Day 41(Sunday,May 29);Waveland to Biloxi, MS–29 miles
May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment
A 5:26am start–our earliest yet.
I am functioning on minimal sleep; Joe got a phone call at 9 last night; it upset him enough that he needed Alka Seltzer after trying unsuccessfully to get back to sleep. His phone rings yet again at 10:45pm and wakes the whole room up; this time he does not answer. He is soon snoring and sleeping soundly; I am awake and remain so for the next two hours.
Joe is up at 4am to use the bathroom; again at 4:15am. That’s the end of my good night’s rest. I should have napped at the same time Joe did yesterday; instead I checked maps, weather, motels and wrote the blog. Oh, well…a little bump in the road of life.
We have not even left the parking lot when Joe stops abruptly. He needs the tools; his seat is suddenly loose. So, in the predawn light yet another riding day begins anew.
The wind blows steadily from the southeast at 15mph. It’s a good thing we planned on easy mileage today!
In less than 4 miles we arrive at the Bay St. Louis Bridge, a new and very biker friendly causeway; the bridge has 6 foot shoulders to the left and right of the four vehicle lanes, but we don’t need to use those as there is also a dedicated 10 foot wide bike path. This is a whole new world.
We reach another new bridge; Joe is in the traffic lane; I note that there’s a bike path on the side. Joe disagrees, “There is no bike path”. My new(I am a slow learner, remember) response, “Sure, of course you are right,” and I go forward on the bike path. Joe can ride in the road; it is his choice. He follows me on the path.
For the rest of the day we ride along the Gulf, water on our right, the remnants of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on our left. Other than the omnipresent new Waffle House Restaurants every mile or two, I am surprised at how little reconstruction there is; at how few changes in the two years since I was last here on a bike. The majestic windswept oaks remain as a reminder of the stately past, but little else.
I am nervous about motel availability on the beach during a major holiday weekend. Mid-ride at 6:45am I call for motel reservations-and receive a goose egg on the first three tries; then a smoking room, but not ground floor. Stairs with a bike are not an option; nor is a smoking room until I am really desperate. The prices are shockingly steep:$149 a night. I keep on calling and ask for names of smaller mom and pop places nearby; the iPhone seems to ignore them. I get a name– Edgewater Inn; I call them. After a long delay, yes a nonsmoking ground floor room is available, but not until after 3pm. The price is better; we take it– our odds do not look good for finding another room. Joe is not thrilled at the prospect of being filthy and homeless in the heat and humidity until 3pm… I visualize us in the tent in an RV park, if we are lucky….yes, we will take the room. Joe is still saying, no, wait. I am not a gambler; again, yes, we will take the room. As extra insurance for my sanity I ask about a safe place to store the bikes until the room is ready. Another yes.
The iPhone tells us 19 miles more. We ride on, have breakfast at one of the ubiquitous Waffle Houses; I order off the Dollar Menu; Joe has his favorite: grits and eggs over easy. Life is good. I get a phone call; our room is ready at 9:00 am; someone checked out early. Lady Luck is on our side after all!
We are in our room and cleaned up by 10:15 am, even though Joe drove by both the Casino and the Inn on the way here. The twenty foot tall signs were not obvious enough. He makes a few more comments about my inability to read maps. Please remember Dear Readers, Joe also has an iphone and therefore he logically has the same mapping ability…..Enough talk of maps; time to explore!
We go next door to the Treasure Bay Casino to see what’s up; we ask about rooms and sure enough it is both fully booked and more expensive. Off to Hooter’s for Joe’s Guinness and my wine(yes, correctly spelled– no whining here!). We played the room reservation odds and won!