11/08/18 Ocean Springs, LA

DAY #21

Today I headed out and crossed the bridge to check out Biloxi and the Gulf Coast as far as Gulfport.  First thing you notice is the bridge, it’s a simple yet still impressive bridge that was built after Katrina.  You can walk across the bridge, it’s about a mile.  Needless to say, I didn’t walk it.

From the Ocean Springs side looking toward Biloxi.DSC_0166.JPGFrom the Biloxi side looking toward Ocean Springs.DSC_0192 (2).JPG

As soon as you cross the bridge the road curves to the right and boom…the Golden Nugget and Harrah’s casino appear.  There’s a couple other casinos in the area a bit further down most notably, the Hard Rock. You’ll also see the Palace Casino, and there’s a couple more in the “Back Bay” area of Biloxi.  They’re big and glitzy and impressive looking, but make no mistake, it ain’t Vegas.  I can see though what might draw someone here.  You’ve got some big league casinos in a really interesting area.  There’s still a flavor of the culture down here along with the opportunity to go out on the gulf if you’re into fishing, etc. DSC_0144 (2).JPG

Wandered around town and overall, I was a little disappointed with Biloxi. Whereas Ocean Springs felt vibrant and prosperous, Biloxi felt somewhat the opposite (outside of the casinos).  I really like the name (always have).  To me it conjures up a an area rich in culture and stories and that’s what I hoped I’d see.  Sadly, in real life it’s just another town and not that interesting one at that (just my opinion). There wasn’t much of a downtown that I could see and therefore, not much of a footprint from the past left.  The neighborhoods while still having the distinct architecture of the area, did so with a less upscale feel than Ocean Springs. DSC_0184.JPGDSC_0183 (2).JPGDSC_0178 (2).JPGDSC_0179 (2).JPG

While expressing my disappointment, I certainly don’t dislike Biloxi, just thought some of the other areas around offered more to see and maybe I expected too much. DSC_0182.JPGDSC_0180 (2).JPG

Biloxi suffered a lot of damage from Hurricane Katrina and the scars remain today, evidenced by empty lot after empty lot throughout the city, and especially along U.S. 90, which is the main road that runs along the gulf.  It looks like a lot of homes and buildings were destroyed by Katrina on that stretch and the losses were significant to the history of the area, something I guess I should to take into account.DSC_0193DSC_0202.JPGDSC_0194.JPGDSC_0195.JPG

Not all is doom and gloom, there has been rebuilding, and looking like it’s staying true to tradition.DSC_0142 (2).JPGDSC_0200.JPG

I did really like the beaches. The sand is the color you expect to see and makes it feel subtropical (e.g. warm), and with winter coming on, I need that.DSC_0115 (1).JPG

Just think how inviting this beach would be if there was some sun.DSC_0117.JPGDSC_0116 (1).JPG

Let’s add a little sun.DSC_0217.JPGDSC_0197.JPGDSC_0199.JPG

The day was done for my time in Biloxi and like I said, even though it wasn’t what I thought, It was still worth checking out.  I like the beaches and the style of the houses and just being able to poke around. I don’t really like the creeping development that (in rebuilding from Katrina) is slowly (but persistently) bringing a new culture to the area, a corporate culture creating its version of what they think we want . (Oh man, not that again, give us a break).

Before crossing the bridge and heading back to the campground, I was able to drive out on a fishing pier near the Palace Casino and took some photos.  It sucks no sun, the color on the photos really gets washed out.DSC_0148 (1).JPG

You can see the moisture in the air.DSC_0150.JPGDSC_0172 (2).JPGDSC_0176.JPG

I guess I really like boats.DSC_0177.JPG

I’ll end with these photos. I saw this and thought…how cool.DSC_0162 (2).JPG

Loading up on carbs for the trip to Mexico.DSC_0164 (2).JPGDSC_0159.JPG

11/07/18 Ocean Springs, MS

DAY #20

First full day on the ‘Gulf Coast’ and decided to do a bit of meandering around Ocean Springs.  Nothing serious, just thought I’d get the “lay of the land”, so to speak.  Davis Bayou campground is located within the Gulf Islands National Seashore which itself is tucked into a corner of Ocean Springs. The city is located on the eastern shore of Biloxi Bay.

I dressed light since the weather continued to be warm (upper 70s) and humid, and rain was still in the forecast. The humidity has been one of the biggest changes for me.  It’s been 70 degree dew points and man oh man, that can really make a warm day hot.  Last night I had to put the A/C on in the trailer because the humidity was so high.

In perusing around this little city, I found it to be a charming area with a very upscale and laid back feel to it.  Lots of small, independently & locally owned shops set up along narrow, tree-lined streets.  Man, some of the streets were so narrow that two cars passing each other had to be done ever so cautiously.DSC_0108.JPGDSC_0110 (2).JPGDSC_0113 (2).JPGDSC_0146.JPG

The architecture of the houses are so different from what I’m familiar with up north (uff da), and I do find them charming and very livable.DSC_0111.JPGDSC_0112 (2).JPG

No, it’s not the house that’s slanted, It’s the photographer who’s tilting a bit to the left.DSC_0114 (2).JPGDSC_0169 (2).JPGDSC_0168 (2).JPGDSC_0170 (2).JPGDSC_0171 (2).JPGDSC_0167 (2).JPG

Getting away from the city center and towards the bay saw the size and stature of the home increase.DSC_0158 (2).JPGDSC_0156 (2).JPGDSC_0165 (2).JPG

Hurricane Katrina hit this area in 2005 and Ocean Springs wasn’t spared.  A lot of “high end” homes near the bay suffered heavy damage and destruction along with the yacht club and fishing/walking piers on the beach.  You can still see remnants of Katrina by the empty lots that dot the bay area. the level of devastation in other areas of the city isn’t as apparent, it looks to have healed quite well.

Another good day in the life…