Thursday, March 4, 2010


Davis Bayou Alligator Last time we traveled in Mississippi, we headed north from Natchez to Memphis, Tennessee.  Yesterday’s travels moved us into completely new territory: the Gulf coast of Mississippi.  From now until we double back for a visit to Memphis in April, it’s all new to us. 

Our friends Buddy and Jackie pulled into Poche’s Fish-N-Camp, our “home” in Breaux Bridge, on Tuesday around noon, on their way home to Lovelady.  Their company made our last delicious meal in Louisiana – at Randol’s in Lafayette – even more special.  We hope we’ll see them again in the northeast this summer.

We hit the road unusually early (for us) on Wednesday morning, as our planned stop was Davis Bayou Campground, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, in Ocean Springs, MS.  This is a first-come, first-served campground, no reservations.  We wanted to arrive no later than 1 pm to get a site, and were facing  200+ miles - with a stop for fuel, and again at the Mississippi Welcome Center for maps and information. 

Crossing Atchafalaya Swamp Mississippi Visitor Center

Crossing the Atchafalaya Swamp on I-10 in LA

The Mississippi Welcome Center

It was perfect travel weather, and our drive was mostly on interstates.  We arrived at the campground around 12:30 (213 miles), and managed to snag a 45 foot, reasonably level site – less than half an hour before all of the limited available sites suitable for Scoopy were filled.  Nothing special about the campground itself, but it offers a lot to us: good walking, excellent Verizon service, an local NPR station, a TV signal on satellite and antenna, easy access to the gulf coast cities and towns we want to visit, water and 50 amp electricity.  Best of all, thanks to Odel’s Golden Age card, we pay only $8/night!  Incredible!

Site 9 Davis Bayou Campground Once we settled into our site, we took off for the Visitor Center to get our bearings.  Gulf Islands National Seashore protects the sandy, offshore barrier islands that we could see from the visitor center – a boat ride is required to get up close and personal.  The grounds of the mainland portion of the park are extensive, and we explored all of the short trails through the jungle.  Of course, for us, the highlight was sighting the basking ‘gator in the top photo!

Today’s agenda: sightseeing.  We have a walking tour map of Ocean Springs, the small town nearby.  More importantly, we have a strong recommendation from our friend Bill, a “Mississippi boy” who knows good catfish and told us that Aunt Jenny’s in Ocean Springs serves some of the best available.  We have no intention of missing that.


  1. Love Ocean Springs and the National Park.We actually took a bike ride through the park and town. Looking forward for your restaurant review.

  2. I'm so tickled to read about your route this year, Laurie and Odel. We were there in December of 2007 and really love the Gulf Coast. Will follow with bated breath!

  3. We are in Abbeville, LA at Betty's. After we read your blog about the Po Boys at Kaplan, I got out the map and discovered that it is only ten miles from here. We hopped in the car, drove to Kaplan, and asked for directions. Suires Grocery is a true find. What a neat place! The Po Boys were every bit as good as you said they were. We will also go back, and will talk about it on our blog when we have the time to update it in a couple days. Thanks for the great idea..... Roger and Dianne -