Friday October 7, 2011, 67 miles (108 km) – Total so far: 639 miles (1,028 km)
We got a good early start with a very promising tail wind of 15-25 mph. This is just what we needed. Going over the Pensacola Bay bridge proved challenging though because of the hard crosswinds and morning commute. A large tarp had come loose and was flapping wildly while blocking one lane. We went around it hoping it wouldn’t come loose. We then traveled through downtown Pensacola and made our way over several bridges to the beach again. We made good time because of the tail wind and found ourselves at Fort Morgan and the Mobile Bay Ferry at 1:30. The next ferry left at 2:45 so we bought an ice cold drink and enjoyed some shade as several people came up to us to talk about our trip. We never tire of all the people we meet. We never knew there were so many ‘oil rigs’ in the bay. We later found out that most of these are natural gas rigs. The ACA map showed no lodging accommodations until Mississippi around 40 or so miles. After 67 miles and it was after 4 we didn’t want to risk riding in the dark so we took the ferry crews’ recommendation of the nearby Dauphin Island campground. The office lady said they were sold out for the weekend. When I explained we were on bikes with a small tent she was very helpful to find us a small area to set up. So we set up camp, showered, and did the laundry in record time. We were told that it was less than a mile to town and several restaurants. That ended up about 2 ½ miles. We weren’t ready for that extra exercise. We had a good dinner of blackened gulf shrimp and fish at Barnacle Bill’s. While there we talked with several people and tried to get a ride back to camp. A friendly local guy picking up an order gave us the much needed ride. We retired to our again rain fly- less tent and enjoyed the myriad of stars with an occasional squawking heron overhead.