Once we got there and stopped in at their Welcome Center, we found out about some things to do and riding the ferry to Dauphin Island came up. We could take our bikes on the ferry for a mere $5 and there were designated bike trails on the island too! So we planned to do that on Saturday. I checked the Dauphin Island calendar and saw that there was also going to be the "People's Parade," a Mardi Gras parade at 1 p.m. We were told it was a "tame one." So I was excited to get to see my first! Alabama claims that they celebrated Mardi Gras 15 years before Louisiana, just in case you were wondering! But I think New Orleans took it to another level.
It was a nice sunny morning and we drove out to Fort Morgan where we caught the ferry. It was fun, getting on there with all the cars! It was a pretty 40 minute ride there and then we set off to explore. We biked just a half-mile down to Fort Gaines where the Battle of Mobile Bay was fought and Union General Farragut said his famous line, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" We didn't pay to go into the fort but got to look around the outside of it. I can't imagine being on tiny Dauphin Island seeing all the ships come in to take over.
We biked through the town and noticed lots of people were already setting up tailgate parties and the parade was several hours away! We also biked up to the big bridge that connects the island to Mobile. We tried unsuccessfully to get lunch but some of the restaurants were closing early due to the parade. Obviously the parade was a BIG deal. We finally got a lead on one that was a good fish place and right on the water, too.
We biked back toward the ferry area which was also where the parade was to begin. I have to say it was the funnest parade with the best music! Multiple floats with little bands on them playing some great tunes. We were thrown lots of mardi gras beads, moon pies, even little footballs and plastic cups with advertisements on them. The little girl next to us had brought a large plastic storage box and would shout to everyone that passed by, and her bucket was filled with all of the above, plus stuffed animals, by the end of the parade. Pretty crazy!
It was a great adventure day!