Alabama, Through Mississippi To Louisiana

Trip Start Jan 09, 2009
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Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Where I stayed
Poche's Fish-N-Camp and RV Park

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Today was a day of travel.  The weather was broken cloud when we left this morning but, as the day progressed, the skies became grayer and we hit pockets of light rain.  The wind was gusty at times so the drive was a little more challenging.
Especially when you consider that much of the drive was done on bridges, causeways and roads built on 'stilts' with their feet in water!  In some places we did not see firm land for stretches of twenty five miles!

The Mobile area has risen quite high in my list of places to revisit.  There is so much to see and do in this area and the parks look great.  We really liked the one we were in - friendly, clean and it had few mosquitoes!  The mosquitoes and no-see-ums have been the bane of my life in many of the Florida parks and even on Jekyll Island where the parks were quite wooded and didn't have the air movement of  Wales West.  I seem to be reacting to the bites down here.

After crossing Mobile Bay we left Interstate 10 and dropped down to Hwy 90 to get more of the flavor of the area.  It wasn't long before we became aware that we were in Katrina country.  We ate lunch at the beach in Biloxi MS near the port authority building - or what is left of it!  Instead of buildings on the street behind the beach, all that's there are cement pads and paved lots where the former buildings stood.  As we moved along the beach - wide stretches of white sand on the Gulf side of the road - we were amazed by how much clean-up is still going on, sometimes to a depth of several blocks from the shore along the other side of the road.  Then we became aware that we were driving on all new pavement - the highway itself had to be rebuilt and one section, near New Orleans has never reopened. 
Alabama and Mississippi have only a narrow access to the Gulf of Mexico so by early afternoon we were into Louisiana. We opted to follow Hwy 10 through New Orleans to get a feel for the city but decided to leave a visit to this area for a later time.  Everyone in this area is focused on the Mardi Gras parades to take place this weekend and the RV parks are full.  When we were in Silver Hill we were told that the best parades are in Mobile which claims to have started the Mardi Gras tradition in the US.  It was also suggested that the parades there are much more civilized - more suitable for people of a certain age!  Anyway we're giving New Orleans a miss this time.
Highway building in this area must be a real challenge and very expensive.  The millions of acres of swamp land and shallow water between river mouths and bays make one wonder why they have been built in the first place - or why anyone would want to live in this area!  Louisiana sure got the short straw when it came to land near the gulf!
 We crossed the Mississippi today at Baton Rouge and, although a significant body of water at this point, is not what I expected of the 'mighty Mississippi'.  I guess I need to consider the miles and miles of swamp as part of the system!  One part of the trip that really intrigued me was the Henderson Swamp near Breaux Bridge.  I must do some research on it.  As far as you can see is water with stumps scatter throughout.  Too much water for normal swamp vegetation but shallow enough to have supported trees at some time.  Hmmm...... 

Tonight we are parked on the edge of a very large fish pond - one of several on the property - a beautiful location.  Setup is becoming routine and meals are usually partially prepared prior to a day of travel so evening chores don't take too long.
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