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TRIP 2018

Update #10 - April 09th
Apalachicola, Florida

Year Total : 611.16 miles (977.86 km)



April 02 M : Biloxi, Mississippi to Kreole (East Pascagoula), Mississippi : 31.41 miles (50.26 km)
07.58 C 06.42 R
Trip Total : 303.47 miles (485.55 km)

Fourteeth day on tour.

The motel room was worn down. I was able to get some rest. At least, there were not that many people last night so the pool wasn't used. I did wake up a couple of times during the night.

I got up around 5 am. I went to the office to get some breakfast around 6:40 am. After breakfast, I got Allison packed up. I noticed that I had left the ground cloth in the church van Saturday afternoon. It will be a couple of months before I start camping out at night.

I left the motel around 7:45 am. It was warm in the 60s so I didn't have to put my jacket on. The ride to the casino area of Biloxi was okay. There were a couple of homeless people on bikes sort of camping out near the water.

When I got to the Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge, I was able to ride three-quarters of the bridge before I walked up the last 1/3 of the high part of the bridge. I was able to coast the rest of the way of the bridge. I had to be careful through Ocean Springs because there were six lanes and no shoulder. I rode the rain gutter portion of the curb. I stopped at a Circle K for a break. About 1.5 mile down the road from the gas station, a wide shoulder started up again.

By 11:20 am, I had the first 20 miles (32 km) in. I decided to take an early lunch break at a BK in Gautier. Even with the break, I was able to ride a little over 22 miles (35.2 km) by noon. It was a short ride into Pascagoula. I decided to walk up to the top of the bridge over the Pascagoula River instead of attempting to ride up it. The ride through Pascagoula went okay because the traffic was kind of light going east.

The sky was a little cloudy but the temperature was in the upper 70s.

Before going to the motel that I had a reservation at, I stopped at the Walmart to get a few things. I decided to go ahead and buy a tire there instead of attempting to try and ride the old tire to Pensacola. I was getting a little concerned that the wall casing of the old tire is thin and coming apart. I am so glad that I got the new tire. The old tire was shot. All of the rubber on the sidewall casing was gone. The only thing that was keeping the tire up was the air pressure in the tube. I expected that the tire that I got was going to be wider than 1.75 inches but it's close to 1.5 inch wide. The tire is only rated for 65 psi. I got it up to 55 psi and it's pretty solid.

Tim's family got me concerned. I learned that Spring Break is this week after Easter because of Mardi Gras. Normally, I would swing south to catch the Dauphin Island to Ft Morgan ferry instead of riding through Mobile. I went online to see if there were any rooms available at the motel in Bayou La Batre but there weren't any. I can just guess that there will be no rooms available in the Gulf springs area. Because of this, I'm going to ride through Mobile and basically follow US 90 into Pensacola. I got a room at one of the motels in Tillman's Corner.

I'm less than 9 miles (14 km) away from the Alabama state line.

April 03 - T : Kreole (East Pascagoula), Mississippi to Tillman's Corner (West Mobile), Alabama : 30.12 miles (48.19 km)
08.33 C 06.67 R
Trip Total : 333.59 miles (533.74 km)

Fifteeth day on tour.

The motel room was a little worn down. The new owners of the hotel are in the process of remodeling it so it can be put back into the Super 8 network. I was able to get some sleep. I did wake a couple of times during the night to go to the restroom. I woke up the last time around 5 am. I went for breakfast around 6:40 am. There wasn't much there. I wasn't really impressed with the lady desk clerk. She was an overweight black lady going around barefoot and the back part of her underwear showing.

I left the motel around 7:45 am. The sky was a little overcast. The shoulder had some improvement but there was a long rough spot. I did have to stop and put some air in the front tire. The new rear tire was holding up okay.

It was really great that I crossed into Alabama. I stopped to take a picture of Allison at the state sign.



Allison at Alabama State Sign



US 90 in Alabama was a little bit improved and there was some shoulder to ride along even though there was a rumble strip. About four miles (6 km) into Alabama, I stopped to at a gas station. While I was having my break, this other guy showed up on a bicycle. I thought that he was going to be a local guy but he was a cross-country cyclist from El Paso, Texas. He had little gear (no camping gear or safety gear). The rear panniers looked pretty empty and I didn't see anything to fix a flat tire. The guy was almost 67 and he was moteling it every night. He told me that he was left El Paso three weeks ago and was expecting to be in Jacksonville in six days. Supposedly he was cycling around 100 miles (160 km) a day. He was supposed to have started from Gulf Port, Mississippi this morning and was going to ride through Mobile and stop in Daphne, Alabama for the night. Before he left, he did tell me that he had met up with an 81 year old guy from Europe who had started out in San Diego.

The ride through Grand Bay, St Elmo, and Theodore, Alabama went okay. It was a little strange not turning South at Grand Bay to Bayou La Batre and Dauphin Island. I got around 22 miles in by noon. I stopped at a gas station for a chicken leg snack meal.

The rest of the way to Tillmans Corner went okay. I got to the Baymont around 1:45 pm. It was good that I'm here because the wind had really picked up. There was a good chance of some storms this afternoon. The majority of the storms is supposed to come through tonight and there might be some more early morning. I'm glad that I didn't attempt to make the whole way through Mobile today. I might have been caught in some storms along the causeway bridges across Mobile Bay.

The lady told me that I wouldn't be able to find a room in this area next weekend because of Spring Break. All of the seventeen hotels in the area are booked up.

Instead of going all of the way into downtown Mobile and then turning North along the Mobile River to the Cochraine-Africatown Bridge near the closed paper mill, I've decided to turn north on US 45.

April 04 - W : Tillman's Corner (West Mobile), AL to Daphne, AL : 31.14 miles (49.82 km)
09.09 C 06.91 R
Trip Total : 364.72 miles (583.55 km)

Sixteeth day on tour.

The motel room was a okay and large. The only bad thing wrong was that the paint was peeling off the bathroom door. I was going to try and use the guest laundry but the laundry room was on the second floor and there wasn't a soap machine. They didn't sell any soap at the desk. I handwashed my jersey.

I was tired so I went to sleep around 8:10 pm. I woke up a couple of times during the night to go to the restroom but I was able to fall back asleep. Between the time that I woke up the last time and when I finally woke up around 5:30 am, I remember dreaming some. I got cleaned up, dressed and went to the office around 6:20 am for some breakfast. It was lightly raining. The majority of the storm was supposed to happen earlier in the morning. I was looking for hot pancakes but the machine was down. Something about the batter bag being empty. I got biscuits and gravy instead.

I left the motel around 8:15 am. There were still a few sprinkles so I had my jacket on. It was cool in the 60s and there was a wind coming from the north. I stopped at a gas station around 6 miles down the road for some hot chocolate. The ride into Mobile went okay until I got into the downtown area. There wasn't any shoulder so I rode the sidewalk. Around 10:50 am, I decided to stop for an early lunch break at a Wendys.

After lunch, I followed Truck Rte 90 to the shipyards. At the shipyards, it was a little tricky getting onto the local roads that would take me to the Cochraine-Africatown Bridge. At the bridge, I walked up to the top of the bridge because there was a lot of junk in the shoulder and it was windy. I got to the top of the bridge around 12:20 pm. I was able to coast down the bridge but I stopped to walk over every expansion joint. Traffic was pretty heavy to the intersection where the US 98 tunnel and I-10 crossed. The eight mile ride along the causeway went okay.

I got into Daphne around 2:45 pm. I stopped for a short break at a gas station. Traffic was really heavy because of Spring Break. I didn't feel like going on to Loxely. I decided to stop at the Eastern Shores Motel for the night. I remember staying here before.

I'm about 34 miles (54 km) away from the Florida State line. I'll either push on to Pensacola tomorrow or try and cross the Pensacola Bay Bridge to Gulf Breeze.

April 05 - R : Daphne, Alabama to Warrington, Florida : 55.42 miles (88.67 km)
10.09 C 06.91 R
Trip Total : 420.14 miles (672.22 km)

Seventeeth day on tour.

The motel room was a okay even though things were a little run down. It was really hard finding all of the channels on the television. There wasn't any guide. I took a good shower to get my hair washed.

It was probably 10 pm, when I went to bed. I did wake up a couple of times. I woke up around 5 am to some bright light coming into the room. It was from somebody with their lights on their car. There was a McDs close by but I got some breakfast out of the food pannier. It was about 46 so I got on my jacket.

I left the motel around 7:40 am. I backtracked about .2 miles before I turned east of US 90. Traffic was pretty busy and I had to stop and wait for traffic. I rode on the curb. I didn't get maybe a half mile (.8 km) down the road when a police car came up behind me with their lights flashing. There was a lady officer. She pulled up next to me and told me that the department had gotten a couple of calls about me. I assured her that I knew what I was doing. She told me to be careful because a lady got killed in the same area a couple of weeks ago. After about a couple of miles, a shoulder started and there wasn't any rumble strip. There were some rolling hills. On a couple of hills, I chose to walk up them. Traffic was heavy to Malbis (AL 27). I stopped at a gas station for a hot chocolate break.

From the gas station, I had an okay ride to Loxley. I stopped at a gas station for another break and to take my jacket off. The ride between Loxely and Robertdale went okay. I rode a sidewalk through Robertdale. Once passed the city limits, the paved shoulder started up but there was a rumble strip in the middle. I tried riding to the right of the rumble strip but I did switch over to the left of the rumble strip but I didn't go passed the white line. Around noon, I stopped at a gas station for a two piece chicken and roll snack.

The ride after lunch to the Florida state line went okay. There were some rolling hills but not as many in the morning. Traffic was light but I still stopped whenever a lot of traffic came up behind me. I rode through the small town of Seminole.

It was about 3:30 pm when I crossed into Florida after going over to the Perdido River. I stopped to take pictures of Allison at the FL state sign and also the Florida Welcome sign. I had ridden 35.27 miles (56.43 km) in Alabama today.



Allison at Florida State Sign

Allison at Florida Welcome Sign



The ride in Florida was really great because there was a designated bike lane. For quite a few miles, I coasted down the hills. Around 5 pm, I stopped at a McDs in Bellview for a supper break. After supper, the ride to Myrtle Grove went okay. I turned South on FL 295-A to Warrington. I got to the Suburban Lodge around 6:40 pm. The room that I got was on the 2nd floor overlooking FL 292. At least, there was an elevator to get Allison upstairs.

I'm 6 miles (10 km) away from the western edge of the Pensacola Bay Bridge. I've got a room lined up at a motel in Fort Walton Beach. I'm 44 miles (70 km)away from Fort Walton Beach. Because of all the Spring Break activity, I'm going to stay on US 98. I'll still have about a 68 mile (109 km) ride to Panama City. Saturday's ride might be a little tricky because there is supposed to be some rain in the morning.

During the past four days, I've ridden 16.7 miles (27 km) less than what I rode next week. This week, I will have ridden 29.36 miles (47 km) less than what I had ridden the first 11 days of the trip. I've missed riding 64 miles (102 km) of my proposed trip.

April 06 - F : Warrington, Florida to Fort Walton Beach, Florida : 48.23 miles (77.17 km)
11.09 C 06.91 R
Trip Total : 468.37 miles (747.29 km)

Eighteeth day on tour.

The motel room was a okay even though it was on the second floor and facing the busy highway. There was a kitchenette in the room. I had to shut off the full size refrigerator because it was so noisy. I went to sleep around 10:30 pm. I woke up around 3:30 am, stayed awake a little bit, and then fell back asleep till around 5:20 am.

I had one of the housekeepers help me get Allison out of the room and on the elevator. I left the motel around 7:40 am. The temperature was in the 60s so I didn't have to wear my jacket. The ride into downtown Pensacola went okay. Before getting onto the Pensacola Bay Bridge, I stopped at a gas station for a break. The ride across the Pensacola Bay Bridge went okay. There was a new bridge being built just south of the old bridge. There were three pile drivers. I took quite a few pictures across the bridge. Traffic was really backed up going westbound because there was a semi that broke down.

Since they didn't provide a breakfast at the hotel, I stopped at a McDs for a late breakfast. I rode the sidewalk through the rest of Gulf Breeze until I got on the paved bike path east of town. The ride went okay. About five miles down the highway, this guy in a truck stopped me to talk to me. The conversation was kind of weird. It sounded like he was a self-proclaimed prophet with an end-times message. I shot him down and told me that there are already too many talking heads. There needs to be more doers instead of talkers. The guy didn't what an Evangelical Christian was.

The ride to Navarre went okay. I stopped at a BK for a late lunch break. After the lunch the ride to Fort Walton Beach went okay. I got to the motel where I had the reservation around 5:20 pm. They tried to put me in a second floor non-smoking room but I told them that I wouldn't be able to carry Allison and my gear up the stairs that curved. They found me a smoking room downstairs that didn't smell very bad.

I've got a long ride tomorrow. There is going to be chances of rain tomorrow. At least, the storm front is coming from the west so I am going to have a tailwind to push me along.

April 07 - SA : Fort Walton Beach, Florida to Dirego Park (N Panama City), Florida : 71.46 miles (114.34 km)
12.09 C 06.91 R
Trip Total : 539.83 miles (863.73 km)

Nineteeth day on tour.

The motel room wasn't that good. It was quite run down. The bathroom had rust stains and there was no shower curtain. The towel rack above the toilet was very loose and was getting ready to come off the wall. The curtains didn't fit the window very well and there were holes in the curtains. The wifi signal was pretty bad. I can't believe that they charged $120 for the night only because they were trying to scam the tourists coming into the area for Spring Break.

There wasn't any breakfast. There was a gap in the rain so I decided to head out around 6:40 am. The ride through the rest of Fort Walton Beach went okay. I got across the Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge to Oskaloosa Island okay. I stopped at a gas station for a break. The ride across the rest of the island went okay and I was able to ride almost all the way across the bridge to Destin. There was some activity at the point. Sand was being sucked up and made into an artificial barrier island to protect the boat arena. I got about halfway through Destin when the rain started up again. I was pretty soaked. I took an extended breakfast break. This lady worker gave me a hard time because of the large puddle underneath my table.

It was probably 9:40 am when I got back on the road. The rain was just sprinking. The ride through the rest of Destin and Sandestin went okay. Around noon, I was at the intersection of US 98 and Cnty 30A. I stopped at the gas station because there was a Subway. I got a meal. The rain had stopped so I was able to take my jacket off.

Instead of staying on US 98, I decided to take 30A. It was a little confusing because there were more switchovers from one side of the road to the next. There was a four mile break in the bike path because of construction. There was a new path going into Seaside. In seaside, a cross-country cyclist passed me going west. I called out asking where he was going. The guy called out Astoria, Oregon. There was a lot of activity in the main part of Seaside. The rest of the ride along the bike path went okay. I stopped at a gas station for a break. The ride to US 98 and Alt 98 went okay. Instead of taking Alt 98,I stayed on US 98. There was a tailwind to push me along.

I was really happy when I finally got to the bridge over West Bay. The south side sidewalk was closed off because there was a large pipe going over the bridge. I had to get onto the shoulder of the main lanes across the bridge. It was about 6:50 pm when I into the West side of Panama City. I got on ALT 390 (23rd Street). It was a long ride along 23rd Street. I had to stop and turn on my lights. I was so happy to get onto US 231. The Microtel was less than a block off of 23rd Street. I got to the hotel around 8:10 pm. I had been on the road for almost 13.5 hours.

April 08 - SU : Dirego Park (N Panama City), Florida to Panama City, Florida to Calloway (E Panama City), Florida : 10.49 miles (16.78 km)
12.35 C 07.65 R
Trip Total : 550.32 miles (880.52 km)

Twentieth day on tour.

I was really amazed that I actually made it to the hotel. I stayed up till around 10:20 pm and then I fell asleep. I did wake up once during the night but I was able to fall back asleep. I woke up around 5:30 am. I went out for breakfast around 7 am. There wasn't anything hot so I got cereal instead.

I left the motel around 9 am. It was cool but I didn't get my jacket out. On the way into the downtown area, I should have stayed on US 231 but I got on FL 77. I landed on Bus 98 about 6 blocks east of the downtown area.

I got to the church around 9:30 am. The church looked a little familiar. I think I might have stopped there a long time ago and stayed in the education building across the street from the church. There was a guy out sweeping the front of the church. He was friendly. He told me that it would be okay to let me put Allison up on the front porch of the church. Another guy took me to see Rev Brown. He was in a small classroom. We didn't talk long because he had to meet some people who were becoming members of the church. I wandered the halls a little bit before going into the sanctuary. There were a couple of people who stopped to say hello. One person did shake my hand. There was a lot goung on during the service so the pastor skipped introducing and welcoming me. The sanctuary was pretty cold and I almost dozed off. Nobody talked to me after the service. Rev Brown did slip me some money for lunch.

I found out why Rev Brown was limping and walking with crutches. He took his poodle out for a walk but he was riding his bicycle. The poodle was on a leash on Rev Brown's left side. The poodle saw a cat and ran in front of the bicycle to the right. Rev Brown ran over his dog and crashed. The dog is supposed to be okay. Rev Brown is supposed to be on crutches for a couple of weeks more.

I got back on Bus 98. In Springfield, I stopped at a BK for some lunch. I headed east on FL 22 to Callaway. Along the way, I had to stop to watch a couple of young girls who were wearing stretched out sweaters so they looked like some kind of strange animals without any arms. They were having a good time.

When I got into Calloway, I found my way over to the Days Inn to get a room for the night.

April 09 - M : Calloway (E Panama City), Florida to Niles (S Port St Joe), Florida : 40.07 miles (64.11 km)
13.35 C 07.65 R
Trip Total : 590.39 miles (944.62 km)

Twenty-first day on tour.

I had an okay afternoon and night at the hotel. The room was okay but the walls were paper thin so I heard the television from the next room. There was one concern and that was that there was no smoke detector in the room. There was a hole in the wall where the smoke detector was supposed to be. I wished that there would have been a guest laundry. There wasn't much for breakfast.

I left the hotel around 7:40 am. I was able to ride a sidewalk most of the way to the intersection of Bus 98 and US 98. The 3.4 miles (5 km) to the St Andrew Bay Bridge was tricky through Parker because there was a curb with an uneven gutter. I stopped at a gas station for a short break. Whenever there was any traffic behind me, I pulled over at evey intersection to wait for the traffic to go passed. I was really happy to get onto the bridge because there was a little bit of a shoulder. Once I got to the high spot of the bridge, I rode the rest of the way over the bridge.

When I got onto Tyndall Air Force Base, US 98 was almost repaved. There was some construction at curb cuts. Traffic was light after I got passed the base. I got into Mexico Beach around noon. I had ridden 22 miles (35 km). I stopped at a Dollar General to get a few things. For lunch, I stopped at a gas station that had a Subway. I took an extended lunch break at an outside table. About 1.5 mile (2.4 km) from the gas station, I crossed into Gulf County and also the Eastern Time Zone.



Allison at Eastern Time Zone Sign



I took pictures of Allison at the sign and readjusted my clocks. At least, my bioclock should be in synch for a while. The sky was a little overcast and the temperature was in the low 70s.

There were a few brief pop up showers on the way to Port St Joe. I took quite a few pictures. I took my time getting over the bridges coming into Port St Joe. I stopped at the BK for a takeout of chicken nuggets and onion rings. From the downtown area, I rode about four miles (6 km) to Niles where there was a hotel (Mainstay Suites) a quarter of a mile south of the Gulf County hospital. I should get some Choice Reward points for staying here.

I stayed here before when I was hosted by the First Baptist Church. The room rate was a little high but Apalachicola was 20 miles (32 km) farther down the road. The big plus for me was that there was a guest laundry so I could get all of my wet clothes washed and dried. The price was a dollar less than the guest laundry at the Intown Suites in Hattiesburg. There were large chocolate chip cookies that were freshly baked.

There was the chance of pop-up showers tomorrow. If the rain is bad, I'll just ride to Apalachicola. If the weather is okay, I'll push on to Carabelle. I'm a little I'm 41 miles (66 km) away from Carabelle Beach where there is a motel that I've stayed at before.

April 10 - T : Niles (S Port St Joe), Florida to Apalachicola, Florida : 20.77 miles (33.23 km)
13.87 C 08.13 R
Trip Total : 611.16 miles (977.86 km)

Twenty-second day on tour.

I had a somewhat okay evening at the hotel. I wish that I would have gotten a different room because the walls were thin and the soda machine and ice making machine was in an adjoining alcove. The one plus for me was the guest laundry. I really needed a lot of clothes washed and dried. The room didn't get that dark. The curtain was a little too short for the room. There was enough light that I was able to count my fingers. Having a alarm clock with bright blue numbers didn't help much. I woke up a couple of times during the night. The last time was around 3 am. I was able to fall back asleep.

I woke up with a start. I thought that it was 6:17 am but it was 7:17 am. Watching the tv news didn't help much because the stations were out of Panama City instead of Tallahassee. I got cleaned up, dressed, and went downstairs to get some breakfast. Breakfast was being served in the lobby because the breakfast room was being remodeled.

I left the hotel was around 9 am. The weather was lightly raining so I had to get out my jacket and shower cap for my helmet. It rained for a couple of hours. I was pretty soaked. Because of the late start, I only got 18 miles (29 km) in by noon. I was happy to get into the Apalachicola. I stopped at the BK to get a takeout lunch. I then rode to the motel where I had made the reservation. I had stayed at the motel back in 2016 on my way West to california.

It was good that I was stopping for the day. The wind was brisk from the north. It would have been hard to get over the bridge across the Apalachicola Bay to Magnolia Bluffs and Eastpoint.



The next update might be posted between April 17th and April 24th.




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