February 15th, 2012
Elizabeth (our niece) and her family live in Jacksonville, Florida and we don’t get to visit as often as we would like to. She invited Logan to their home for a short stay until Conrad and I make it to our next stop. Elizabeth made the long 4 hour drive from Jacksonville to Carrabelle to pick her up. It was really great to see her and Logan was looking forward to spending some time with her cousin.
After a few more days of waiting in Carrabelle we had a small weather window open up for us to make a day trip over to St. Marks. The weather window was too small and not favorable for a crossing to Steinhatchee. We were eager for a change in scenery after being held up in Carrabelle for over 2 weeks.
We arrived in St. Marks just as the sun set. We endured dense fog for most of the trip making it extremely difficult to come into port. Thanks to a little luck and billions of dollars of government funded GPS satellites we found our way in between the markers all the way through the channel. The fog broke up more and more as we approached land allowing us to safety dock at Shields Marina and capture a picture of a bald eagle.
After a full day’s journey we always get a craving for a cold beer and a cheeseburger. Once we were secure in our slip we set off in search for just that. We decided on the first place we came to, St. Marks Riverside Cantina. It’s a quaint little place where the staff and locals make you feel right at home as soon as you walk through the door. It’s mostly a bar with a limited menu of burgers and sandwiches. They also happen to have the best Swiss cheese and mushroom burger on the planet.
You will notice that their logo is much better than the oyster bar down the street that went out of business.
St. Marks is located approximately 20 miles south of Tallahassee with a population of about 300. Nearby is the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The town itself is abundant with wildlife and history. We took the time to visit Fort San Marcos and walk part of the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail.
St. Marks River offers great fishing which we also took advantage of while we were there and did quite well. We caught lots of trout and redfish. The Pelicans are very aggressive at trying to take your fish off the hook as you reel in your catch. One of the best fishing tips I learned is that it takes two people working together to bring your catch to safety and out of the reach of the scavengers. The trick is to reel the fish in and keep it just below the surface of the water while the second person gets the net under the fish and scoops it in quickly, for this we use the best rod and reel combo for beginners to make the fishing easier.