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Day 25 - Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL

Our day 25, 96 miler, began just at the outskirts of Mobile, next to the Battleship Alabama Museum.  We enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise just as we began our ride which was to take us across another state border into Florida later in the day.
We had a wonderful trail to ride along the highway out of town.  Alabama’s Coastal Connection Trail.  The first 10 miles had us riding next to highway traffic on a wide shoulder bike trail which took us over several bridges and raised highway sections just above the waters of the Bay.  This was really gorgeous pedaling in the morning.

From there the Coastal Trail took us up the coast past beautiful homes, cottages and bed and breakfast opportunities.  Each of us remarked that we would like to bring our wives back some time to enjoy this remarkable coastline.  We encountered more bicyclists on this trail than at any other time on our trip.

After leaving the Coastal Connection Trail, we had good shoulder riding which continued through and into Orange Beach, Alabama.  This area has wonderful white sand beaches which stretch on forever.  As soon as we go into the resort town of Orange Beach the good shoulder riding continued but we had to be mindful of traffic in and out of the many hotels, condos and some beach houses.  Orange Beach looks to be a very busy summer resort hotspot.  For our trip, the summer season is over so we were able to navigate the traffic easily.  At the end of Orange Beach we crossed the border into Florida, our 8th and final state. We were in Mississippi and Alabama only a short time each, we will be in Florida a total of 5.5 days.
We enjoyed continued good to great riding for the most of the day until I got off course (Bob, Joe and Melonie continued to enjoy the great shoulder riding) and got onto a five mile stretch of no shoulder, 65-70 mile an hour two-way traffic with no off ramps or streets to turn off from.  This white knuckle escapade put a bit of damper on an otherwise perfect day.

As we entered and passed through the other side of Pensacola we encountered hills which provided a lot of our 2,000 foot elevation gain for the day.  Day 25 was a wonderful ride and one which we highly recommend for anyone interested in a just shy century on the coast between Alabama and Florida.

We say goodbye to guest rider Melonie Hoelzle and hello to guest rider Roy Umlauf and cameo guest rider, Don Schmidtke, Joe’s college roommate, who will drop in for a short portion of day 26.

Day 25 was also a “dog free day.”

Baptist Church count – 89

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