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.
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.
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.
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.
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