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Bright White Sand

Hank – We woke up to blue Jays calling, doves cooing, and woodpeckers tapping. I went with a peanut butter sandwich and banana washed down with de-caf tea for breakfast. We stayed on a side road going through Gautier, which saved us from 11 miles of the main highway. When we saw the Luxury donut shop we had to stop there for a quick snack. We continued on side roads through Ocean Springs. The bridge crossing into Biloxi, MS had a separate bike/pedestrian path so that was pretty sweet.

Biloxi has changed a lot in the 30 years since I was here at Keesler AFB learning to be a computer programmer. There were no casinos let alone the huge ones that uglify the coastline now. The progress of man, I guess.

There are so many empty lots from Hurricane Katrina. Driveways lead to nothing. Grass-filled parking lots share no clue as to what people used to go there for. There are several markers show where historic buildings used to stand before Katrina.

We spotted Slap Ya Momma’s BBQ in Biloxi. You know we had to eat lunch there. I had the brisket and it was delicious.

Hwy 90 has no shoulder and is very busy for the 25 miles from Biloxi to Pass Christian. We rode next to the blinding white sand beaches on sidewalk and boardwalk nearly the entire way.

Along the way we ran into Hadrian and his wife and two children. They are from France. They lived in Mexico and are moving back to France. Since it’ll take two months for their household goods to make it there they decided to bike tour from Houston to Miami. Touring is difficult enough but hauling two young children in a trailer and dealing with all the issues that come with them, that takes some special people.

The bridge from Pass Christian to Bay St Louis also had a separate bike/pedestrian path. Nice. Instead of camping we decided to treat ourselves and get a hotel room. We picked up some wine, cheese, and crackers and had a relaxing evening after our 53 miles of saddle time.

Kathy – So after today’s ride I’m feeling much better about the state of Mississippi. We had some real nice roads with shoulders and a bike lane at times, other times we were back to no shoulder so we rode on the sidewalks and boardwalks along the Gulf if Mexico. The majority of our 53 miles was pretty nice traveling next to the water. The beautiful beaches were empty, I’m guessing because it was only 64 degrees. Our day varied from cloudy, to sunny, to foggy skies today.

I enjoyed seeing the large plantation homes along the Biloxi and Gulfport areas waterfront. There we not a lot of them now compared to my memories from the past. We lived in Biloxi, Mississippi for a few months while Hank was in training during the Air Force years. Then I returned when Hurricane Katrina hit the region 13 years ago. I volunteered on three different occasions to help during this disaster. Twice as a nurse (just after Katrina and then again two months later) and once to help rebuild homes (six months after Katrina). I spent about 2.5 months down here helping in the New Orleans area. This is when I met my great friend Diane from North Carolina (we spent time with them while in Savannah, Georgia). Diane is a nurse also and we spent all three volunteering trips together helping those in need.

Diane and I would get one day off a week from volunteering and would venture out in a any car we could manage to get. We traveled along the coastlines from New Orleans, Louisiana all the way to Biloxi, Mississippi (kind of what Hank and I are doing now, only on bikes). We saw so much of the destruction from Hurricane Katrina massive wrath during our days off and we helped anyone in need along the way.

Gauging from what we saw today, the entire area along the Mississippi coast line still has a long road to its economic recovery. You would think after 13 years there would be more progress, but unfortunately this is not what we witnessed today. It seems the main draw to the area now are the many casinos scattered about. The people of the Mississippi coast line and New Orleans will always have a special place in my heart. The were dealt a harsh blow with Hurricane Katrina and treated poorly in the aftermath. These southerners are some of the kindest people you could ever meet. If you ever get a chance come down to this area and see for yourself.

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
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  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
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Mobile To Pascagoula

Hank – Waking up at oh-dark-thirty, we loaded up the truck and said goodbye to Mike. We had to return the truck in Mobile, Alabama at 9:00 am. The drive went smoothly.

We left the rental place and stopped by a Waffle House for breakfast. We were on the bikes by 10:00.

Our route follows US Hwy 90 all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana. But today we’re spending the night at Shepard State Park just west of Pascagoula, Mississippi. I called them this morning and they have lots of tents sites so there is no need for reservations.

Hwy 90 in Alabama had shoulder most of the time. Sometimes the shoulder was cut in half by the rumble strip, which can be a pain to work around. But overall it was pretty good.

Things changed when we hit the Mississippi border. Talk about crumbling infrastructure. No shoulder, crumbling shoulder, and buckled shoulder with high grass growing in the cracks. It was very uncomfortable and slow.

While we we’re stopped at the border for the 30th (Alabama) and 31st (Mississippi) state photos, I saw a bike tourer riding out of a field and onto the road. We met Gus from Freedom, Maine. He left Phoenix, Arizona five weeks ago and is working his way to St Augustine, Florida. He was riding on Interstate 10 and cut over because an upcoming bridge had no shoulder. He was headed to Dauphin Island, Alabama today.

After 8-9 miles of crappy road it improved quite a bit, especially as we got closer to Pascagoula. We had what seems like a 20-foot shoulder but we also had three lanes of 65 mph traffic next to us and it was busy. We turned off to go to the state park and it’s been quiet ever since. $13 got us a tent site. Here’s a warning you don’t always get at a state park. There’s  a marauding pit bull who’s been outside but near the park and hasn’t been caught yet. It killed a horse. Good to know.

After showers and dinner we relaxed. My butt is a little sore after not riding for a week and knocking out 45 miles with a lot of rolling hills.

Kathy – Our ride in the rental was about 2.5 hours from Montgomery, Alabama to Mobile, Alabama where we turned the truck in. Then our bike ride today was 45 miles where we ended up at a state park just outside the town of Pascagoula, Mississippi. The weather was cool, breezy and in the mid 50’s. This is much cooler than our 75 degree weather in Florida. Yes, I realize all our family and friends up north are not feeling sorry for us and our cold temps today. Rolling hills greeted us 3/4 of our ride today. The flat lands of Florida are in our distant memory now.

We rode in states 30 – Alabama and 31 – Mississippi, yippee! I left my Alabama flower seeds with Mike in Montgomery. He is going to plant them in his yard as the weather warms up.

For the most part we had a decent shoulder in Alabama, but in Mississippi when we had a shoulder it was in pretty poor shape. Hank and I both have sore bums tonight due to the constant uneven surfaces and bumping of the roads. Mississippi is working on being one of our worst states due to the poorly maintained shoulders/roads.

Just after we passed the border into Mississippi there was a young mother with her van parked in the middle of the highway turning lane. She had multiple kids in the car and in between talking to us she would yell at them. She had a flat tire that was shredded to pieces and said her cell phone was dead. It looked as if she had driven on this flat tire for some time. Hank let her use his phone to call someone, but she already had some one else on the way. She kept making comments about how she didn’t know where she was (but her van had stickers on the back that it was purchased in the town she was in). She lived near by. I asked her if she wanted to get herself and the children out of the car since it was parked in the middle of the highway, (and there were houses near by) but she didn’t want to do that. She wasn’t interested in charging her cell phone either. It was very odd. It seemed she just wanted someone else to do everything for her. I found the whole situation a bit unusual. So we helped her as much as possible while two different people were on the way to bring her a new tire, so off we went.

Then, just as we left this lady, we found a large broken up green plastic chair in the middle of the highway lanes. Hank stopped and removed the big pieces as cars were surely going to hit them. Mississippi is not a pretty state. Horrible roads, brown trees and overgrown weeds everywhere, lots of trash on the side of the roads, and swamp land all around us. Then add the many crazy fast drivers that only give us minimal passing room. Welcome to Mississippi! As you can tell, I’m not very impressed with this state so far.

All is not bad though, I am happy for the nice hot shower at the campsite and our delicious dehydrated meals for dinner. We are comfy and tucked into our tent for the night. Ready to take on another day of Mississippi riding in the morning.

A couple of notes… 

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here:  Current Location where you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page  and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones.  Please look around to find this area).  Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like:  www.HankandKathyGreer.com