A detour to one of our favorite places – Dauphin Island, AL

Since it’s still a bit early to continue our northward trek, we’re chillin’ for a couple of weeks at one of our favorite Gulf Coast stops, Dauphin Island.  Unfortunately, a severe weather system slammed the area just a day after our arrival, the worst storm we’ve endured since we began our travels.  It wasn’t just the buckets of rain, but also the lightning and fierce winds that made us hunker down in Betsy.  Our windshield cover even blew off in one of the wind gusts, and that’s never happened before.

Dauphin Island Beach Campground
Poor Steve had to wade out into the water in pouring rain to retrieve our windshield cover

Although this was an unplanned stop, we were excited to be back.  After a couple of weeks here we’ll move back to Gulf Shores, AL for a final three weeks on the shoreline.  That will take us up to May 1st, when it should be warm enough to head north and leave the beaches behind for quite a while.  Our pace will be more leisurely this summer, as we don’t see ourselves visiting as many historical and resort spots as last year.  In keeping with our goal of visiting all 49 states, we’re guessing we’ll be able to add 9 or 10 to the midsection of our map by the end of the year.

The planned route will take us to Michigan by mid-summer and back to Texas by December, where we plan to spend next winter.  The stops along the way will be determined as we move along, and by the end of our third year we will probably have visited at least 38 beautiful states.  Well, that’s the “jello plan” for now, we’ll see what surprises this part of the journey brings – hey, that’s the fun of it!

2014 planned route
Rough outline for our 2014 adventure route

Back to Dauphin Island.  Although we were here around the same time last year, there were a few things we missed during that short stay that we wanted to explore this time around.  Our first couple of days were spent waiting for better weather and doing fun things – like finalizing our taxes 😦  But we tend to get “cabin fever” fairly quickly, and we couldn’t wait to get out to breathe the fresh air and get moving again.  The good news is that our home base at Dauphin Island Campground had private access to the white sand beach, trails to the bird sanctuary and access to the bike path that runs the length of the island (8 miles).  There are other activities within walking/riding distance that made our car almost unneeded here – a pair of healthy legs were the only requirement!

Dauphin Island Beach
We’ll definitely be missing this in the months to come

So, what have we done so far?  Well, I did mention that the RV park had direct access to the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, and that was my first destination.  Actually, the whole island is designated as a bird sanctuary, just for good measure.  Everywhere we went the birds could be seen and heard – heaven!  Steve even got caught up in the possibility of seeing new and beautiful birds, so he grabbed our binoculars and tagged along.

We were not disappointed. A great horned owl had established a nest by the beach and was nurturing her two young ones.

Great Horned Owl
This Osprey nest was taken over by a Great Horned Owl, and she and her owlets were the talk of the town
Great Horned Owl
They seem to be saying, “What’s all the fuss about?”  Aren’t they the cutest?

Dauphin Island is the first landfall for neo-tropical migrant birds after their long flight across the Gulf from Central and South America each spring.  In inclement weather, the island has been known to receive large flocks of exhausted birds landing all at once, in what is called a “fall-out.”  Having my first Alabama bird-watching experience after that storm hit was quite amazing.  And that will be covered in my next post.

Finally, our first sunset taken at the west end of the island.

Dauphin Island Sunset



  1. Make sure to visit mackinaw island MI which is just after the bridge between upper and lower michigan. You need to take the ferry over so,you will be leaving your motorhome to travel over. The trip only takes a few minutes.

  2. I see Steve didn’t want to miss out on all your fun this time:) That Great Horned Owl and babies is wonderful. Super photo of them checking you out!

    I’m not sure if it will ever be warm enough for you to head north at the rate things are going!!

  3. You will miss us in Ohio…darn.

    Great shot of the owls. Lovely sunset photo. Glad you are out and about in the good weather.

  4. Photographing an owl has been a long time goal….I am so glad you had that opportunity. I hope to have one as well one of these days! Can’t wait for the birds!

    That was some magnificent sunset!

    • We were just lucky that the owl chose to nest there. Last year it was an Osprey nest, I wonder how the owl managed to kick the Osprey. I just learned that Dauphin Island is sunset capital of Alabama.Yeah!

  5. Love the picture of the owl with her babies! What a beautiful place. I have just added Dauphin Island on my list of must see places. Thanks for posting.

  6. Wow, that storm looked crazy! Can’t wait to see your next post on the bird fall-out. We’re so excited to be meeting up with you soon for a day of adventuring on Dauphin Island. Hope the owlets will still be there. 😉

      • I was thinking the same thing, that it would be fun to bring our bikes along! We’re keeping our fingers crossed for good weather. 😉

  7. Awwwww! The baby owls are so cute!!! Poor Steve having to go out in the rain . . but it is the guy’s job, of course. I love your “jello” plan! 🙂

    • Yeah, the owlets are totally cute and they get a visit from me everyday and they are growing fast. As for Steve he waited for an hour before venturing out and yes its a mans job 🙂

  8. Enjoy the beach time as much as you can. I don’t remember seeing too many of them while growing up in the midwest. 😉 That owl shot is priceless and your sunset so lovely.

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