November 14 - We were on the road by 8:30, seems to be our natural speed at getting organized and going. We followed the #98 highway along the Gulf coast, enjoying the beautiful water/beach views before heading north on the 331 just past Panama City. The next section of the coastline is called the 'Emerald Coast' and this is more aptly named. The water is shallow enough to be green, and the amount (and likely price) of the housing has escalated. There is major shopping all along the highway, where we got almost as far as Destin before deciding that indeed we had passed our turnoff and had to backtrack. On the bridge crossing the Gulf Intra-coastal waterway we saw a trawler making her way towards the Gulf - and to where from there? The Keys perhaps? The ICW may be like a highway, but it sure is prettier than the one we follow, at least on a calm and sunny day like this (although Mike pointed out that we can stop where we like and we see what is happening in the little towns we pass and on the boat they don't. Anyway, in my book that is one point for the boat!
We are avoiding the I-10, which would be the normal route to take and the one we originally planned, because of hurricane damage/repair and also the parks being so full of refugees/workers. Actually, avoiding the I-10 is not a bad thing - we get a much better trip out of following the smaller roads and leaving the interstates to the transport trucks. Our plan now is to take the 84 across Alabama and Mississippi.