Day 29. Sunday, May 13 – Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Monday 14 May 2018

If we did not leave early, we would not leave at all, so Dave and Lynn promptly kicked us out (love you guys)!  We were on the west side of Pensacola, so on quiet roads we headed back to the city to cross the 3 mile Pensacola Bay Bridge.Homes lined the other side of the road with views of the bay.  The busy bridge was under construction, but with a dedicated bike lane, crossing was not a problem.  Once we lost the traffic going to the beach, there were few cars on the road; ample bike lane, but we opted for the shady bike path.  As we settled into a quieter ride, we were very disappointed to not have a view of the water on either side.  Our road split the very wide Gulf Islands peninsula and offered nothing to see; obviously a utilitarian thoroughfare.  There was nothing on the road other than huge churches; more than we’d seen on any single day.  We knew we better stop for breakfast before the church crowd hit the streets, but there was so little on the road.  After 32 miles, we found a perfect (and only) stop spot, good air-conditioning, excellent (and plentiful) food and a nice long rest.  Fully loaded, we headed back out to the highway and heat; it was shortly after ten and already 90°.  Thank goodness the humidity was very low, because the sun was scorching.

This is the second time in ten years, we have seen a giraffe on tour.

After several more miles of not seeing the water, we turned into a neighborhood for a glimpse of water.  We met Paul, though from this area, he’s a Hokie and super nice guy.  After the boys stopped talking about the upcoming football season, we headed on our way.  It was a good sidetrack.

The wind was swirling, occasionally catching our back, occasionally slowing us down.  A quick shady rest overlooking the traffic heading over the bridge to Navarre Beach and a great statue dedicated to those that have served.

Shortly after noon, we had to take an air-conditioned rest.  The hot (91º in the shade, 110 ° in the sun), dry air was sucking it out of us.  Afternoon clouds were collecting and we were fortunate to get some occasional shade.  In our last few miles, we lost our bike lane and traffic was heavy.  Occasionally, we managed a glimpse of huge homes tucked behind tall trees, enjoying long views of the Santa Rosa Sound; pictures were impossible.

We were happy to find a hotel and sanctuary from the heat.  After 59 miles and eating deliciously healthy for the last two days, we stuffed on pasta.

3 Responses to “Day 29. Sunday, May 13 – Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach, Florida”

  1. Morgan Says:

    The gulf coast is gorgeous with its’ beaches and bayous! I’m glad the days of terrible headwinds are far behind.

  2. travis Says:

    Wow! You guys have been on a binge these last few days: lots of great scenery, weather, biking, food, friends, fun. Continue to enjoy it all & thanks again for sharing your pix and narratives with your loyal web followers. Be safe.

  3. M.E. Says:

    So, now I know who to thank for all the live oak leaves in my yard! ha ha

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