Flying Curls Jeana

 

My dogs had been on the sick side from me letting them drink the local Texas water, I needed to get some chicken & rice and probiotics, was time for shopping. Turned out that was not easy in eastern Texas, sent me scrambling back and forth checking shops, nope, they never heard of probiotics, found a stockpile of all the bad stuff we don’t give our dogs in a feed store in nowhereville, so this is where they sell it, too bad. Went into H-E-B in Beaumont, hum, interesting. Maybe some are better than others. I do enjoying checking the local places, groceries, are there any natural food stores, does a salad exist, what’s the local style.  Is there regionalism?  Takes me back to studying geography, the development of the city and the importance of place. I’m not focusing that well right now but you get the idea.

State Park

I camped at Holbrook Park, Sulphur Louisiana    Holbrook Park was the next closet place to the State Park and a common way out-of-towners arrived at this location. I didn’t know what I’d find. I rejected the State Park for lack of appeal of the RV area, too cluttered, no easy walking for the dogs, no swimming with lots of alligator warning signs. there were so many nicer places in the Park for camping but  someone had decided to shove them into a view less corner.  I check my camping apps, I  use a few different ones and then just point and drive.  Holbrook Park was just what I needed, I recommend it.  It’s a small community campground with a fishing lake and small river. I paid $4.00 for a tent site and for the first time dragged out my sun tent. RV sites with power are $12.  You need a tent to use the tent site, I enjoyed copious space for my dogs to play.  Did not take a chance on dogs in the water, maybe alligators, maybe not.

My copious camping area for $4.00!!! Can’t find that in CA.

The lake

 

The manager invited me and my four over for wine and conversation on his deck; his dog gave us the stare from the top of the couch,  his nose pressed stoically against the window. If you’re friendly and stay longer you’re likely to get invited to a home cooked southern dinner. There’s a song written about this place and the camp manager Harry, would love to post it but is missing at the moment. Maybe you’ll have to go out to Louisiana yourself and ask him, he has a long long beard, a big smile, and a friendly demeanor, can’t miss him. Great story about the naked campers running through the camp. Loved the hospitality, just watch out for the blood-sucking mosquitoes.

Another shot of the lake

Drove a wayward path that only my GPS system could invent down to Lake Charles passing miles of petroleum research labs, gas and chemical plants, petrochemical refineries.  The reason for all the people around. Everyone was at work, I wondered how many people were employed in this area.

Didn’t expect the Lake Charles vibe, there were signs every few feet around the lake, no animals allowed. A beautiful walking path, nope! How I could partake without my pack, too ridiculous. Motorist were in a hurry, honking, slamming their doors, smoking, dropping still lite butts out the door, their faces looked irate. Nothing but the bible and Jesus on the radio, grim stuff, not uplifting. The town is known for gambling, rhythm and blues, cuisine and education. In 1994 there was the ethylene dichloride pipeline spill, the Bridge itself is shrouded in controversy. The sky was darkening, quickly clouding over. I called it quits and headed onward.

Visited the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge, LA  didn’t want to leave the dogs too long as it was getting too warm; I wanted to find me an alligator, didn’t see one so I didn’t stay as long as I might have.

Walking along the entrance trail at the Nature Center

Drove around the Louisiana State University. Baton Rouge didn’t interest me enough to stay longer and there was that mass of traffic so I backtracked and drove over the swamp to New Orleans, that was fun.  My mom texted me how the New Orleans wetlands are the fastest disappearing land mass on earth. That’s scary.

The sea level around Louisiana is up to 24 inches higher than it was in 1950. This increase is mostly due to sinking land, and it’s causing major issues. New Orleans is the largest population center at risk from sea level rise in the country and is now experiencing one of the highest rates of sea level rise in the world. Because the state is already losing approximately 25 square miles of land per decade due to sea level rise,2 Louisiana’s coastal marshes, which provide protection for inland communities and habitat for countless species, are threatened. The state is planning over $25 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include building levees, restoring shorelines, and relocating entire communities.  https://sealevelrise.org/states/louisiana/

 

Drove across the water to the Big Branch March National Wildlife Area on Lake Pontchartrain, 15,000 acres of pine flatwoods, oak rides and coastal marsh. Seems I like marshes, swamps, estuaries and other bodies of water.  Twisted my way around, thank you again to my GPS to a close up view of the Bay St. Louis Bridge. At the end of the road was a fishing place, it was closed, I considered siting there, with the air running and the doors closed to keep out the little flying snarky things and watching the traffic and the water, maybe parking overnight but eventually decided to move ahead dropping down onto the 90 / 607 over another bridge to Henderson Point along the Gulf of Mexico.

Spent that night at the Walmart Supercenter in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Two of the largest hurricanes hit here, Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Katrina. Is a good place for fishing, fishing charters, golf, cemetery tours, art galleries, history, stately homes and the beautiful white beach. The Walmart was across a wide boulevard from the beach, could hear the sounds of water, but not quite see it. yep it was a Walmart night.  Walked up and down the boardwalk with the dogs, no dogs actually allowed on the sand, was warm and balmy, capris and sandals .

 

In the morning I visited the War Memorial Park, the marina and harbor, an upscale coffee shop for breakfast with Santa Barbara prices, more walks with the dogs along the gulf, drove around and looked at the homes, then continued to Gulfport and Biloxi.

I drove onto this spit, people were hanging out, fishing, taking in the view, having lunch.

 

Before I knew it I was in Mobile Alabama.  I kept getting driving in circles due to the odd signage seeing some bizarre parts of tow.  I visited the Mardi Gras Park, the Port of Colonia Mobile, GulfQuest National Maritime Museum, did a little shopping and stopped a park or two for the dogs where the sprinklers nicely cooled everyone for a great beach day.

 

Mobile Mardi Gras Park

Headed over the Mobile River thinking I’d stay at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Orange Beach, it didn’t seem such a good idea so I drove to the Orange Beach access lot itself wondering if I could stay there as the parking area said it was open 24 hours, but as always  no dogs allowed on the beach, could only walk them around the parking area and they were not feeling well so decided I needed more security and comfort. I took the windy road to the Gulf State Park but once there I learned it would be $54 to $70 for a crammed spot, if she could find me one, they were nearly full; the ranger took pity on me and told me to go to Walmart…  it was a different Walmart I was to park at…   a larger one on Fort Morgan Road in Gulf Shores, $0.00 was just the thing I needed especially as  I spent most of that night up with Jackson. Every 2 hrs he needed to go out. I think this was my first Walmart posted with no overnight parking signs. I was told to park there and sure enough no one bothered me or my dramatically sick dog. Felt safe and had no trouble but was not a restful night.  In the morning I took a walk at the Cotton Bayou Public Beach. I loved it, the dogs, yeah they only got to see the parking lot.   Soon, I’d find them a great swimming beach!!!  …  next post…