Let’s talk about what we have been eating- tonight- just tonight-we had fried pickles, spicy crawfish salad, smoked tuna dip, shrimp and cheese grits, cajun seafood salad, fish tacos- and oh,key lime pie, which we have at every meal to compare them all. It is a good thing we are cycling and hiking and tomorrow, we are even kayaking for 3 hours in a bajou. And the winds were very very swift today- red flag warning, serious white caps and big rollers, we had to hang onto our bikes. Burns the calories so we can sample more delicious Southern food.
We hiked through the beautiful Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge today near Gulf Shores, Alabama.Rode out the peninsula that borders the gulf and it isn’t feeling what we’d expect to feel here in Alabama- with sands so white and sugary fine that you MUST wear sunglasses out there. It feels like Florida
We walked the second longest pier on the gulf today- about a 1/4 miles – out past the monster waves (from the wild wind) to the tip where pelicans sat hiding from the wind- they honkered down and completely turned their long beaks around to lie flat on their backs- we all said it looked uncomfortable,but it would be fun to be able to do it. Then they turned their lower mouth inside out ! So that we could see the dark red veins of their skin against the sky.
We had lunch at “The Hangout” the scene of one of the largest music festivals in the country- where they have Pez containers decorating the walls- (100’s of them) as well as Troll dolls and metal lunchbuckets- cool decourand a blast from the past. Also ate “Cuban cigars” made with spicy rolled up pork.
There is a 13 mile network of paved cycling trails here called the Braynon Backcountry Trails through forests of hanging dripping Spanish moss and alligator ponds that were just a joy to ride fast through.
I have been the leader, of course,and not doing a bad job coordinating 7 people with ferry schedules, meeting up to 5 different CVB people a day, keeping to a tight schedule, like herding cats. But some things slip through the cracks- like I left my helmet behind on land before boarding the ferry and I hopped on the wrong bike and rode it away (not noticing that my handlebar bag was missing- they all look the same otherwise). My boys wanted to”teach me a lesson – teach me to be more attentive.” and so they hid both. When I did not appreciate the prank nor express the adequate amount of gratitude for their efforts, they wanted to know what i could possibly be thinking about to be so forgetful. I had to remind them that the trip has gone seemlessly up to now. Sierra even called me her pet names that she coined on the Lake Champlain bike trail- a Loran (a cross between a leader and a moron) and a Letard (a cross between a leader and a retard ). Such abuse. BTW, my dear son ran me off the road yesterday too- he came up very fast and very close and I veered away and hit Sierra’s bike and then hit the blacktop- scraping the skin off my knee, shin, and elbow. They say that gratitude is a mature virtue. I would say my dear rug rats have a few more years of growing up to do. :-)….I’ll still take their copmpany out here over anyone else on the planet.