Gulf Shores is a city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Its Gulf State Park has beaches, trails and a pier, plus a golf course and a zip line over the dunes. To the west, sea turtles and migratory birds thrive among the coastal habitats of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.
Is there snow in Alabama? Are our eyes once more tricked by gypsum, sand or some other weird phaenomenon?
No! At a closer look it turns out to be cotton bloom, huge fields with puffy white cotton on already dry stalks. So lucky to see end of November still (In North Alabama the main flowering season is September, but the climate seems warmer down here at the gulf coast).
Cotton Boll Cotton, perhaps more than anything else, was the driving economic force in the creation of Alabama. The search for land to grow cotton attracted the first settlers into the state’s river valleys. Cotton also created the two dominant labor systems, slavery in the Old South and sharecropping in the New South. Production per acre swelled in the 1880s, but began to drop due to a number of factors including soil erosion and productivity. English said steel and iron production in northern Alabama became more important to the state’s economy, and the demand for Southern cotton slowed as overseas sources drove the price down.
We can imagine driving a spinning wheel with this or just growing a santa beard.
Random picture at the side of a road: Every town, every so tiny seems to have a massive flag pole somewhere and we figured there must be tens (or hundreds) of thousands of these big-as-a-house super flags around. In Gastonia, North Carolina, which is a little more than 20 miles West of Charlotte, the town lays claim to having the largest flying American flag. Just outside the Crowder’s Mountains, the flag is 114 feet wide by 65 feet tall, totaling 7,410 square feet. Each stripe on the flag is five feet tall, For it to fly, it is attached to a pole that is over 225 feet tall and has a diameter of five feet. The pole itself weighs about 80,000 pounds, about the same as a fire truck. But on a good day, the flag can be spotted from over 30 miles away… Not this one though. Still big enough for us.
Arriving at Gulf Shores. This is a small strip of condo towers and smaller dwellings along the beach and reminds us much of Honolulu (just without excess warmth, we gladly wear our hoodies).
Over the street from our house we make contact with white sand. It takes us a few minutes to loose the awe and run a few meters on the beach.
Small fenced paths lead over the dunes to the hotel blocks.
Pear-shaped painted squash bird houses? Not sure! If you know more, please get back to us on social media so it can be labeled correctly ;)
Walking the boards at Wade Ward Nature Park. Pristine swamp on the tourist mile, great to see alligators, they said.
There even are safety notices (as if they would jump 4 meters in the air onto the board walk? Or would they???
We tried hard, didn’t even spot one with the tele.
The Sunliner Diner is the quintessential symbol of American culture, where family and friends can connect over hamburgers and cherry pie, listen to rock-n-roll and even take a spin down Beach Road in one of the classic Sunliner convertibles available to rent in front of the restaurant.
Pier 33 Grocery Store. Established in 1978, Pier 33 is Gulf Shores oldest grocery store. They carry a full line of grocery items, gifts, souvenirs, and bait & tackle.
The former flip flop deli shop, currently closed.
Liquor store (even though spirit can be sold in supermarkets here, even with astonishing variety).
Gulf Shores Public Beach in xmas mode.
This angle is even more dramatic lol
Back at the beach in time for the sun to set.
Comfortable beach life.
Even more so! Boards and chilly bin inclusive ;)
Some parts of the beach haven’t recovered from hurricane Sally in 2020, some of the fences and even roofs are still in repair or just hang sideways a bit.
Now all the people come out to play :D The instagram herd!
Little C. telling Dad all about the new things he saw and learned today.
A few nice sundown pics I’d like to share!
Glowing waves, must be mist.