Saturday, August 14, 2010

Great River Ride – Day 10 – Mobile & Pensacola

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Today’s riding was our shortest mileage day yet; we only rode 145 miles. We expected to be riding in rain the entire day, but fortunately the weather guessers (and radar) were wrong. We rode the entire way from Long Beach, MS to Pensacola, FL without getting wet. The rain only started for about five minutes during the last two miles of our ride. It rained just enough to get our mesh wet, but not us. Very nice!

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Volunteers cleaning the sand from BP:


BTW: I found out what BP really standards for today:


We checked out of hotel late and headed east on US-90. The rain we were expected didn’t happen, so it got very hot and muggy. We didn’t mind much and just enjoyed the views of the gulf and the beach. we rode on US-90 for many miles before grew weary of the red lights. It seemed we stopped at everyone sometime after Biloxi, so I crossed up to I-10 and rode into Alabama.


This is another new state for both of us, and so far we really liked it.

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We agreed over lunch in Mobile that Alabama has the most friendly people of the Gulf states we’ve visited so far with Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last. I argue Mississippi is worse, but my wife thinks Louisiana was. Either way, lunch in Mobile was great! We ate at the Sunflower Cafe. Check it out if you’re in the area.


On the way out of Mobile, we got to ride in a tunnel under the bay. Very cool!


We saw signs for Battleship Blvd. It sounded promising and the weather was cooperating, so I followed them and found the USS Alabama!

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We paid the $2 to park and walked around looking at all the cool military vehicles. Planes, helicopters, tanks, artillery, a battleship, and a sub! We decided not to push our luck with the weather, so we didn’t pay the admission fee to go on the ships or inside the air museum. The place was swarming with kids. If you don’t like them, don’t go. It was about 100 kids per adult! Well ok, maybe three kids per adult. It was a fun place. I would visit it again.

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Some art pieces for Dom: (a ?, a 120mm, and a 155mm)

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We continued on a combination of I-10 and US-90 the rest of the way into Florida (another new state) until we arrived in Pensacola.


Pensacola is America’s oldest settlement. It was originally founded in 1559!! It has been owned by five countries in its long history: Spain, France, England, Confederates, and the USA. Lots of native tribes also claimed it, but the chamber of commerce here doesn't count them. :(

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We arrived early, so we had plenty of time to walk around downtown and had a nice dinner at a cafe. Over dinner, we both agreed that our two favorite days of the trip so far were today and yesterday. With the third place day going to Day 3 – Brainerd to Dubuque. After diner, we had a nice, relaxing walk around the historic downtown area. It was nice to visit a place in the US with such history without going over seas. Not quite the same feeling as when I visited China or Europe where they’d both laugh at 450 years old as “young”, but as good as I think I’m gonna get here.

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I’d like to spend more time here, but we have to leave in the morning. I think we’ll have to do a tour of the gulf area again. There is too much to see here that we didn’t get to spend time on: the Stennis NASA Rocket Center, USS Alabama, Pensacola’s downtown, Pensacola’s Naval Air Museum, miles and miles of scenic coast.

The SV as rarely seen from above:


The other neat thing today was seeing bikes again! We didn’t realize we haven’t really seen any bikes in the last few days. Hardly any since Missouri.


I think we saw at least fifty today. It was nice!

Tomorrow we plan on riding to Birmingham, AL to visit some family of a very close friend. Rain is in the forecast; I hope we get lucky like today.


Full Flickr Album Here



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    1. I haven't been to Pensacola in a long time and this brought back memories. It interesting to hear how the two of you rank the places your two wheels visit. Love the history and your pictures capture the areas well. I've never been this far south on two wheels though...

    2. Double digits, woohoo! My sweetie and I never seem to be able to manage that much time off together.

      I'm glad you had a dry day. I wasn't aware Pensacola was the oldest settlement. I've never been to any of the Gulf States. That's for letting me ride along.

      Good luck with the rain today.


    3. I laughed about the kids comment! Yes three can seem like 100 sometimes! I'm so glad to hear the people in Alabama are the friendliest! I agree! I've only lived here almost a year and a half but I've found not only is it "The Beautiful" but the friendly as well. I don't know how the southern part of the state will look, but once you get up here to the north I think you will enjoy the view. Hope to see you tomorrow!!
      PS maybe you hadn't seen any bike cause they're all up in Sturgis with Gary!! hahaha!

    4. Sharon: We don't normally rank, but just got to talking about how the last couple days were our favorite so far. The trip just keeps getting better! This is also the farthest we've ridden south too!

      Keith: It took us a while to coordinate the time off. We earn it at different rates and our jobs sometime have conflicting schedules. It was so fantastic to get three weeks off together. I had no idea about Pensacola until we showed up either.

      Eve: Northern AL has the southern part beat easily in my book, but I'm partial to mountains and lakes.