By Special Guest Writer Jay Mabry
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – The sand here along the North Florida Coast is among the whitest, cleanest and softest in the world! What you might not know, is that when you walk on the beaches here, you are actually walking on the Appalachian Mountains.
The sand here is comprised mainly of 99% pure silica quartz washed down from the mountains by the Apalachicola River. The quartz is ground to a perfect oval in each grain of sand. It is so fine in texture, it literally “squeaks” under your toes as you walk on it!
Normally, such quartz has a rosy pink tint because of it’s oxide coating, but the sugary-white quartz lost it’s coating somewhere along it’s watery journey thousands of years ago.
Visitors rave about it, and people call it the “sugar-white beaches” of Northwest Florida. The sand accumulated creating sand bars along the river bends and streams on its long journey all the way down south to the edges of the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The white sand also helps our beaches from heating up like an oven in the Summer time, unlike other beaches with darker and coarser sand.