A Ferry Ride. Mullet Throwing contest. US Naval Air Museum in Pensacola.
Today starts with a ferry ride. A first for me and more unique because it is on a bicycle. The schedule is strict – and so we were all up and at the ferry launch 30 minutes before launch. But … the first ferry of the day was cancelled due to the winds.
So we headed back to camp (only a few blocks away) where we “patiently” waited for the next ferry 90 minutes later – and hoped it would not be cancelled as well.
Second ferry of the day sailed as expected, so we loaded up with all our bikes and took the trip.
Two of my favorite riding friends First Yvonne –
And now Liz. Both are from Illinois, by the way.
A big economic activity down here in the Estuary of Alabama is tapping natural gas that is trapped in the sand layers of the Estuary. There are many of these rigs out in the Gulf to extract the gas.
Once we reached the other side of the bay, we exited the Ferry. We were still in Alabama, but only about 10 miles from the Florida border. Frankly, Alabama was not very bike friendly, but as we got closer to Florida, there were more accommodations for bike traffic and the drivers were more aware and less hostile. I’m imagining that is due to the fact Florida is very bike friendly and there is a little peer pressure going on between states on this tourist haven coast.
As we approached the Florida border, the development was even more dense, and for some reason there were lots of people walking toward center area of the development. More to come on that, but note the people that were walking in the bike lane on the next video.
And we are in Florida! From left to right – Texas Al, Me (Larry), and Greg.
As we were taking this picture, we talked to some people walking along the road. Why is it so busy today? It turns out today is the big annual “Mullet Throwing Contest” – Mullet as in the fish! People compete to see how far they can fling a (live?) Mullet. It is apparently very popular because the roads were packed with stop and go traffic, people were walking down the sides of the road and there were police directing traffic.
We weren’t done yet with this unique day. We have a retired Air Force pilot riding with us – John Schafer – who arranged to have us stop at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. The commander of the museum actually came out to meet us on his bike and escorted us into the Naval base and to the museum. It was amazing – and overwhelming. We only had about 90 minutes to wander in the museum. Just enough to wet our appetites and want to come back to really spend some time there.
Just riding through the base was amazing.
Here is the commander of the air museum – Capt. Sterling Gilliam. I honestly don’t know how he could have made it a better experience.
Finally, we exited the base and were treated to more pristine bike paths on the base.
Just a few more miles to camp and we are done for the day. What an interesting and fun day!