We rode through several small beautiful bay communities, fishing communities, marshes and the large city of Biloxi with its gift shops and casinos en route to Dauphin Island to catch the ferry across Mobile Bay.
Bridges, bridges and more bridges..... never seen so many.
We got to the Dauphin Island ferry in between ferries so we had about an hour for conversation and bird watching. Mobile Bay and Pelican Bay back up to each other so pelicans are plentiful. There was also a very friendly Great Blue Heron that would hang around and wait for fishermen to toss him crackers, french fries or bait fish and believe it or not they have named him Phillip.
Once we were loaded on the ferry we had time for photo ops and sightseeing. There were many, many oil rigs in the bay, really makes one wonder why we pay so much fo gasoline. We also saw a lighthouse out in the mouth of the bay but we weren't close enough to get a real good shot of it.
Immediately upon disembarking from the ferry we passed by Fort Morgan, Alabama then we headed on to Gulf Shores for some lunch. This was the time that we had dreaded for after lunch Ray and Jean were planning to break off and head back home to Mississippi and we would start our journey home. After "see you later" hugs they pulled out and we were left in tears.
It's so amazing how God places good people like them in your path right out of the blue and they turn out to be the best friends ever. Thank you Father. Okay so we are alone now and headed on up the gulf coast crossing into Florida.
As we got into Pensacola we spotted a sign to Pensacola Lighthouse and decided that we just had to take that in so we made the turn and realized that we were headed into Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Once we were ID'd we were on our way. The lighthouse was pretty from the outside but we quickly decided that we just had to see to view of the gulf from the top. Realizing that it probably wasn't the smartest decision we could make we said a prayer and did it.....all 177 steps, keeping Philippians 4:13 in mind "I can do all through Christ who strengthens me".. The lady at the top showed us how to come down without injuring the back further, it's called the crab walk, and it worked pretty good. Of course we had to stop several times going up and coming down but it was a tremendous accomplishment. In addition to the beautiful scenery from the top we also had a birdseye view of The Blue Angels planes since this base is their home base, way cool.
We got as far as Ft. Walton Beach, Florida before we pulled into Super 8 motel for the night. After we unloaded we went in search of seafood and found it in a neat little place called The Seafood Shack, an excellent choice.
"GOD will command His Angels to protect you wherever you go". ~ (Psalm 91:11)
Another early rising morning, but that's not unusual for us because we always feel like we don't want to sleep our vacation away. As usual we dressed and loaded up and then met Jean and Ray at the Quality Inn breakfast area. After a delicious breakfast and plenty of hot coffee we hit the road again.We headed out on Highway 90 again, such a beautiful road. Ray told us about the havoc that Katrina had created on this area. Not just on the homes, which had been and were being rebuilt, but on the beautiful live oak trees. They were going the take down the destroyed trees and a very talented artist went to the "powers that be" and asked them not to take them down and told them that he could create beautiful sculptures from them and that he did. We were able to see some of them and honestly his work is unbelievable.