We had an early start on Monday November 29, leaving Goodlettsville at 8:15 for a long driving day. Acey’s mileage upon leaving was 79,079.3 and Thor had 96,285 miles. We stopped for fuel at the T A in Franklin, TN – Acey was only a little bit thirsty and drank up 57.35 gallons of diesel (the tank can hold 125 gallons). We didn’t fare so well on that tank; only 6.42 MPG – BUT we had to use some diesel for heat, and to heat water too! We generally average about 7 MPG; which, as the saying goes, isn’t too bad for a house! We got to the welcome center/rest area in Alabama by 10:30 and Linda drove Acey for just over an hour. Jim does most of the driving, but since today would pose a drive just over 8 hours, he needed a break!
Traffic was fairly light, but picked up a bit as Jim drove past Birmingham around noon.
It was already dark when we arrived at Wilderness RV Park in Robertsdale, AL at 5:45pm. We had not set up in the dark before, but thankfully, Acey has an automatic leveling system and our spot was fairly flat. We got leveled, opened the slides and Jim hooked up the power, leaving the rest of set up chores for the morning when he could see! The park is fittingly named – it is in the boonies – away from the interstate, shopping, bike trails, etc.
After “recovering ” on Tuesday, we drove to Gulf Shores on Wednesday, passing fields of cotton! We rode our bikes on the Fort Morgan Road Trail. It was great to be riding again after 5 weeks. As we passed Lagoon Baptist Church, there was a nativity scene out front. The baby Jesus was not in the manger. Some folks hold the tradition to wait until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to put baby Jesus in the manger, for the reason that he has not yet been born.
We rode 11.6 miles – it was a really nice day to be outside!
Thursday we drove to Orange Beach to ride at Gulf State Park – there were several paved bike trails and no roads to cross!
We did not see much wildlife – there is a bald eagle nesting area, warnings about alligators and rattlesnakes… all we saw was a small snake on the trail and some butterflies, and a squirrel!
We got a peek at the Gulf as we came to a pavillion across from the state park; a beautiful beach!
We rode 12.6 miles on another gorgeous day with warmer weather!
Friday we met up with Gerry and Nancy and went out for lunch. They moved to Daphne about 7 years ago to be near their son. Jim and Gerry had worked together for several years in Nashville. It had been quite some time since we had seen them, so it was really fun to get together!
After our visit, we stopped off at Fairhope Brewing for a couple of brews. The tap handles were interesting – with pelicans roosting on top!
Saturday we didn’t do much – went to the outlet mall in Foley and walked all around it. We went in several shoe stores to look for some slip-on shoes for Linda. Size 12N is a hard one to find, so we struck out on that. Jim got a new case for his iPhone. It seems that his old case makes random calls to 911 when he holds it a certain way. Not something you want to do!
Sunday we worshipped with Stephens Valley Church via You Tube, watching the sermon from October 31. (See it here) There were technical difficulties that morning, so the full service was not able to be posted. Ironically, we could not Zoom with our Sunday School class either, but Henry called us and we were able to at least hear the class as we covered Genesis 43; Joseph met up with his brothers a second time, but he has not revealed just exactly who he is to them yet.
We packed up our lunch and stopped for an oil change, then drove back to Gulf State Park. We rode on the bike trails again; this time we headed west toward Gulf Shores and rode on miles of elevated boardwalks. It was another great day to be outside!
As we stopped to eat our packed lunch, we took notice of this warning sign.
There were a lot of ducks in the lake – so we didn’t think there were alligators nearby – but we kept our eyes open! Since Linda is a UF Gator, Jim said they wouldn’t attack based on professional courtesy!
We went for a walk on the beach
How many cranes do you see?!
We rode nearly ten miles, plus a mile and a half walking!
We got back to Acey, and made some preparations for our move on Monday – we will be heading to Flagler Beach; another long driving day! We made pizza for dinner…
and Zoomed with the family – almost everyone was on!
We are enjoying the warmer weather and being able to ride our bikes again – we rode over 30 miles this week – after 5 weeks of not riding, we are getting our “bike legs” back. There are lots of great rails-to-trails to ride in Florida!
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