Home > Bicycle Touring > Southern Tier Day 13 – Big Lagoon State Park to Dauphin Island

It’s an easy day I kept telling myself. Sleep in a little.

By the time I get up I realize that I had left the rest of my pepperoni, cream cheese and crackers out on the table the night before. The two bags they were wrapped in are still there, with dirty claw marks and a hole where the food used to be. No sign of where the food may have disappeared to.

Damn, that’s not a good start to the day.

After returning the sleeping bag to the rangers office, because lets face it, it was a bulky cheap sleeping bag and with the bike baskets I already looked like too much of a homeless person, I was ready to take on the short 40 mile day.

It seems that while I had slept the winds decided to change direction. Now I was pedaling into a decent headwind all day long. Out 292 which changed into 182 as soon as I crossed the Alabama border. My first state line crossing and down along Perdido Beach, and always that wind.

Dixie Graves Parkway felt never ending, maybe because the wind had tired me out. All day had seemed like a power cycling contest. My thighs burned and I felt like I was running out of energy. It didn’t help that it had a bike lane at the beginning. Yay, I can get off the road! Only it swerves in and out too much and has too much debris and cracks and bumps to make the ride enjoyable. I just want to put in some miles.

By the time I reached Fort Morgan I just wanted to rest. It didn’t help that I had barely missed the ferry and when I leaned my bike against the fence I saw the Sand Spurs stuck in my tire. The entire Fort Morgan area was covered with them.

An hour and a half wait and I could have done something productive, journal, read so I could ditch at least one of the two books I was carrying. Instead I just sat there and stared off into space, sometimes watching the dolphins, mostly just blanking out.

People start to show up for the ferry and a retired guy asks me if I was at the game. Game? Then I realize he is talking about the shirt I got out of the lost and found, sports logo.

“Wife and I had tickets,” he says snapping a picture of the oil rig off the shore, “such a shame the way they threw that trash out onto the field.”

“Well…” I say wanting to add something.

“I know, it’s the damn umpires fault. What else could the people have done to show their frustration?”

“Umpires,” I say, “…look more dolphins.” And he turns away to take a picture.

Atlanta Braves. That solves that mystery.

I’m charged the $5 pedestrian fee on the ferry. “That’s good for a return trip,” the guy says handing me my ticket, “though I’m guessing you’re only going one way.”

The campground is almost across the street from where we dock. They have no other tenters and instead of tenting out back where it’s more secluded and picturesque I opt for the tent space closest to the wifi signal. Priorities.

I crawl into bed by 9pm and have to use the rain jacket again over my feet and my journals underneath so the ground doesn’t suck all the heat out of my feet. I sleep a little better, though rolling over is an art form. The dollar store blanket is so small that the slightest bit of a wrong turn can have a cold knife of air running up and down your spine.

“A couple more nights,” I tell myself, “then you’ll have you’re sleeping bag.”

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