Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dauphin Island, Alabama to Pensacola, Florida (60 miles) Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rested after our day off on Dauphin Island, we gathered in the morning.

Today we would ride together for the few miles to the ferry.  We had to be at the ferry landing together so we could ride over to Fort Morgan, Alabama.  After waiting in the ferry line, we boarded for the 30 min ride.

There were dolphins to greet us at the pier!

Once we got off the ferry at Fort Morgan, it wasn't long before we were at the border of Alabama and Florida!

Our ride was delightful.  We rode the Gulf Beach Highway most of the way, and it was just beautiful!!

We had a margarita party - our last - since we crossed a state border.

The Florida pan handle is quite wide, so it will take us another 8 riding days to get to the Atlantic Ocean and the end of our ride on April 29th.

Tomorrow we have a 70 mile ride to Crestview, FL!

Dauphin Island (Day off) April 19, 2010

Our day off on Dauphin Island was relaxing and renewing.  Sue Hersman, Jo Ann Klassen, Jo Ann Bary and I grabbed the Island Shuttle to go to brunch.  The driver, Beryl, answered our questions about the island, and even took us on an extended ride to the West End.  The island has one end that  gets hit by hurricanes more than the other.  The houses that have been built there were put up in the 90's in the housing boom.  Beryl said they put up expensive houses on even more expensive land.  When the hurricanes came through, not only did they lose their houses, but the land was under water as well!  Even if they had flood/hurricane insurance, the insurance companies won't pay on land loss just because it is under water.  It is still there!  Crazy people!

As we continued on our tour, we saw the bridge we rode across, Fort Gaines (a Civil War Fort), and the Ferry we were going to take on our way out the next morning.

We walked to a small restaurant for dinner where they had fresh catch fish and shrimp.  On our way home we saw this statue of a brown pelican.

Pascagoula, Mississippi to Dauphin Island, Alabama (67 miles) April 17, 2010

This morning we started out with breakfast and singing "Happy Birthday" to one of our ride leaders, Carol Wilder.  I think she was surprised, but something like a birthday is never lost on this group!

Not far out of Pascagoula was the Mississippi/Alabama state line.  Another state line crossed on our journey!

We started seeing more and more houses up on stilts, another reminder of flooding from hurricanes. 

The ride was flat except for the end when we went over a high bridge to Dauphin Island.  It used to take four hours to get there by going around until they put up this bridge.  Going down was like a roller coaster!

Just on the other side we stopped at "Barnacle Bill's" for lunch.  We left our bikes in the back where we could see them, and saw a large hangar-like building used to dry-dock boats.

We were on Dauphin Island, and as we rode closer it was fun to see the water tower, welcoming us to the island and our day off!  We had heard this was a special place, and it did not disappoint!

Our condo was only a mile or so further.  I have to give a big THANKS! to WomanTours organizers for this one!  There are six of us sharing a four-bedroom condo, and it has been wonderful!

The first thing I did was get my swimming suit on and go to the beach!  Sue and I walked over the little bridge and were surprised to see so many people!  It was Sunday, and the last day of spring break for many.  The temp of the Gulf of Mexico is nice so I had to go in!
That night we had fun celebrating Carol Wilder's birthday.  She is one of our two leaders.  Her brother sent an amazing cake from the local bakery, and after having a lasagna dinner (Carol's favorite) we all had cake and ice cream dessert.

Over the past week, we have all been collecting items from the road to give to Carol as birthday presents.  She was a good sport about going through each one of them.  Happy Birthday Carol!