Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Foley Alabama to Pascagoula Mississippi - Feb 4

Feb.4, 2013 87.25 miles in 6.5 hours. Foley Alabama is Gods country. A nice, small town, surrounded by farmland. The cost of living isn't high, and extravagance doesn't seem to be commonplace. Everybody has a pick up or two that runs, and one for parts in the side yard. I continued on US 98 due west, all the way to Mobeel Bay (not Mobiyl, or Moble). I can't get the pronunciation just right every time, and Pam has been working with me on getting it right. For whatever reason, Mike can't say Mobile, Alabama like a normal person!  Go figure!  As soon as I turned north on scenic US98, the bay properties went way up in curb appeal, but the old shanty types were still sprinkled in on the other side of the road. There was a bike trail, parallel to the road, but it wasn't the highest quality. The closer I got to Daphne, the nicer the area was getting, and the hilly-er it was getting. Then it got downright quad burning hilly. I thought I was back in western PA with the ups and downs.
Daphne is the home town of Pat White, all American quarterback for WVU a couple of years ago. It also had some nice parks by the bay, with areas of blooming tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth. On Feb 4! I've been seeing magnolia trees blooming and the pine trees are releasing their pollen.  Dorthy, I don't think we are in Pittsburgh anymore!

Sign about Andrew Jackson
You see all sorts of things down here in Alabama!

I rode on the path for Daphne's mardi gra parade, as there were police barriers set up on both sides of the road for miles at one point. That made it sort of tough to ride on the shoulder, because that's where the barriers were.
When I got out of Daphne, US98 became a four lane interstate type road. It blended with US90, the road I will be on through Mobeel(sic) to Mississippi. US98 was a great trip, all the way from Tampa, so I was sentimental when I waved it goodbye. US 90 aimed me toward the USS Alabama, where I took a few pictures and a pee, and moved on to find my way around Mobeel.

Going across bridge into Mobile

USS Alabama alongside bridge

Looking ahead at Mobile
Approaching USS Alabama memorial

Some of the things on display

My bike with the Coast Guard

View from the bridge

 It was NOT easy to get around on a bike. All roads into town go through two tunnels, neither one suited for bikes. I had to go north 6 or 7 miles, along a highly industrial area bordering a river. I went across a BIG bridge that looks exactly like ones I went across into Charleston SC and Savannah, GA. Then it was back to the south on the other side of the river. Somehow the road I was on became I-165. I really like riding on interstates. The drafting from truck wind and the wide shoulders make it safer than a lot of US highways I have to ride on. It makes for a quick, safe trip. Once I got close to Mobeel again, US 90 became Government Blvd, a nice road through every type of area on the way out of the west side of the city, through beautiful suburbs with oak lined streets, out into the malls and car dealerships. Part of the road was another mardi gras parade route for a few miles along the Henry Aaron Loop. Hammerin' Hank was born in Mobeel, and tomorrow is even his birthday.
As I was getting out of town I was getting hungry, and even though I usually eat very little while riding, I decided to stop at a 'Whataburger'. I've been seeing them but I've never had the pleasure, so what the hell. When I walked in, the black girls working the counter, saw a guy in a bright orange jacket, tight shorts, and funny shoes, and started to discreetly hoot and stare. I told them I had never had a Whataburger before, and asked them what they recommended. I expected a small hamburger, fries, and a coke. Well, what I got was a 10,000 calorie jumbo burger and a giant coke(like they are trying to make illegal in New York). Holy cow, WHATABURGER !!!

Between Mobeel, ok, Mobile, and the Mississippi line, US90 was thinning out, but still busy, with great shoulders.But we did see the Mobile International Speedway!
We should have stayed in this campground!!!

Mobile International Speedway

 Once I hit M-I-s-s-I-s-s-I-p-p-I, the road became a four lane, and it seemed like I had the slow lane all to my self. Good thing, because the shoulder, while wide, was brutal.

One thing I did see that I wanted to mention, were robins. Yes, the bird. I always wondered where they went when they flew south for the winter. I discovered that they don't go to Florida, even though I saw some in Pensacola and forgot to mention it. Robins come to Alabama and Mississippi! Cool beans! Now I know.
Because I spent so much time getting around Mobile, by the time I got to Pascagoula , it was getting dark, starting to sprinkle, and Pam found a campground a little further away than we planned, so for the first time on the trip, I had Pam come and get me. We had a banana split at a Dairy Queen (he had a banana split, I had a burger for supper cause I didn't stop at Whataburger!!), and by that time it was pouring rain, as hard as we have seen it on our trip. It pretty much rained for the rest of the night. Thank goodness, I had a nice sunny , windless day all day long.

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