Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DAY111- Mobile to Montgomery with a Florida Pit Stop…

I woke up to pure fog this morning and I was being to wonder if that was all they got along the coast during the winter time.  I took my time before checking out because I didn’t want to be driving and trying to find my way in the fog.  About 10am, it had finally lifted.  I headed south through the downtown area of Mobile.  It was quite the skyline to look at and it was rather cool to drive through a tunnel under part of the city area.  But I didn’t stop.  I wanted to check out some of the coastal communities and make a quick drive through Pensacola, FL before heading north to Montgomery, AL.   On the way out of Mobile, I passed a HUGE naval warship, the USS Alabama.  I thought better of trying the inside of another warship after my panic attack I had inside the last one.  But I did get to admire the bay as I drove along.
Photo- The city skyline of Mobile, AL.
Photo- The tunnel under part of downtown Mobile, AL.

I drove along the scenic highway route to the small township of Fairhope that I had heard was a small artistic community.  It was a cute little town.  I saw bicyclists and runners along a path that ran parallel to the road.  There were three square blocks of businesses for the downtown with a marina off in the distance.  There were quite a few artistic looking shops and a cute garden shop with metal armadillos walking across the front lawn area.  But it being Sunday, mostly everything was closed up and the only areas packed with cars were the churches; especially the Catholic Church as I went by.  I wasn’t dressed for church at all and so I continued on.
Photo- Bicyclists along the street near Fairhope.
Photo- Armadillos for Christmas anyone?

Next, there was the town of Foley which had a few more people out and about.  Pickup trucks and trailers were more common and I was driving away from the coastline over towards the Florida state line.  After that, there were several other communities that I drove through very similar to Foley with most of the businesses housed in metal warehouse like buildings off to the side of the road.  The land was very flat.  There were a lot of fields that looked like they were fallow cotton fields and other crops that I wasn’t sure what they were.  I drove over a bridge into Florida.  Here the landscape changed a bit and became more hilly.  There were also a lot of Naval Base areas.  I drove by a large Naval Medical area.  I followed the signs to the historic downtown Pensacola. 
Photo- Andrew Jackson Statue in a Plaza Square in Pensacola, FL.

I stopped at a town plaza square that had a statue of Andrew Jackson.  In July of 1821, General Jackson received West Florida from Spain and raised a flag in this very square to claim it as part of the US.  But as I read the inscription on the back of the statue, it sounds like this square got a lot of use as they listed other dates that other countries were raising flags over this part of Florida.  In fact, there had been ten times that the flag had been “turned” over prior to General Jackson earning the flag the last time.  This was a career boost to Andrew Jackson who ended up being a military governor and then ended up in the position of President shortly after that.
Photo- A statue of Ponce de Leon near the shore in Pensacola. 

Next, I walked down through the historic downtown area towards the shoreline.  The only places that seemed to be open were restaurants.  There were a fair amount of people down by the shoreline; some sitting on benches and enjoying the view with friends and family, while others were fishing.  It was an overcast cloudy and rather windy day along the coast.  I could see sailboats out on the water.  Here there was a statue of Ponce de Leon standing in a circle with fountains spraying behind him.  The fountains were accessible to play in, but with the cooler temps there weren’t any takers.  I slowly worked my way back to the car.
Photo- Fishing and watching the sailboats.

I still needed to work my way north towards Montgomery where I was staying the night.  I drove north through some forested land where there was new growth and old growth.  This land was being used for logging.  I had noticed seeing some logging trucks and I now knew where some of them were coming from.  The more north I went the more hilly the landscape became.  There wasn’t many small towns just off the road in this area and gas stations were sparse I’m glad I filled up before leaving Pensacola.

I came to one small town just after crossing the border to Alabama and stopped for a late lunch at a Hardee’s.  I didn’t know any of these existed anymore.  I used to work the graveyard shift during my college years at one in Iowa.  I stopped.  The menu was quite a bit different but it looks like they still made their biscuits for breakfast.  I asked one of the girls behind the counter if they still made their biscuits from scratch every morning.  Yes, she said there were two different people trained to do that and they would take turns coming in at 4am.  I told her I used to do that in my college years and that they didn’t have Hardee’s up in the mid-west anymore.  She didn’t find that very interesting; I guess because I got the doe in the headlights look.  I sat down and waited for my food.

It was just starting to get dark when I drove up to my motel in Montgomery and I have to say that my hotel was a bit of a dive.  In fact, right next door there was an abandoned dilapidated old motel but it was easy to find and relatively cheap.  The room was clean but was in poor need of updating.  I had been looking at the money situation of late and it was starting to dwindle faster than what I had planned.  I needed to find cheaper places.  I may only have about another 30 days before I may have to stop and do some work. 
Photo- Downtown Montgomery, AL.

But enough of this, I drove around and explored some of the downtown area of Montgomery.  There was a whole street area where there were Christmas lights along both sides of the streets.  It was a rather nice little downtown but was a bit annoying to get around because they sure do like their one way streets here.  On the way back to the hotel I had quick and cheap dinner at a Captain D’s which was like a different version of a Long John Silvers.

1 comment:

  1. Hello JALLGood
    Thank you for your blog on the Pensacola, Fairhope and Montgomery AL. I had very dear friends who lived in Pensacola FL and one of my friends was born in Foley near Fairhope AL. The photos and the stories of Pensacola etc have brought precious memories back to me. My friends have both passed on now, but I do have a soft spot for the places you have visited as I have visited these places many times. PS I am from New Zealand :)