After a couple of mammoth days in the saddle we are now back on track; 802 route miles done and just 265 left to get New Orleans on Saturday. We crossed into the State of Mississippi yesterday and will be in Louisiana tomorrow.
Our brief journey through Southern Alabama, blighted by fog whilst on the coast, saw us pass some rather neglected looking cotton fields and extensively grazed beef cattle in the rural area east of Mobile Bay. The shore side of the bay was lined by many huge, mansion type houses with jetties straight out into the water.
At least seven rivers empty into Mobile Bay which makes the crossing tricky on a bike. We had to take a significant detour over several long bridges and causeways. The road out of Mobile towards Biloxi, on Mississippi’s Gulf coast was not much fun, lots of traffic and no shoulder for much of the way. It is not often that I am scared on the bike, but so many drivers came too close for comfort.
In total contrast, today was a real joy, 70 miles of quiet country roads, mostly through National Forest, to our selves and the few vehicles there were gave us plenty of room, often with a cheery wave.
We passed through many small communities today, all dominated by Baptist Churches, in immaculate condition, which looked far too big for the few immediate houses. We concluded they must serve a wide hinterland. There were no shops or even a petrol station the whole 70 miles, good job we stocked up for roadside picnics.
In between the forests there were a few areas that had been cleared for farming, all pasture land, mostly with beef cattle, a few horses and one flock of sheep. There were a couple of ranches with very impressive gates and fences leading up to huge houses – some serious wealth. Again, in stark contrast, many people live in trailer or pre-fab homes, some with some vicious looking, free range dogs which could have been a problem had we not brought along a gadget which emits a high frequency sound, this usually stops them in their tracks – thank goodness.