Ambient temperature under 65 degrees is considered cold water kayaking for us. It’s a shame having the boats so readily available and not be on the water. In the past 2-½ months we have had the kayaks out 3 times, twice-in Louisiana, and once in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Gulf Shores State Park was a great place for us to stay. The park is right on the Gulf of Mexico, with miles of beautiful white sand shore, miles of trails for biking and hiking, but what really made our stay here was the people. Everyone around us is truly a God send.
Larry from New York was walking his dogs at Little Lagoon boat ramp when we stopped to check out the view. We all had kayaks, so in we took advantage of the calm weather, and went in. This is so weird, Larry is a retired correctional facility officer, and my brother-in-law Larry is a retired police officer. So we talked shop for a little bit, kayaked and simply had a wonderful couple of hours sharing a common interest,,, kayaking, not law enforcement. Like us Larry is ditching the colder northern winters, and seeing if there is more to life than standing outside waiting for a bus dressed in a down coat suitable for negative 20 degrees. I last heard he is kayaking on a river in Spanish Fort, Alabama. “Keep the cock-pit side up Larry.”
Canada Ken has been traveling in the U.S. for two months with four more to go before he has to be back in Canada. Some sort of trade agreement we have with Canada, you send us Ken and we will send you some soybeans. Kidding. Ken was our campground neighbor at the State Park. He helped us get situated the night we pulled in. Backing the rig into a slot can be tricky; it’s not always a clear shot. Trees, tree branches, posts, parked vehicles, garbage cans, mud, and tight turns in the dark can be a challenge when one is tired and hungry. Just saying.
We could ask for a nicer neighbor, but I doubt if one could be provided. I personally loved the Canadian “Ay” Ken added to the end of every third sentence. Ken is a retired oil field worker, and self admitted neat freak. He had worked all over the world, and is still desired for employment by “The Man”. Sitting in an office and training others to do what he did so well simply wasn’t in his playbook. He is visiting relatives and checking out a more leisure life style with his new dog Jadeah. Ken told me he was planning on stopping in an animal rescue facility to look for a poodle. I liked the sound of that, and encouraged him to do so. BTW a standard poodle is a very smart well-behaved dog. Years ago Coco (a friends dog) proved that to be true. The rescue facility was fresh out of poodles, but offered up a 2-year-old beagle terrier. We don’t always get what we want, but we get what we need.
Gulf Shores State Park has over 400 sites, and is full of snowbirds after Chirstmas. The park offers an on site non-denominational church service. We worshipped together twice, and Ken made sure we got there in plenty of time so we didn’t have to sit in the front row. Being a man on the move all his life Ken boasted of his culinary ability, and he proved what he was talking about by treating us with some of his chili. It truly was awesome. Deb was going to save some for later, but emptied the container right then. I helped a lot too.
Brent and Debby, friends of ours from Time To Revive also planned on vacationing in Gulf Shores with another Indiana couple. We Zoom (Skype like tool) on a regular basis with Brent and Debby, so it was great fun spending time together.
Brent, Troy, and I drove to Mobile, Alabama to tour the battle ship, USS Alabama. Debby, Stacey, and my Deb did whatever gals do when the guy’s are gone. This had been Troy’s fourth visit to the ship, so by ipso facto he was our tour guide. I discovered there is way more built into a battle ship than big guns, and a Gedunk Stand. If you want to tour the ship I’ll hook you up with Troy.
USS Alabama (photo captions to be updated)