I am a strong believer in making time for yourself and keeping family close. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that my cross country road trip peaked surrounded by new family and new adventures in a new place!
Packing up the car and driving from California to Alabama may not be for everyone – but to me it meant that I could bring along our dog, mountain bikes and everything else I could need for adventuring (like a tent, beach chairs, snorkels, fins, etc).
Our trek East stopped on Dauphin Island, AL – an island I honestly had never heard of before. I have been to Mobile, AL a few times before, but Dauphin Island totally had the Island vibe which is shocking only being 30 minutes from Mobile.
This small Island had great beaches, a small neighborhood that seemed to have a rich sense of community and was totally made for riding your bike. I was over prepared with my Specialized mountain bike – beach cruiser or fixed could easily braved the flat terrain and sand coated trails around the island.
The Island had a bird sanctuary on the south east end of the island separating the main road from the beach. While this area wasn’t bike friendly, it sure made for great views and a nice walk.On one end of the sanctuary, there was a bond packed with turtles. I had never seen so many different kinds of turtles in one place (aside from the reptile exhibit at the zoo).And while most people probably panic reading that there are alligators around threatening the safety of children and pets – I was thrilled to have a gator sighting!Leave it to me to go from a Bird Sanctuary to a decommissioned military base. I knew the armory/military base was somewhere on the island but didn’t realize it was just around the corner from where I saw Osprey nesting.I spent a few days on the island and could have spent twice the time there going to the aquarium, taking day trips to Pensacola or trying out the new waffle dessert place on the island.
One of my favorite things to do was to wake up early and start the day with a morning swim and walk along the beach. There’s something special about being the only person on the beach, almost as if Mother Nature had raised the sun and brought the waves to you on the shore to say “Good. morning!”The sandy beaches were rich with specs of greenery peaking through the sand with occasional flowers decorating the warm and tan landscape.
I imagine Dauphin Island being a perfect place to train for an Ironman… There were plenty of bike friendly roads for the bike, the open water gave plenty of room for swimming and if you have to run – no better place than the beach!