We got up early and went out on the balcony at the Admiral Semmes Hotel. It was cool and crisp as we enjoyed our coffee. We loaded up the Model A and headed west out of town, then south toward the Gulf. The roads passed through many pecan groves and over bayous with shrimp boats and tug boats tied up at the docks. The smells of the Gulf soon became evident and very familiar.
We turned onto Dauphin Island Parkway and crossed the bridge onto the island. We got in line for the ferry from Dauphin Island, across Mobile Bay to Fort Morgan. In 1991, we had hosted a Model T Ford International annual tour in Gulf Shores, On Wednesday of that week, 175 Model Ts took a lap around Mobile Bay, crossing on this same ferry that evening. Usually the ferry can hold 30 cars max, but that night they were packing 45 Ts on each run, and ran two extra trips to make sure everyone got across.
Today was much easier, with only about eight cars. Arriving at Fort Morgan, we unloaded and drove the twenty or so miles into Gulf Shores. We stopped by the Gulf State Park pier, and just sat for a while, watching the surf. The State Park Hotel had been right next to the pier, but, sadly, it was totally destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2005.
We drove east along the beach and entered into Florida, and soon arrived at a house owned by friends, Charlie and Dudley. Dudley was away tending to family matters, and Charlie was set to leave the next morning for an ALMS race at Virginia International Raceway (hopefully, the only race I will miss this year!) The house is a beautiful one level, old style Florida house set back off the road among the live oaks on the intercoastal waterway. We sat out on the deck with a nice sea breeze blowing and watched another beautiful sunset. Charlie fixed boiled shrimp and corn on the cob for supper, then we sat on the deck for quite a while, just visiting.
Although today’s drive was relatively short, but by the time we arrived, we were both feeling exhausted. I think that seven days on the road deserves a rest, after all, this is supposed to be a vacation. We may take a break here, and leave early Wednesday morning.
Mileage today: 106 by Model A Ford, 3.5 by ferry.