Mississippi, Alabama and flesh eating bacteria

“She felt... how life, from being made up of little separate incidents which one lived one by one, became curled and whole like a wave which bore one up with it and threw one down with it, there, with a dash on the beach. ”  ― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

“She felt… how life, from being made up of little separate incidents which one lived one by one, became curled and whole like a wave which bore one up with it and threw one down with it, there, with a dash on the beach. ”
― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

The ride out of New Orleans on a Monday morning was extremely busy; tunnels, freeway over passes and exit lanes sprawled the first 30 miles. Once I got to the outskirts the freeway gave way to a narrow two lane road and I traveled over swamps and rivers. Getting to the Mississippi coast, a storm blew in and left me riding on the beach bike path. What a beautiful coast! White, sandy beaches and old wooden docks were illuminated by lightning as I pushed my self slowly east. I planned to ride to eastern Biloxi, MS but the weather forced me to reconsider. I saw a sign on the highway pointing to an RV park, where I cycled and looked for the first sign of inhabitants. An older gentleman was getting out of his truck and I asked him if I could somewhere in the shelter of his RV. We talked a little bit about traveling and the hardships of being on the road, then he asked me to join him for dinner with his wife. He told me about his business, and gave me pointers on how to play black jack. I watched “Unger Siege” with Steven Segal until then part when the Navy seals helicopter blows up and slept in my tent with a fan blowing. It is so hot! The humidity is in the 90’s and the temperature at night rarely falls below 85, with little breeze I slept without my sleeping bag half naked on a yoga mat, sweating all night long.

Its good to acknowledge the important things if life

Its good to acknowledge the important things if life

After being offered breakfast, and given clean clothes I headed out toward Biloxi, MS. The southern states near the Gulf are very tapered and I will quickly be in Florida. Within about 30 minutes of riding I had to stop to cool down. My clothes were completely soaked and with my new polyester reflective vest I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I feel that in the humidity sweating actually makes you hotter, keeping your clothes from breathing, making your body feel suffocated. To the Atlantic ocean I went, and waded in knee deep water for 20 to 30 feet. The ocean didn’t seem to get deep for a while and before I could think about trying to dive under a lady on the beach started calling me back to shore, shouting something. When I got a bit closer I made out the words “Flesh eating bacteria” and “a guy recently lost his leg in this area”. When I got to the beach she left, and I felt a bit concerned. I packed up and headed to the visitors center where they verified the story but told me that the incident happened a few years ago. Hmmm, ok, now I don’t have to worry about being hit by a car because after wading in the Atlantic I am going to lose my limbs to flesh eating bacteria.

 

Do not swim here

Do not swim here

A local working at the V. center referred me to the “cheapest and best restaurant in town”, “how can it be cheap and the best” well “you will see” she said. I pedaled off to Rosilli’s and it quickly made sense. Most of the food that they served was already cooked, maybe left overs or just old food but it was “recooked”. For exampled I had a fried shrimp “Po boy” which had “twice fried shrimp”. The old fried shrimp was re battered and fried before making its way into my French roll. With Mayonnaise mustard and a lot of vinegar it was definitely worth the trip.

Pretty cool place, cheap beers too

Pretty cool place, cheap beers too

Twice fried shrimp Po boy

Twice fried shrimp Po boy it took a while to pedal this off

I don’t understand how locals can eat this kind of food on a daily basis. With the heat and humidity this fare of food makes you feel sick. I am surprised that there are aren’t more smoothie places or that pink berry hasn’t caught on yet.

Beach on Dauphin island

From the beach on Dauphin island

Bridge in the sky, one of the many marvels of mankind

Bridge in the sky, a marvel of mankind

I am camping out tonight on the deck of a raised house on the beach of Dauphin island. The bridge to the island was 4 miles long and close to 150 feet high in some sections, a strong headwind made my legs a bit shaking toward the end. Tomorrow I will take a ferry to a nearby peninsula and continue riding to Florida. I wish I could have shared the sunset with someone. Good night

9 thoughts on “Mississippi, Alabama and flesh eating bacteria

  1. Hi Julian,
    Right, you are hotter in humid weather and need to be careful you don’t have metabolic meltdown. Evaporative cooling is greatly deminished because the air is saturated with moisture so minimal heat is lost through sweating, even though you’re still losing body water and electrolytes! Your body temp continues to rise.

    Here is a way to calculate the heat index: ambient temperature + relative humidity (%) = HI … 70 degree day with 65%humidity has HI of 135!!! If the HI is under 130 you’ll be able to cool yourself, if over it’s a good idea to pour water on yourself (water bottle?). If over 150 difficult to cool yourself and must really be careful and reduce speed, effort. If over 180 it is impossible to cool yourself and you might consider getting a ride.

    This is info endurance riders (horse of course) use to calculate risks of riding/racing in heat and humidity. Stay cool and safe friend and try to find something green to eat once in awhile. :-)))))
    Best,
    Carla

    • Thanks for the info Carla! I think there have been several days where the index has been over 180, and plenty over 150. I am glad that I am just learning about this now, because the worst (heat wise) is behind me. Soon it will be time for me to start thinking about pedaling in the snow, and navigating routes in foreign languages. This is where the adventure will truly begin, and with an open mind and spirit I am sure I will be guided in the right direction.

      Take care

      Julian

      • I’m you are and will be guided in the right direction. Thanks for letting us come along.
        Carla

    • Yes! I am almost there! Can’t wait to get out of the states! Flying from Orlando to Norway on the 30th of this month. Once in Norway I plan to cycle through Russia and into Eastern Europe en-route to southern China. Thanks for following along!

      Julian

  2. if you can survive the south, you can survive anything!! just think of it as a foreign country. the neighbor dogs got in to our chicken pen and killed 11 birds. the fridge and the water heater quit on us (water heater fixed, fridge a goner). my new brompton hasn’t arrived yet. see, isn’t iy great to be SOOOOO far away from these trivial worries? hugs, janet and robert

    Sent from something called an “iPad”, and looking forward to another wonderful alaskan summer!

    • Hey Janet!

      It is very nice to be away from those worries, but sometimes I wish that I didn’t always have to look for a place to sleep each night. Looking forward to the Scandinavian countryside, I will keep you posted on how it compares to Alaska. Remind me again when the fall/winter starts that far north? I hope to make it to Greece before the frost sets in.

      Julian

    • Plans have unfolded pretty well so far! Florida beaches are beautiful, but I wish the water was a bit cooler. Hope all is well, still waiting to encounter yoga_girl on this trip!
      Julian

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