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Dauphin Island

January 6, 2013

Alabama – Wednesday, January 2

I drove back down to the Gulf Shores and got a little walking in on the beach. The waves were pretty big. I saw some shells and an ugly jellyfish sort of thing. I had discovered that there was a ferry that could transport cars across the mouth of the Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island, and that would save me a quite a bit of driving as I finish up with Alabama and make my west to Louisiana. The fare was very reasonable, and we drove out to a state park where the ferry terminal was. It was a pretty windy day, and when I saw the ferry, it looked like it could barely carry 2 cars across the open ocean, let alone the 20 or so that we’re lined up. I literally got the last spot for the next trip, and the crew was efficient getting one load of cars off and another on. It still seemed like a pretty small boat heading out into some good-sized waves! The crossing took about 1/2 hour and we were rockin’ and rollin’!! I think Tula would prefer not to do that again. I felt bad – she started trembling a bit – not accustomed to the rocking motion, but then she settled down and slept once she felt that things were okay. There were lots of oil rigs out in the bay – all different sizes. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen oil rigs in the water, but this is petroleum country! I saw a boat making its way from rig to rig – made me wonder how long the workers stay on a rig at a time, and how often they get supplies etc. There was a tang of oil in the air, but I didn’t know if that was from our ferry or from the oil rigs. Once we were back on solid ground on Dauphin Island, I got Tula out for a quick walk by an old fort. I didn’t go in it – I’ll just visit the national park forts that I have a pass for.

I drove around the island a bit, and found a long bike trail, so I was able to finish off the Alabama miles. It was quiet and peaceful. Dauphin Island claims it is America’s birdiest coastal town. But this is definitely not their busy season! As I was heading for the bridge, I saw some tall skinny condos for rent – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a skinny building! The bridge back to the mainland was a fun one – mostly flat over coastal waters, and then a big “hill” that almost looked like the bridge had buckled!

Once I was back on the mainland, it was a short drive to Mississippi, and it didn’t take long to drive across the southern end of that state, and before I knew it, I was in Louisiana!

Alabama was a divided state to fit in the Christmas holidays – 4 days before Christmas, and the rest afterward. I made all 7 donations – The Help Center, The Family-to-Family food drive, the Helen Keller Foundation, Out of the Rain food pantry, the new Alabama Veterans Home, Dogs on Call, and McKimie Place. And despite needing a little extra time because of the flu bug, I finished all 56 mikes of walking.

Now, Bonjour Louisiana!
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