Saturday, March 25, 2023 - Today we drove from Eglin AFB a total of approximately 100 miles east to Tyndall AFB near Panama City, Florida. We did every thing we could to avoid having to take Highway 98 through the Destin area. One route did take us through Destin, but we avoided it "like the plague." The roads to Tyndall were actually very good with two lanes in our direction nearly all the way. Rarely were the speed limits above 55 mph. As we got closer to Panama City, we did get into town and have to ride on a fairly large, commercial building lined road. Luckily, it was two lanes and the traffic was low (Saturday morning).
The Camp Host at Tyndall called us to determine when we would arrive at the base Family Camp. He asked that we call him when were were ten minutes from the FamCamp, so that he could meet us and guide us to our parking spot. We were going to stay for three days in overflow and then move to a regular campsite for our remaining three days at Tyndall.
An interesting aside is that the cost of "overflow" at Tyndall AFB Family Camp is the same as a regular campsite. The only difference is that we don't have cable TV in overflow. Other than cable, it is a full hookup. The overflow site we are in was easy to access and in a very nice spot, Lisa and I decided that we will just stay there for our entire stay. We have not watched much cable TV since we got our new rig since the roof-top antenna that we had on the Jayco is not on the VanLeigh. We have kind of gotten used to not watching cable since most RV parks do not provide cable access.
After setting up the RV, we decided to take a drive to Tyndall AFB proper and look around. It turns out that Tyndall was really "leveled" by Hurricane Michael back in 2018. The military is now re-building the base in preparation for the arrival of an F-35 fighter group this fall. The new construction on the base is amazing. Highway 98 cuts right through the base with the flight operations to the left of the road (as you drive south) and the services (BX/Commissary, ETC.) to the right side of the road. If you stay on the road, you drive down to Mexico Beach that was hit hard by the hurricane too. We went to the Commissary and Base Exchange (BX) to get a couple things since were there and we had time on our hands.
After the commissary trip, we decided to drive down to Mexico Beach to check out the town and the beaches. There is very few commercial buildings in Mexico Beach. It is mostly homes built up on "stilts" along the beach. It was clear that there was a lot of damage during the hurricane. There are beaches that are easily accessible and we plan to go back to sit on the beach some time while at Tyndall. We also plan to travel about ten miles south of Mexico Beach to the San Blas Point where there is a bike path that travels for about ten miles out onto the breakwater peninsula.
At the end of our trip to the south, we came across a subdivision that had a model home. The builder is D. R. Horton. The homes were mid-level homes with plastic shower inserts and plastic tub inserts. One level homes with 1700 square feet for $435K. Vary narrow streets and no backyards. We were just curious, and determined that we were not interested at all.
We then returned to the Tyndall Family Camp where we washed white towels and I am currently in the Community Center typing out this blog (with WiFi).