Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, and Gautier

Biloxi Lighthouse

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wow did we sleep late! I woke up at 6:15 but went right back to sleep and neither of us woke up until 8:45! We managed to get ready to leave for our road trip to Bay St. Louis by 10. We drove west on US 90 and will return on I-10 this afternoon. As you drove west there was more and more damage from Katrina. We saw numerous B/P clean-up crews along the perfect white beaches that rim the gulf along the entire Mississippi Coast. We chose not to stop at the home of Jefferson Davis – it is a beautiful white mansion right on the Gulf in the western part of Biloxi. Just did not seem the way we wanted to spend our $$$ it is not a national or state park but run by a private group.One of the Live Oak trees turned into a sculpture

We stopped to photograph the Biloxi lighthouse (at first of post) and watched for the dead “Live Oak” sculptures that had been sculpted from the trees by an artist over a year time frame. There were various fish, birds, animals and literature said angels. I never did see the angels.

Unique Light Poles throughout Bay St. Louis

We crossed the Bay of St. Louis and spent quite a bit of time driving around in Bay St. Louis. This small town on the west side of the bay is less than 50 miles from New Orleans and very French and very Catholic from our brief observations. We saw buildings and homes in various stages of recovery. This was the only place we saw any lots with the rubble still on the property. We spent a while looking for a restaurant in both Bay St. Louis and Waveland a little further west. Finally we decided since we were not really hungry yet we would head back east towards Pass Christian where we had seen a large shrimping fleet.

We stopped at Shaggy’s Bar and Grill that was right on the fishing pier. We arrived in the midst of the New Orleans Saints ball game which the owners and patrons of this locality definitely support! Most everyone had on Saint’s jerseys including all the waitresses. They had 4 or 5 large screen TV’s and the whole place would erupt when the Saint’s did something good.
Shaggy's Bar and Saint's Ball Game

We had excellent food. Jane had a shrimp po-boy and Ben had a grilled fish sandwich (since they had no oysters). Ben had to eat some of Jane’s po-boy but we managed to finish everything. Beautiful day with clear blue skies overlooking the Gulf – not sure anything could have made a better day.
Delicious Shrimp Po-Boy

We turned north to get on I-10 and headed towards Gautier to attend the Mullet Festival. At the festival there were a large number of vendors – all kinds of local arts and crafts with the emphasis on crafts…there were some interesting educational displays also. The Pascagoula Red Cross had their ERV there – it had been a gift from Kuwait. I believe after Katrina many of the gulf coast chapters received these from Kuwait. One other exhibit that caught my eye was the sanitation company that was a sponsor of the event. They had a big bucket of aluminum cans, paper boxes, and plastic drink and water bottles. If you could get 2 out of 3 in a trash bin then you got a prize – a garbage can drink container or another prize. Interesting way to get their recycle message across! The kids were lined up to play along with their parents…
Mullet Festival in Gautier

Can't see the Mullet very well....he's ready to toss

There were numerous food vendors too including the men’s club of the town that was serving Mullet Platters. Ben bought 5 small pecan pies that will serve as his desserts for the next few days! There was a little of everything with emphasis on local – there was a main stage with different music groups each hour. Both who played while we were there were good. The highlight of the festival was the Mullet Toss. You stood in line and threw a mullet fish as far as you could across a field marked off in 10 yard lines. They even had a lineman who ran down and measured each toss and they wrote down your score…I never did find out what the prize was but people sure were taking part – adults, kids, teens. Ben says he does not imagine there is a PETA Chapter in southern Mississippi or they would have closed the event down!

We stopped on our way back to our campground to buy gas (lowest price on the trip 2.73) and look around in a grocery. Jane wanted to look for Creole seasonings and a couple things for dinner.

Scene at Davis Bayou

Back at camp Jane took a nature trail hike and some photos, Ben fixed the TV antenna, and we visited with neighbors. One guy was very interested in the Sprinter and another one was moving from Santa Fe NM to TN. He is an acupuncturist so we learned about his profession and we told him not to forget the Tri-Cities as he looked for a new home in TN. He was considering Chattanooga and Knoxville.

We had a great dinner of lemon pepper catfish, squash&onions, and the very last of our 2010 tomatoes. They have been really great this year and I hate to see them go…

This has been a nice area but we will head east into Alabama tomorrow after exploring the Pascagoula area. Ben hears it is an area impacted by the moratorium on oil rig drilling.

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