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Since I would not be around for the 9AM breakfast, Macy had left me real coffee and some home made banana nut bread. I woke earlier than planned but enjoyed a slow breakfast in the room.
Still, Big Red and me were on the road by 5:30. Another day of riding through timber land and not much of anything to see. The road had a nice canopy in the cool of the morning, but by the time it started to warm up, it was an open 4 lane.
about 100 religious signs. many made no since to me.
We arrived at the Mobile downtown airport about noon and my good friend Ed Quaid had just landed from flying BP personnel around the gulf looking for oil. He had one more flight to make, so I hung out at the airport until he returned and visited with his boss and told helicopters lies.
Killing time, I walked around and poked my noise in various places. There is a cargo building who's parking lot is being guarded 24 hours a day by the national guard. Not "really" guarded. There are 2 guys at the entrance of the small lot and 2 at the exit. I asked what was so important that the NG needed to protect and they said it was BP stuff. A lot of the stuff related to the oil spill, for some unknown reason, is provided military or law enforcement protection. Nice young guys are will be deploying to Iraq next year.
Ed and I wanted to but Big Red in the helicopter and just fly on over to Apalachicola and have beer and oysters, but Big Red was having none of that.
Ed had to start searching for oil at the crack of dawn so we were on the road by 5:30 again. I beat the Mobile rush hour but made parts of the rush hour at Pensacola Navy base and Elgin Air Force base. I had planned on going through the middle of the pan handle on Fl20 and miss the beach traffic, but Big Red was not having it and we found our way to the beach.
I saw several oil clean up operations on the beach and booms in the bays, but the rain keep the camera in the pocket for the most part. Almost all the equipment I saw, and all of these trucks, were brand new.
I passed up Apalachicola and beer and oyster and continued on to Perry, FLA and the Hampton Inn. This is nothing exciting town but has the Deal Oyster House (sorry no beer, how can you eat oysters without beer?) and the Goodman BBQ. It is in easy striking distance of home in St. Pete. The crown jewel is the Hampton Inn. Great rooms, great staff, and most importantly great FREE happy hour for 2 1/2 hours. It get my room rate back in Margaritas!