Buds, Bikes, Beaches and Bivalves

We spent a couple of nights at the deserted Elks Lodge riding the Fall Line Trace in Columbus, Georgia. It’s a short trail, only about 16 miles but a good ride and nice surface. In some spots it is really wide! Right by the Elks though. Next time we will do the Chattahoochee Trail that Linda recommended.


We wanted to do some riding on the beach like at Padre Island a few years ago so we found a trail in Tallahassee, the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail that looked like a good option. There is an Elks in Tallahassee but it is nowhere near the trail. So we decided on Gulf Islands National Seashore outside Pensacola. That sounded good too because we have friends from Texas in Pensacola but it turned out they were already back in Texas. They pointed us in the right direction for food though.

We used our senior pass to get four nights at a really reasonable rate. Right across from the beach! Low rate = more $$ for oysters. We rode in to Peg Leg Pete’s from Fort Pickens for lunch. We ate these oysters and some more, along with grouper nuggets. Washed down with margaritas. I found a pearl in one of mine; never had that happen before. Even after we rode the ten miles back to the bus we were still stuffed. In a good way.

We were right between the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Bay and perfectly situated for two mornings of flyover practice by the Blue Angels based at the Navy Base in Pensacola. Our own private air show!

And the beach! White quartz sand that sparkles against the very turquoise water. We slogged our bikes down to the water one day only to discover that the sand was too soft to ride on. Not like Padre Island where we could ride for miles. After we pushed them back up the dunes to the road we saw the No Bicycles sign. OOPS.

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Sunset one evening.

Another evening. I took this with my phone riding in the back seat of a car!
We knew our Texas friends and Airstream adventurers B and Jim were in the area and we started petitioning them to come on over, especially after we had eaten at Peg Leg Pete’s. Jim is a raw oyster aficionado and they are always posting pictures on Facebook that make us hungry.

It turned out they weren’t too far west yet so they came and camped right across from us. We started eating in earnest then. More oysters, of course.

And fish, crab cakes, key lime pie. All even more delicious when enjoyed with friends and good conversation. Our waiter at our second day’s lunch was a friendly sort and the subject somehow turned to politics. Imagine that! He said he wasn’t going to vote for anybody and we four, being of similar political persuasion, urged him and all his friends to be realistic and vote. And Florida… Let’s hope he does.

We saw a dog park on the beach and later went back so Maisy could get in a little beach time. They spent last summer as lighthouse keepers and guides in Oregon and Maisy loves the beach. She is always in motion!

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The next morning Jim and B went west. They will be back in Texas in just a few days! We will continue to mosey along our seafood/bicycle route, yet to be determined.

We found an Elks Lodge in Hattiesburg on a lake. We had called the city of Sumrall on the Longleaf Trace to see if we could park at the trailhead and ride the one section of the trail we haven’t yet. We were still waiting to hear back from them when we decided to stay at the Elks an extra night. Remote, quiet with lots of room for the kitties to roam. And right on the lake.

We got the word that it was OK to park at the trail head for a few days so we made fuel and food stops before settling in right next to the trail. We will be here for a few days and had to make sure we had satellite coverage so we can follow the election. And football, of course.



5 comments on “Buds, Bikes, Beaches and Bivalves

  1. Wendy and Jim, when I was in Pensacola back in sept, my brother and I stopped in at Margaritaville for a drink after going down to ft Pickens and also decided to drive through the camping site I think you and Jim stayed at. Those sure are some gorgeous beaches! A question for you, do all Elks Lodges let you park fee of charge at their locations?

    Love reading your adventures!

    Travel safe’

    Karen Washburn

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for following along. Not all Elks have Parking and we have a directory of ones that do. It is not free, but a small donation to the lodge. Works really well! Have to stop at Margaritaville next time.

  3. Wow what a post, and spot you will be during the election. great pics, especially of you and Jim. Know your watching the football too. everyone vote.. love Cherie, love my new eyes and can hear very well, What a great things from mans talents and god , very grateful, love to both..

  4. Pingback: Otra Vez: Padre Island National Seashore | Mighty Bus

  5. Pingback: And Then We Were Thankful… | Mighty Bus

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