Southward to the Beach

Our ultimate goal was to hit the coast and we finally made it! After Thanksgiving in Tennessee we drove southward through Alabama. We love crossing a new state off the map and this was a new state for all of us.

While in Alabama we spent two nights each in Birmingham and Montgomery. While there was plenty of history to explore, we focused on Selma and the historic marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The bridge is the site of the Bloody Sunday conflict on March 7, 1965 when police attacked civil rights protesters including the late Rep. John Lewis.

Unfortunately the national museums connected with the area were closed due to COVID, but Professor Google helped us understand the significance of the area. 

In Montgomery we strolled the city and saw several other historic civil rights sites, including the Rosa Parks Museum, but unfortunately we were not able to go inside.  Travel during these times certainly has its drawbacks.

A few hours south and we hit the white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast. Our base, Destin, FL was a central location from which to check out new territory for us. We were in Destin for ten days, at two different locations (Camp Gulf and Topsail Hill State Park).

While we had a few adventures, the time was mostly spent enjoying the coast and “just living.” We gave blood, did some shopping, and I got a haircut. Steve got in some good runs and a few beers. 

One adventure while in Destin was to go kayak fishing. We set out on a cool Sunday morning with Captain Dave of Kayak Fishing Destin, unsure of what to expect. As the morning progressed we warmed up, caught a few speckled sea trout and redfish, and enjoyed the calm waters of the Okaloosa Sound.

The pedal kayaks were something new for us and a fun way to get from here to there. We’d highly recommend this excursion if you come to Destin. 

We also took an afternoon to visit the nearby Gulfarium. This small aquarium along the coastline has been in Destin since 1955. Dedicated to education and preservation of Gulf Coast marine life, Gulfarium provided a good overview of the ecosystem around us. Crocodiles, alligators, sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins, and more are on display.

It wasn’t SeaWorld, and it made us wonder about the ethics of these kind of places. It did pass the time and taught us a little more about the world around us. 

On another day we took a drive along Highway 30A, the coastal road between Destin and Panama City Beach. Cute little towns dot the coastline, each with their own characters. The most famous town is probably Seaside, a planned community that was featured in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show. It’s idyllic to be sure. 

Christmas is all around us, even at the beach. We’re getting into the spirit with a little tree and lights outside of our rig.

My foot is healing, slowly but surely. Here’s a comparison of how it’s come along. I’m back on my bike, taking it easy, but happy to have a little more mobility.

We’re on the move again, this time heading further south into Florida. If it all goes as planned, we’ll be in the Everglades in a few days.  More to come!

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