We left Mississippi with a little wistfulness. As we looked across the river at Louisiana, we wished we could ride our bikes over. Jim commented that in some places, like San Francisco, they have added a pedestrian and bicycle only addition to significant bridges. They don’t have to be as strong and substantial and can hang off the existing structure. We wished there was one in Vicksburg so we could ride over to Louisiana. If anyone in the Mississippi and Louisiana Department of Transportation is reading this, take note!
We turned and headed back east. We were almost halfway through our adventure and wanted some beach time. Neither of us had ever spent time on the Florida Pan Handle and we’d been told that the Destin area was nice. I made a reservation at a private RV park in Miramar Beach, Florida, and after a long day of driving, we were delighted to drive into the small, but beautiful tree-lined park. As soon as we set up camp we took our T50s the three blocks to the beautiful, white sandy Gulf of Mexico beach. I particularly love the ocean, any ocean. The particular mix of smells on a breeze that is somehow salty and fishy, with just a little bit of rottenness in it is perfume to me. We stood looking out at the water and watched the sunset in contentment.
We slept well and spent the morning doing a little computer work before heading back out on our T50s. This area of Florida is quite built up and once again we were grateful for the flexibility that riding the T50s offered us. We shared a multi-use path with other cyclists and walkers and were able to quickly stop and get our feet to the ground when necessary for a quick turn or to avoid a pedestrian or car turning into a driveway. We decided to ride to what we thought was a park. When we arrived at the green area of the map that signified the park, there was no way in. It was actually a wildlife refuge and was not open to visitors. We headed back going in the opposite direction toward another park and found the same thing. My conclusion is that Florida has low taxes and lots of freedom, but fewer publicly accessible parks.
Our lack of success getting into the parks did not dampen our spirits at all. We loved people-watching and stopped and had lunch overlooking the ocean, after which we took a quick dip. The white sandy beaches are very soft, clean and pristinely beautiful. It was the perfect Friday at the beach. We’ve allowed ourselves 3 full days here so that we can really unwind.
The next two days we spent doing very little of anything. Jim and I read novels and talked. We took a walk on the beach and another swim. We rode our bikes to nearby restaurants for lunch or dinner. On Saturday night the weather turned blustery and we loved being in the RV during the thunderstorms that followed. About mid-day on Sunday the storms stopped and with the sun out we rode our bikes to a nearby outlet mall where we did a little shopping and once again enjoyed watching families on vacation. We used sidewalks and crosswalks where we felt protected from traffic. On our way back to the RV park we stopped at the grocery store and picked up some essentials, including a 12 pack of soda water. We hauled the groceries and treasures from our shopping back to the RV in panniers on the T50 rack with the 12 pack bungeed onto the top of Jim’s rear rack.
We had another quiet evening reading enjoying the sunset from our campsite.
The last stop on our journey is Jekyll Island Georgia, another beach community, but a little more remote and known for its massive oaks and bird watching.
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