It is always fun to get away for a week in late April, spend some time along the gulf coast shoreline. In the past, these vacations included a few different locations in Florida. The past few years, we’ve changed course to the Alabama gulf coast.
Like so many other areas along the Florida coastline, the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area is busy - especially when we seem to be there. I guess many others have the same idea of spring break as well. However, there are areas where one can be away from the crowd.
One such area is where we enjoy, that being Gulf State Park at Gulf Shores, Alabama. The park is quite large, offering many different areas to the visitor.
Within the park, there are 28 miles of paved biking (and hiking) trails, traversing through seven different ecosystems. Connecting the terrestrial trails is a series of boardwalks constructed over the marshes and inland lakes. One can bike for many hours, and still stay within the park.
Spanish moss hanging from the large trees in the upland areas, to the prickly pear cactus in the sandy, dry area, the trails offers great variety. Depending upon the time of day and your observation, you may also see wildlife that includes eagles, osprey, alligators, lizards, snakes, and many smaller birds, just to list a few.
Should you wish to visit the beach, the bike path takes you there. As well, one of the favorite sights to see is the large fishing pier stretching out into the Gulf of Mexico. The bike path now has a cross-over bridge over the top of the local 4-lane highway. No matter how busy the road is, the bridge always allows safe passage.
Normally I would take images with a tripod. However, on this trip, I was somewhat in the “tourist” mode while riding my bicycle, and shot hand-held. (I enjoy the tripod much better, as I can take my time with the composition).
This was late afternoon, just before 5pm. The sun was setting around 7:15pm or so on that day. Although that was still two hours away, it was already exhibiting signs of dropping into the west. This image looks toward an easterly direction, with the Gulf of Mexico to the right.
Between the boardwalk itself and the shadows of the boards, there are many lines present in this image which are fun to follow - just like the bike path itself is!
File ID: PHP_IMG_14825
1Ds Mark III, Canon 50 mm f/1.2 L USM
focal length 50 mm
ISO 200, 1/800 second, f/11
spot metering, manual, hand-held
As a side note, I normally would use (and prefer to use) a tripod and shoot at ISO 50..
Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama