Gorgeous white sand beaches and killer wind on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Loved the sand. I persisted in fighting the headwind.

wide beach shotThursday was spent along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The beaches were gorgeous — and empty. Maybe when there’s this much sun and sand, it’s just no big deal. And it was a workday. Still, wherever rowdy spring breakers go, it wasn’t here.

But the wind! We were biking west to east. That would have been great on Wednesday, when we would have flown along thanks to a tailwind. But we got a headwind. The locals say there is always wind (and that it can change direction during the day). Now maybe they were trying to make us feel good, but even they said it was stronger than normal. Fortunately we rode a few blocks inland for much of the morning, from Waveland to Long Beach. I think the wind picked up after lunch, when we took the beach path from Long Beach to the Biloxi lighthouse. I persisted. But it was slow going! And it killed my legs.

Arlen died too. Shark got him:

arlen and shark

So what’s the beach path like? Think concrete sidewalk, not planks like parts of the Jersey Shore. Sometimes the path is wide, but other times it’s no wider than a sidewalk. A recipe for constant conflict with people coming on and off the beach (or even the benches on the far side of the wide version), I thought. But a local claimed no, that it’s pretty empty.

Why the wildly inconsistent widths, even in the same town? It seems to be tied to how they chose to spend post-Katrina money.

Take the road instead? There was a section with what’s essentially an access road, and that was fine. But otherwise you’re talking two lanes in each direction and 50 mph. No thanks.

So the beach path might work when you have a tailwind, assuming it’s not so crowded that you can’t bike. Better would be to complement it with a signposted on-road option using quiet, family-friendly roads a bit inland (and maybe past some other businesses?) for when you’re going in the “wrong” direction.

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

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