Saturday October 8, 2011, 70 miles (113 km) – Total so far: 709 miles (1,141 km)
We started out the day with breaking and packing camp in only one hour. Great teamwork! Our neighbors came over with fresh biscuits, jam, and orange juice. How nice of them. We cycled out and toured around Fort Gaines the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay. We then continued out of town by way of the enormous Gordon Persons Bridge. The winds were blowing over 25 from the northeast. The first 10 miles we headed north. The bridge is a steep 122 feet and the wind made it quite vigorous. We finally turned west from Alabama Port. The first few hours we had good shoulders but then they disappeared or were only about 6 inches. It is hard for us to maintain our bikes in a 6 inch strip. We had lunch at a Waffle House in Bayou La Batre. After that the shoulders were gouged out to create wide holes. I believe this was done to wake up drivers if they drift off the road. But it is very biker unfriendly as you cannot ride on it. This went on for around 10 miles. The rest of the time the shoulders were narrow or didn’t exist. Since it was Saturday the traffic was large. We eventually rode into Mississippi where the road conditions continued to be poor with more gouged shoulders. I just don’t do well in these conditions since the road and scenery cannot be enjoyed. When we came to the town of Hurley, Mississippi at the junction of HWY 614 and HWY 613 we took a time out to check our options. We had been on the road for over 7 ½ hours and gone 50 miles. The ACA map showed a campsite in another 20 miles and nothing else for the next 20 or so. We studied the ACA map and decided we would rather bike the more southern coastal routes and not spend the time in the northern areas. So armed with our GPS we proceeded to Moss Point, Mississippi. We found an inexpensive clean motel and ordered Dominos. We were exhausted after a very stressful 70 miles. Tomorrow we will begin a more southern route following HWY 90 and I-10.