Day 34 on the Southern Tier Bike Route

Along the Gulf coast. Up at 6:15 A.M. I packed and rode my bike two blocks to a Waffle House for breakfast. Just as the sun rose, I headed east on US Hwy 90  for three miles to a bridge over a narrow part of Biloxi Bay then for another two miles to Ocean Springs where I bought food. Then eastward to Pascagoula, MS and its big shipyard. Just before the MS/AL state line, Rikard and Bryce, two youthful cyclists from Washington, overtook me. We took photos at the AL welcome sign. Like me, Rikard and Bryce were headed for the Dauphin Island ferry across the bottom of Mobile Bay. I took off wanting to make the 2 pm sailing. In four miles, I reached Grand Bay and turned east on AL Hwy 188. The road soon turned southeast taking advantage of a tail wind. In 12 miles, I passed through Bayou La, Coden, then Alabama Port where I turned south on AL Hwy 183 and a tail wind. I enjoyed grand views of the Gulf from a long causeway and a bridge then arrived at Dauphin Island. I stopped for a cold drink then rode two more miles to the ferry. Rikard and Bryce caught up with me. I bought a $5 ticket for the ferry then ate lunch under a canopy. The ferry left promptly at 2 pm. The trip was routine. I was surprised at all the oil platforms that I saw. From Fort Morgan, we biked together along a narrow silt of land with vacation homes built on stilts (see photo). I didn’t see how the homes could survive a hurricane. The peninsula widened with pine forests and coastal scrub. About 5 miles west of Gulf Shores, my friends took a bike path, while I stayed on the highway. At Hwy 59, I wound around in Gulf State Park ending up on Hwy 182. At 5 pm, I got an uninspiring campsite at the park for $26, the most I have paid for one. I set up my tent swatting mosquitoes, cooked dinner then showered while dinner cooled. Happily, the bugs disappeared soon after sunset.  Mild temperatures and blue skies all day. 84 miles biked today.

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