Monday, December 28, 2009

Dauphin Island

This morning I got up inconceivably early, or at least inconceivably early for being on vacation. I'm in Baton Rouge visiting family and as it turns out, Brooke is in Mobile visiting family too. By my definition, Mobile is close to Baton Rouge, but only if you get up at 5am.


We met up at her folks' place. Brooke was rocking a sweet military haircut. It was cold, but not unmanageably cold.


The plan was to ride out to Dauphin Island, spin a lap and ride back. But first things first. I'd had an entire Dr. Pepper on the way over, peed 3 times and needed to pee one more time before we left. I also had to pee about 10 miles later.

We had a bit of a headwind and some mean crosswinds all the way out to the island. Riding in the mountains so much I forget about wind. I mean it's there but not like it is down here. The roads were quiet though. Not too much traffic.

When we started getting close to the island, the scenery got interesting. Marshland to the west. Mobile bay to the right. 50 different kinds of huge birds including Brown Pelicans, Grey Herons and some cool duck that looks like a penguin.

We could see the one big climb looming ahead of us. "Little Beach Gap" she calls it. It's a long story.

Dauphin Island Expressway

The view from the bridge was amazing. And the shoulder was wide enough to enjoy it without worrying about traffic.

On The Bridge

On the island we stopped at a Circle-K for another bathroom break and ate some homemade confection she'd brought along. I don't know exactly what it was but it had chocolate and coconut in it I think.

On the west end of the island recent storms had covered the road in sand and water. We pushed through it for a while but eventually it was more sand than road.

Storm Damage

On the other end we rode past Fort Grimes and the public beach.

Fort Gaines

There was a ferry on that end too that takes you across the bay to Gulf Shores. We talked about one day riding out, taking the ferry and riding back. Man, that would be epic.

I stopped to pee again at the Circle-K and we started back. The headwind was like climbing Woody Gap if that climb was 25 miles long. At one point I saw a mile marker for mile 11 and then an impossibly long time later I saw mile marker 16. It was going to be a long day. A few miles from home we were both out of food and slow-bonking. A quick trip through a country store fixed that and, yes I had to pee again. Actually I'd even stopped about 5 miles back to make use of their facilities too :)

I don't think this ride quite qualifies as epic, but it was way harder than I expected. At the end, my brain was running on about 3 cylinders. It was exactly what I love about cycling though. Really fun, then really scenic, then really hard. Excellent.

Brooke's mom made us some lunch when we got back and I bailed out back to BR. It took about half of the trip back for my brain to reboot.


  1. WOWO! long time amigo (since 2004 maybe?).....i had a dream last night about biking and you and jon were there, all of us riding something really gnarly and BAM i woke up.

    anyways, be great to catch up!

  2. Paul! Email me dude: davidleemuse at