Eastward Bound

Texas to Mississippi – March, 2016  After our return from Mexico we planned to make our way eastward to the Atlantic. We didn’t have a hard deadline for getting there so we moseyed that way, preferring to drive no more than a few hours a day and spend two nights at most stops.

This schedule of travel gives us a day and a half in each location. Often that is no where near enough time to appreciate what an area has to offer. For some stops it is almost too long.

First up was Port Arthur, Texas. It was an easy drive from Houston and we needed a place to unpack and catch up on laundry. We also needed to stock up on groceries as we had virtually nothing in the trailer to eat after cleaning out and turning off the frig for the camper’s two week stay in a storage lot.

We found a great campground called Pleasure Island RV Park with full hookups for $30 per night. It appeared to be primarily occupied by employees of the surrounding oil industry. We hardly saw anyone during our stay. We heard them fire up their trucks and drive off about 5 in the morning and I briefly saw a lady now and then doing laundry and such. But in general it was a ghost campground.

Many of the water views in the area were some variation of this.  I loved the fires from the smoke stacks.

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Pleasure Island is a man-made island created by the dredgings left over when they cut the shipping channel in 1899. There isn’t a beach there but there is an awesome boardwalk built along the water’s edge that went on for quite a ways. There were other walking paths as well and a fishing pier a short ways from camp. After a couple extremely quiet days we had restocked and regrouped and were ready to move on.

We chose our next stop, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana for its proximity to a Ford dealership. Our check engine light had been on for a while. Jim had checked it out with his diagnostic tool and was certain it wasn’t anything serious, but he still didn’t want to put a ton of miles on the truck before having it fixed. We made a 7:30 appointment at Courtesy Ford and were all fixed up and on our way in an hour. The rest of our day and a half visit to the area was a joy as well.

We were smack dab in the middle of the Acadiana (French Cajun) region. Breaux Bridge is considered the Crawfish Capitol of the World so getting some local cuisine was high on our to do list. Based on a recommendation from Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings we stopped by Poche’s Market. We chose some crawfish boudin and some andouille sausage, both of which turned out amazing.

The town has a really quaint downtown area. It is reached by this interesting old bridge, which I presume is the source of the town’s name.

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It has many cute gift shops and flea markets and we spent a pleasant hour or so perusing them.

The most enjoyable part of our stay was a visit to Lake Martin just a few miles from town. It is very swamp like, at least along the edges by the road. We drove slowly along the road in search of a boardwalk built over the lake. We found it and took the short walk around it. The cypress trees were quite remarkable.

And Jim spotted part of a gator with an impressive tale. We couldn’t see any more of him.

He never moved but maybe that was for the best.

We drove slowly back along the lake road keeping a closer eye out for wildlife. Jim saw a snake in the creek along the other side of the road, and an absolutely gorgeous blue heron flew over us. As we looked toward the lake, way back in the trees there were hundreds of white blobs.

It was time to pull out the telescopic lens.

Great Egret I believe. Many had their feathers spread out drying them.

We liked our campground, Pioneer Acadian Village ($32 full hookups). They really went out of their way to make the place homey. They have a big front porch on the laundry with rocking chairs and a nice deck over the river that ran by camp.

In a rather gloomy spot on the other side of the deck I found these beauties. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them before.

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We really enjoyed our visit to this area. I adored the local accent. It didn’t matter if they were speaking what I presume was French or if they were speaking English, their accent was very soothing.

This was definitely one of those places where a day and a half only scratched the surface. I would like to stay over a weekend next time we visit this area and enjoy some of the local music. But we were trying to stay ahead of a storm system so we moved along.

We picked another spot a couple hours down the road in Mississippi where we could get to the beach easily. Pass Christian was the name of the town and the RV Park. The campground was a little crowded and dumpy but at $14 a night for full hookups with our Passport America discount, who were we to complain. It was only a short drive from miles and miles of beaches.

Beach Boulevard runs beside the ocean for many miles. On the other side of this highway in Pass Christian are many impressive mansions. Along the median they have carved some of the dead trees into sculptures like this one.

We enjoyed walks on the beaches but the water didn’t look particularly inviting to us. We picked up fresh shrimp on the dock in town for $4.99 per pound! That always endears an area to us. And the birds on the docks were entertaining.

But this was one of the stops where a day and a half was sufficient for our explorations. We don’t feel any need to return and were excited to move on to Florida.

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