April 21 - 22: Alabama

4/22 - Dauphin Island (0 miles 2371 total)
0 major miles during our layover day on dauphin island, AL
today some folks rode their bikes downtown, or even further eastward to the audubon bird sanctuary or fort gaines. loralee even walked to ft. gaines....at the other end of this island. but since it's less than 3 miles from one end of the island to the other, either transportation mode works easily. there's a bike path along the road, & we saw quite a few locals on their bikes. unfortunately, we didn't see any of them wearing helmets; alas, we visitors were the only ones with helmets.
i'm not sure what most of the other riders did today; i know i saw quite a few sitting or walking on the beach or sitting in the chairs by the pool. for me, this spot is all about the beach....the water, boats, shore birds....
early this morning found sari, roma & me on our balcony. sari took this photo of roma & me. roma's the one with the coffee. she had already been for a walk & run on the beach earlier. as perhaps you can see, i'd gotten out my clothesline; i was about to string it discretely there on the back of the balcony; guidelines posted in the condo say no wet swimsuits hanging over the balcony railings. (i assume that applies to bike shorts, too.) since we didn't want to go out yet, we scrounged a few tidbits from our bike bags for an early morning snack...in lieu of breakfast.
by around 10:30, we biked downtown to the post office, then stopped at island chocolates, where i bot 4 dark chocolates. then in another block we came to an older house that's a bakery/sandwich shop. we had sandwiches & chatted with patty & frances, who had also stopped there. sari & roma rode on eastward to the audubon bird sanctuary, but i biked back to the condo & went out to sit on the beach.
i found rita there, too. as we sat & chatted, she started noticing some black fins out to our right. it turned out they were dolphins arching in & out of he water. catherine later told us that she'd gone swimming in the ocean this afternoon & enjoyed watching the dolphins cavorting near her.
i took this photo yesterday, but it could just as well have been today. the weather today was just like yesterday's (i.e., perfect). often i see youngsters on the beach with kites, but this young fellow was maneuvering a large sail. he had just velcroed his feet into some boots that were anchored to a sailboard (looked like a short snowboard). it wasn't long before he took off into & over the waves.
beyond the sailboarder, you can see the pier in the distance. there's a fee for going out on this pier, but it often has quite a few fishermen on it. there are lots of oil rigs standing out in the water along the horizon (caroline told me she'd counted 20). i understand that people with fishing boats often go out around those oil rigs to fish.
this is another photo i took yesterday....when marilyn boger, patty fainer, sari, mary (from boston) & i stopped for lunch at a small spot downtown along the water. i haven't seen lots of herons while here--like the one sitting majestically atop the taller pole--but we sure see lots & lots of pelicans (like the ones down in the water below the heron). it's quite entertaining to watch them dive into the ocean after they've spotted a fish. i understand that the shrimp-fishing segments of the movie "forrest gump" were filmed on & along dauphin island.
here's a photo i took last evening as i walked westward. the colors of the sky & sand & water are so beautiful. at the end of the island there in the distance are quite a few houses.
lots of us walked down the road this evening to rita's for supper. the ones at my table really enjoyed the food. i had grilled, fresh, locally-caught grouper; grilled, spicy shrimp, & some oysters baked in the shell & sprinkled with asiago cheese & chopped, cooked bacon. others had spicy fried oysters. just recalling it all is making me hungry again.
after we got back to the condos, sari & i went out walking on the beach. we came across a mom, dad, & son feeding the shore birds, who would hover in clouds above the heads of the family. then a bird would swoop down to pick a morsel from one of the human's outstretched hands.
in this photo i was able to get very close to the hovering birds, as they were concentrating on the food (snack crackers) behind held aloft by the woman. you can even see their black heads & their little feet. it was great fun watching all this.
but back to reality: tomorrow we bike almost 70 miles to pensacola, florida....our last state. we'll ride 2.5 miles east to the west tip of dauphin island to board the ferry at 8 a.m. the ferry ride is about 45 mins, then we'll get on our bikes & head eastward to florida.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

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