MISSISSIPPI TO GULF SHORES, ALABAMA

Lake at Roosevelt State Park, Mississippi

Lake at Roosevelt State Park, Mississippi

October 13th, we headed west and crossed the border from Alabama into Mississippi.  Smokin’ Jacks for a bite of Alabama barbeque!

We spent two days at this state park near Morton.  Comfortable, warm days and cool nights. We did quite a bit of hiking and walking around the lake and on trails.

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On the Civil War Trail

The trail was often somewhat obscure, so we had to look for blazes on the trees.  Sometimes we had to retrace our footsteps to find a blazed tree and get back on the path.  In this area there were some skirmishes during the “War of Northern Aggression”.  As we walked, we imagined what took place there years ago.

Our campsite at Roosevelt State Park

Our campsite at Roosevelt State Park

Thursday afternoon we arrived at our church convention and set up camp.  Supper was jambalaya.  Yum yum.  Biscuits and sausage gravy every morning for breakfast.  Such a wonderful feeling to meet folks we’d gotten acquainted with in Alabama – it felt like we were coming home!  Southern hospitality!

Jackson, Mississippi church convention

Jackson, Mississippi church convention

Heading towards Alabama again, we spent a night at a Walmart, which is one of our favorite camping spots.

Walmart camping:  it's free and they get our business in appreciation!

Walmart camping: it’s free and they get our business in appreciation!

Cotton fields too numerous to count!

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The next night was at a Passport America RV park in SW Mobile.  There was a lake, geese, and pecan trees.  Crunch, crunch, as we walked - the ground was covered in pecans.  I think it was an old orchard.  We put up our lounge chairs and relaxed, hoping Denis would get over his flu or virus quickly.  The rest, relaxation, sunshine, antibiotics, and fluids helped!

We moseyed on down the coast, and pulled into the nicest county park right on the bay.  The bridge to Dauphin Island is visible in the distance.

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County Park just before the bridge to Dauphin Island

County Park just before the bridge to Dauphin Island

Pelicans flew overhead, and dove for fish.  This would be a nice spot to camp, but no overnighters allowed.  We enjoyed our break here, though.

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The bridge appears to go up into the sky!

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And onto the island.  I think we’ve discovered a lovely jewel here in Southern Alabama.

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There’s not much traffic, and it is quiet and beautiful here on this little island.  There is a light breeze and it’s about eighty degrees.  Reminds me a bit of Hawaii!

Look how skinny these houses are!

Look how skinny these houses are!

Way out onto the spit, and there are lots of new houses – all built up high.

Built for hurricanes

Built for hurricanes
Pool was too cold to swim in (although Sonya and Annette would have!)

Pool was too cold to swim in (although Sonya and Annette would have!)

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Across the road from the Pelican’s Nest RV Park, we walked out on this pier to the white sand beaches.  Before the hurricanes, this used to be a fishing pier!  Sand was lifted up from the bottom of the gulf and deposited way inland.  Now it doesn’t go all the way out to the gulf, but it’s nice to walk out over the dunes and the protected areas for seabirds.

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Such fine white powdery sand!

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Just after the annual shrimp festival, and the shrimp boats are out working away!

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Looking back at the pier.  Just think, where I was standing to take this picture used to be right in the gulf waters!

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The ocean water was not too cold, but it was a bit rough.

This is a bird sanctuary.

This is a bird sanctuary.

 First time in how many years?!

First time in how many years?!

Well I couldn’t pass up a $5 bike rental, so I headed into town.  It’s a very tiny town.  No traffic lights on the island, and a bike path goes all the way from one end to the other (from the bridge on the west to Fort Gaines on the east).

Taking a photo stop break:  that's my bike and backpack.

Taking a photo stop break: that’s my bike and backpack.

You can see the nice bike path.  There are divided roadways, two lanes going each way, but hardly any cars.

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First time I’ve ever seen a blue crab!  He was about 4 inches in diameter.

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More pelicans searching for food.

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Deciding I didn’t have room to haul shells for my collection, I decided I’d take the ones I’d picked up, arrange them artistically, and take a picture instead!

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Day two, and a morning walk the other direction.  Saw lots more birds.  It was a bit more windy today, and I heard the ferry wasn’t running because of small craft warnings.

Wednesday, October 21, we headed for the ferry, which was running!  We stopped at a shrimp and fish market on our way.  They actually will steam your pick and steam other things like corn on the cob for you too.  We got shrimp for supper….. right off the boats!  My feelings as we leave this lovely place is that I definitely want to return, and for much longer!

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Sea birds hitching a ride on the back of the ferry

Sea birds hitching a ride on the back of the ferry

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Yup, that’s a whale of a bale!

Pretty fantastic heading out across Mobile Bay on the ferry – about a 45 minute crossing.  I stood up on the top the whole way across.  After landing near Fort Morgan, we headed into SE Alabama, a few miles east of Fairhope to Hilltop RV Park.  We passed huge bales of cotton, and there was a cotton field right across from the park.

Denis made the comment that we didn’t need to worry about there being enough cotton for our underwear for the rest of our lives!

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We’re pretty sure this is a harvested field; with mechanical means, there seems to be quite a bit left over.

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After two days, and fever and cough continuing, we decided a trip to the ER was called for.  Denis was diagnosed with pneumonia, so they added another kind of antibiotics to the ones he was taking.  It was a quick visit, and armed with pills, liquids, and yogurt, we headed to Emmaus RV park, which was very nice, paved, small, and quiet (except for barking dogs).  There was a club house, where Denis set up his office, and by Saturday, Oct. 24, he was feeling pretty good and worked all day!

Sunday, October 26, we drove to the KOA campground near Lillian, right on Perdido Bay.  Scheduled for a full week, we found a nice shady spot, got a portable campfire ring for our barbeque, walked down to the bay, and sat out on the fishing pier, looking across at Pensacola, Florida.

~Hurricane Patricia, having crossed over Mexico, was venting her final fury here along the coast.  We enjoyed a day to catch up on book-work and relax in our van while it rained most of Monday.  Wanting to experience a bit of the storm, we ventured out onto the dock.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The seas grew rougher and higher, as we sat there and watched.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally we had to retreat to shore.

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Tuesday, it was on to the Pensacola Naval Air Museum and IMAX movie,IMG_0623 after a bit too much excitement while we were trying to get our propane filled.

Standing outside the van, watching the guy drag the hoses over to the van and begin filling, suddenly he jumped up, waved his arms, shouting “Get back!  Get back!”  He raced to the pumps to turn them off, then came rushing back with a fire extinguisher, and sprayed the fire.  It appears there was a spark, most likely from static electricity, which started a fire at the release valve.  One or two more seconds, and it would have probably spread to the coach.  They got a repair man that lived in the park and worked on RV’s, plus the AmeriGas company out.  Our impression was that something hadn’t been done properly (like grounding), and they verbally accepted responsibility, and gave us a refund on one night’s stay, plus we had the understanding they would pay for repairs.  (Except for a new LP detector, which we needed anyway.)  The next day they had a very different story, stating they had NO responsibility, and finally after some negotiating, we signed a release and got a check for the repairs.  Way too much excitement for me!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The museum was fascinating, and we spent hours there watching “The Magic of Flight” and touring inside the building, plus a bus tour out on the flight line.IMG_0681

The following day we returned to watch the Blue Angels practice!  Awesome show!IMG_0652

Thursday, we went to the Pensacola interstate fair, where we sampled lots of food.  Denis’ favorite was a crepe.  Mine was the BBQ ribs and elephant ear, and of course the cotton candy.  Denis treated me to a ride on the Ferris wheel, and I treated him to a concert given by The Coasters.  Oldies but goodies, including “Charlie Brown”, “Love Potion Number 9″, “Twist and Shout”, “My Gal”, “Yackety Yak”, “Down at the Dock of the Bay”, and more.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Friday morning dawned sunny, and we enjoyed a nice walk before I soaked in the hot tub and sat out by the pool.  Then to the beach!

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Gulf shores national seashore; absolutely beautiful!IMG_0763

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The plows have to come out after storms, I’d guess!  But not snow plows!

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If this picture could speak, I wonder what it would tell us:IMG_0780

And yes, I couldn’t resist the waves!

The water was every bit as warm as the ocean in Hawaii.IMG_0767

We celebrated Halloween at the Elberta Sausage Festival, and saw more boiled peanuts.  Often there’s a canopy with a sign “jumbo boiled peanuts” at a street corner. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a pretty big thing down here! We ate a whole bloomin’ onion, passed up the apple dumplings with the comment “They couldn’t be as good as Jan’s”, and stood in line for about an hour to get a sausage on a bun, and saw we had about an hour to go.

Denis waiting in line for a German Sausage hot dog.

Denis waiting in line for a German Sausage hot dog.

So, we bought a bag of sausage, and Denis is cooking it up now, and serving up some good stir fry veggies to go with it!

Our reservations for Fort Perkins were canceled due to weather coming in, so we postponed our camping on Gulf Shores National Seashore until next week.  Tomorrow we head back near Fairhope for a week of my favorite hobby:  Resting, Relaxing, and Reading my Book (That’s my 3 R’s of Retirement)!

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One Response to MISSISSIPPI TO GULF SHORES, ALABAMA

  1. Peggy Romo says:

    Thanks, again for your blog. Fun, interesting and a little stressful!
    Liked the ‘Whale of a bale’ term. Haha!

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