Saturday, May 8, 2010
Slidell, La. to Dauphin Island, Al
Today as I woke up I decided to change my endpoint for the day. I skipped ahead to the next waypoint of Dauphin Island. It was a 100 mile day, but I was ready to do a century ride. Wit Tammy helping ( I think she makes an awesome logistics coordinator) we decided that the best way would be down Highway 90, the Google map pictures showed a decent highway with shoulders. I set out from Slidell since I arrived late and did not have exact change for the overnight drop.
I went in and paid after I broke down camp for the night. I remembered a Waffle House down the street, so I headed out for breakfast. Hitting the road at 9:30am it was already 82 degrees. I took the necessary roads to get me to highway 90, and was on my way. The roads were nice and not much traffic to speak of; the wins were light and variable, so no problems there either. I was doing very well time wise and had no doubts I would make Dauphin Island by nightfall. I passed several nice communities and crossed many rivers, marshes, and swamps before coming to Bay St. Louis. There is a nice bridge with awesome views looking out to The Gulf of Mexico.
After crossing the bridge I started to ride along the Gulf of Mexico beaches, they are beautiful white sand beaches, and nice parking spots all along the roads for the public. There is a worried air about the people with the threat of the oil spill hitting their beaches. The house along this stretch of road are quite beautiful, and some houses were noticeably absent or in the process of being rebuilt. There were many areas of the beaches that are set aside for nesting Least Terns, so as you walk or drive by, they fly off and then return, and there are hundreds of them.
I rode through Biloxi, Mississippi, and saw the Hard Rock Hotel and casino, and the Beau Rivage casino. After Biloxi I went through Ocean Springs, Ms. and found a firehouse on main street, so I stopped for a patch. The Battalion Chief was not able to find one quickly so he said he would send one off to me when he finds them. I left a patch for their patch collection and was again on my way. Next up Pascagoula, and Grumman ship building, you could see the facilities from the highway, and it looked quite expansive. By now I was hitting rush hour traffic and people were driving much more erratically, so
I was glad to see the highway starting to go back to a little more of a rural highway. The traffic eased as rush hour waned, and before long I came across the welcome to Alabama sign. Wow two states in one day, I felt reenergized as I began to doubt I would make my destination. Now that I was in Alabama I only had two roads to follow – Rt 188 to Rt 193 straight to the campground, but the sun was getting low in the sky. As I rode through the last few towns before Dauphin Island, the sun had started to disappear behind the trees, and then I finally got to the Dauphin Island town limit – it is at the start of a long and tall bridge I must cross to get on the actual Island. As I started to cross the bridge, the sun had almost completely gone down and had left beautiful hues of red, orange, and purple in the sky. I still had another 6-8 miles to go and darkness was upon me, I had my taillight flasher on and my headlight (not a true headlight-but it worked) on and finally crossed onto Dauphin Island, after getting all the way to the East end of the Island, I found the campground just about to close for the night.
I went in and got a spot for the night and some food for dinner. The woman behind the desk put me next to two other sites with bicyclists on them, cool I could exchange stories in the morning. When I walked to my campsite, I could not help but think the tents next to me looked familiar…. I called out “Gerry?-Ron?” and they both answered. I just commented that they could run but they can’t hide! They came out of their tents and helped me set up mine, while we exchanged some stories of the past few days since we parted ways. The mosquitoes were quite bad, so they went back to their tents, after telling me how nice the showers were. I finished setting up and went for a shower and quickly went to bed – it was after all 9:30 at night!! A LONG day, it ended up being 125.69 miles total for the day, and now for some well deserved sleep.
The Garmin information for today is as follows:
Day 47 Slidell, La. to Dauphin Island, Al. by wegotguts at Garmin Connect - Details