Traveling from Texas to the Mississippi Gulf Coast

We have been doing more “destination traveling” than “journey traveling” lately.  We prefer taking it slow and easy with no clear destination in mind and following good weather.   However, we had made a date to spend time with grandchildren and to take a short break from road journeying. We were looking forward to seeing everyone.

We did take our time.  It took us three weeks to come from Austin Texas to Biloxi Mississippi.  On our way here from Austin, Texas we were just ahead of the floods, but caught plenty of rain.   These geese were frolicing in the spillway near Lake Tawakoni State Park.

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From Lake Tawakoni we drove to Louisiana’s Beaver Dam, run by the COE which offers great discounts for seniors with a Senior Pass type of travel cards.  That is always a good deal.  We then headed another 200 miles to Mississippi’s Roosevelt State Park for a couple of nights stay after a 200 mile drive.

The weather was still rainy and drab, so we didn’t do much and did not get any photos of the camp.  It was a nice quiet park and we would have liked to have stayed longer.  Perhaps next time on our way through this part of the country.

Onward, we drove south, stopping for a few days in another Mississippi Park;  Paul B. Johnson State Park.  We have learned that there are a few states that give discounts to seniors regardless of state residency.  Some parks in Louisiana and Mississippi do so.  It varies in the amount of discount, but we appreciate any discount.

To enter the Paul B. Johnson State Park one must drive through a roadway spillway.  It was not a problem, but it did take us by surprise.  The storm clouds were gathering just as we were arriving.

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We had better weather the next couple of days  and we took the first opportunity to get our kayak out and paddle the lake.  We had some trouble with the winds spinning us in a 360 degree circle, so we headed to shore.  While carrying the kayak back to the camp, we realized that in our hurry to get into the lake for the first time this year, we put our seats in the kayak backwards! The skids were on the front of the float and not in the rear.  We giggled all the way back to camp.  We were just a bit over excited and got careless.

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This little guy waddled over to see if we brought picnic snacks for him on the island break.

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While near Hattiesburg, we took a trip over to Camp Shelby.  We had planned to tour the Military Museum, but it was closed for renovation.  We did walk the grounds and admired the aircraft and tank displays.

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It was educational for me.  I had no idea of the high tech that our military had back in WWII and then the Vietnam Era.  The equipment was well labelled and gave a history of where it was put into service and how it served.

We are now parked at Davis Bayou Campground in the Gulf Shore National Seashore.  It is a small campground and we made reservations early.  At $11 and night with the senior card, it is a bargain.  Just a mile or so from Ocean Springs and not far from Gulfport or Biloxi, one can feel nature all around and listen to the sounds at dusk in the nice sized sites and yet be in the grocery store or a restaurant  in minutes.

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There are lots of activities to do here.  The first thing that we signed up for was the Kayak 101 Tour where we improved our skills of which end is front, how to properly use a paddle singly and in tandem.  We saw an Osprey nest with young ones and observed feeding time. We were introduced to the bayou grasses that feed the inhabitants and heard the calls of various birds that I did not know existed.  It was led by knowledgeable and experienced tour guides.

Today we walked trails, saw alligators in the bayou, lizards in the trees showing off their  red throats to the lady lizards and greenery such as the devil’s walking stick.  At the pier, our grandson took this fine photo.

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We will be here another week and plan to take a more extensive tour of the Bayou on a park skiff and to have a family cookout.