Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

2013 Southern Route USA

Since at least 1997, I had yearned to attempt a cross country bike ride. That summer, my friend Warren rode from LA to Boston. He called me from Winslow, AZ; I rode with him when he passed through Indiana, and I celebrated his accomplishment when he returned. But I, too, wanted to “explore” the USA. I had always loved Charles Kuralt and his tales of small towns off the interstate. What better way to see our great country?

With children, a job, and a widowed mother in failing health, the dream was put on the back burner of life for 15 years. Early in 2012, when I asked my husband if he was interested in such an adventure, he declined without hesitation. And I “discovered” WomanTours – a wonderful “girly group” that seemed to have great support (before and during the ride) and reasonable daily miles (reasonable if I train well).

So in March 2013, the dream – and adventures – began!

I turned 65 while on the ride – it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate – in El Paso, Texas, where my 100 year old mother passed away in December 2011. I think she would have been nervously excited for me.


  • April 20, 2013
    Cool Gulf Breezes!?
    April 20: Wiggins to Moss Point, MS When we left Wiggins around 7:30 am this morning, it was 39 degrees, but the sky was clear, suggesting warmer temperatures. We began to shed clothing by the first sag stop and I saw 73 degrees on a bank sign this afternoon. At times it felt as if we were ...
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  • April 21, 2013
    April 21: Moss Point, MS to Dauphin Island, AL It was a leisurely ride today, as we headed to a rest day. After our restaurant dinner of the night before, our map meeting was in the parking lot before we started pedaling. Of course, there were bridges, the first one less than 2 miles from our hotel. ...
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  • April 22, 2013
    Rest Day on Dauphin Island
    April 22: Dauphin Island Sleeping in seems to mean 7 am, instead of 6 am or earlier. I actually wrote yesterday’s blog this morning before starting other activities. Susan and I had decided to walk rather than bike to explore the island: we were gone 7 hours and apparently walked about 5 miles total. My legs and ...
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  • April 23, 2013
    Our Last State
    April 23: Dauphin Island, AL to Pensacola, FL After only a 3 mile ride, we took a ferry across Mobile Bay to continue east. This ferry only holds 18 cars, no coffee shop or bathroom, as we have had on Seattle ferries. It took about 40 minutes to make the crossing to Fort Morgan. At the Fort ...
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  • April 24, 2013
    Florida Panhandle
    April 24: Pensacola to Crestview, FL It was not too difficult to bike out of Pensacola this morning – most of the traffic was headed into town. And we enjoyed the tree-lined residential streets. At mile 9.5, we turned onto US 90, the Scenic Highway, and continued until mile 27.5. It had a nice shoulder, so we ...
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  • April 25, 2013
    US 90 All Day
    April 25: Crestview to Marianna, FL When the cue sheet said 93.6 miles for the day, I decided it was time to ride another century. Two other days, we have had 90 mile rides, but I had evening commitments and couldn’t keep on riding. Today, I had all day, so I decided to forge ahead. And ...
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  • April 26, 2013
    Continuing East
    April 26: Marianna to Quincy, FL My legs were quite pleased that the cue sheet indicated only 54 miles, after my century yesterday. Jo, Donna and I agreed to a leisurely pace for the day. After taking this photo, I managed to miss a turn and ride an extra 1.4 miles too far north. That is 2.8 miles ...
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  • April 27, 2013
    Wind from a New Direction
    April 27: Quincy to Crawfordville, FL Our route today was south – and the wind was from the south, rather than the easterly wind we are used to. It did help to keep us cool as the temperature rose into the mid 80s by mid-afternoon. Much of our early miles were in the Apalachicola National Forest, quiet ...
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  • April 28, 2013
    Last Rest Day
    April 28: Crawfordville, FL I have mixed feelings about rest days in inaccessible locations. I liked being able to rent a car in Silver City to drive to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. I was frustrated at Fort Davis not to have transportation to the Observatory. Today, we were lucky that George, the fellow making arrangements for ...
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  • April 29, 2013
    US 98 Swamps
    April 29: Crawfordville to Perry, FL Our cue sheet was very brief today: left out of the hotel in Crawfordville, cross Wakulla River, cross Aucilla River, turn right onto Hwy 19 to Hampton Inn. And the road we were traveling was similarly ‘boring’: for 40 miles, there were trees and swamp on either side of the ...
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