Tag Archives: gulf

East TX to Biloxi, Mississippi

Well, with the busy Christmas season over, it’s time to figure out these bass! The great blue heron thinks he’s figured them out but we didn’t see him catch any. The bass were schooling on this day in early January. We had never seen a heron land on open water – usually they stand in the shallows. So this was a special treat.

Don, however, figured them out. Dad and Don’s limits are shown below. The slot length limit for largemouth bass, here, is 14-21 inches (meaning, you can’t keep anything from 14-21″). These are all under 14″. He threw a few back that were over the limit. It was a fun fishing day!

We’re headed back to Alabama and stopped overnight in Louisiana. We camped at Acadiana Campground. It has a nice Nature Station with lots of trails. It’s pretty wet and we just made it before dark so we stuck to the boardwalk part of the trail. I like the reflection of the live oaks and cypress trees on the water. The cypress roots make steep bends in them that stick up out of the water. They’re called “cypress knees”.

What is really neat is how it looks when you turn the picture upside down.

Tonight we are camped at Gulf Island National Seashore near Biloxi, Mississippi. (We cannot see the seashore from the campground.) It is raining and getting colder. All electric sites are filled now (the last 4 went within 10 minutes of our arrival!) It’s supposed to get down to 20 by morning. We’ll make sure the roads are thawed before we head east in the morning!

Oh yeah, GO LONGHORNS! We’ve got Texas plates on the Dodge so we don’t dare enter Alabama until that game is over. Shhhhh…

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Mississippi, Alabama

We were impressed by the plantation-style Rest Areas in Mississippi. This was actually a visitor’s center but still very impressive. We stopped to get some info on campgrounds near the beach. The good one, Buccaneer, is still closed from hurricane Katrina damage. The one we found was not on the beach and not too spectacular but it was after dark and we were ready to stop.
We saw lots of cotton fields. Marian took me to a field for some closeup shots. Starting with the left pic: before the pod opens; next: pod is just opening; next: fully opened cotton pod; last: cotton ‘modules’. They are not called cotton ‘bales’ anymore. Modules are larger than the old bales. They spray a defoliant on the plant before the can harvest the cotton. That is so the cotton is not colored green by a live plant; which decreases the value of the cotton. Marian remembers, as a child, having to get into the cotton containers and stomping it down to compact it. These modules are compacted by large equipment similar to the garbage trucks that compact the contents using hydraulics. I just think it is amazing that you can make clothing out of a plant!

This is our friend’s, Gil and Marian’s, ‘nut farm’. We learned all about pecan farming…well, not ‘all’. They made it look simple but they have been working at it for years and Gil is a natural when it comes to farming anything. They were very gracious hosts and we loved spending time with them, as usual! Their farm is a beautiful and peaceful place.
They treated us to all the sites in the area too. We saw Pensacola Beach. I guess this water tower is a ‘must have’ for the spring break picture-taking crowd. They took us to the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The lighthouse was closed but we toured the great museum. Don was interested in how those Navy guys adapt airplanes for use on the water.
They also took us on a boat tour to see dolphins! That was great fun. I couldn’t believe how white the sand is on the east side of the Mississippi River! I grew up closer to Galveston and that beach sand is the color of mud (it’s down-current of the Mississippi). The beach pic is at Gulf Shores, Alabama.
They fattened me up for days for the next outing; threatened to feed me to the alligators. We went to Alligator Alley. I held a 4-foot gator (after he taped his mouth shut)! One amazing fact we learned is that gators only eat about 10% of their body weight per year! This gator, on the right, is eating a chicken and that’s probably the last thing he’ll eat this year. How could you grow on that kind of a diet?

Gil and Marian drove us everywhere! But before we headed back west, we noticed our odometer rolled over 100,000 miles on the ole’ Dodge.