with a boardwalk one mile up Turkey Creek. A sign cautioned to be bear aware. Another cautioned about alligators, yet this is a popular tubing and kayaking stream. The water was perfectly clear and inviting. 

We went back for lunch and waited for Ruff and Sandra to arrive for our last night together in this trip. Sandra bought some fresh shrimp for shrimp and grits for dinner. Martha made the grits, while we heated the shrimp in some butter, garlic and wine over the fire. She had also bought a nice baguette that we dipped in this remaining butter and garlic. 

It was another nice evening by the fire. We will miss their company for the remainder of the trip. Evening campfires, a few morning campfires, dinners out, coming over for the morning news and coffee – all great memories with great, old friends.

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