We stopped at the visitors center for the Gulf Islands National Seashore for lunch and a walk along the shore before continuing into Alabama, still on hwy 98
. We did not see much of the shoreline in Alabama as the hwy is about a mile inland through agricultural land at this point. Our neighbor tonight tells us the beaches are even better than the ones in Florida. The landscape and vegetation are significantly different from that we have been traveling through to this point. Live oak trees and magnolias now became dominant, replacing the pines and palmetto of the Florida landscape.
Anticipating that if we continued on we would be traveling through Mobile at evening rush hour we decided to find a place to stay just east of the city. In mapping out our travels I also discovered that we would pass near to Point Clear AL, the site of a conference that I attended several years ago. I found it to be a charming community and suggested that we do a drive through. Then started looking for an RV park. I found one - complete with train and blue grass concert tomorrow night! We booked in for two nights and that gives us tomorrow to do some exploration in the area. Amazing how things work out!
We made an early start this morning and continued our exploration of hwy 98 along the Emerald Coast - through Destin and Pensacola. The beaches became more spectacular and the towns more prosperous the further west we traveled. Many of these communities are not more than 50 years old, most of them undergoing tremendous growth during the last five years. Huge hotel complexes now line the coast making one wonder how the current economy will affect these communities. Tourism and the service industries seems to be 'it' for the local businesses. This section of the gulf coast will draw me back for a visit during warmer weather. The dunes were enticing, but on the wrong side of the a road for a quick look see! One of the disadvantages of traveling in a large vehicle is that parking can sometimes be a problem. We also found it cool - the temperature didn't get much above the mid fifties today - pleasant and sunny with a strong breeze out of the northwest.