Monday, May 9, 2016

2016-10 Pass Christian Mississippi and onto Milton Florida


Pass Christian Mississippi
Black Water St Park, Florida

Black Water River State Park, Florida
Campground:  Pass Christian RV Park.  $15 PPA rate, half off.  Full hookups.  Small campground.

Campground:  Black Water State Park.  Senior rate, half off.  $13.00 includes reserve America fee and taxes.  1st time getting my senior rate at Florida State parks.  50 amp and water, back-in site. Only one site was available at such short notice.  A 30ft site and fortunately my camper fit’s a short site just perfectly.  So glad I don’t have a larger camper.

Distance traveled:  190 miles

Finally got out of the rain storms in Louisiana with my first stop along the way in Baton Rouge. Needed to stop at a Tire Kingdom to get my free tire rotation on the truck.  My goal was to stay at the Mississippi Visitor Center for one night, but when I got there, they had a new sign up stating no overnight parking.  Shame too because they had a dozen or so pull thru picnic rest area sites that would have been perfect for overnight camping.

So onto plan B.  Right next door to the visitor center is the new Infinity Science Center by NASA.  But, after the not so stellar review by the visitor center, I decided to pass on that one.  So it was onto a new campground for me, Pass Christian Rv Park.  Nicely located for touring the gulf coast and places like Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Gulf Port and Biloxi.  There are miles of sandy white beaches all along the Gulf of Mexico and being close to the stunning blue water always puts a big smile on my face. Crossing over the bridge from Bay St Louis and seeing colorful Key West style houses, palm trees and that turquoise blue water makes me fell like I’m already in Florida.

The next day I headed to the beach and had a very nice walk along the hard packed sand close to the waters edge.  The water was almost flat and the only sound was the crunching of oyster shells beneath my feet and the seagulls squawking in the early morning light.

love walking along a hard packed beach

remains from hurricane damage years ago

Then it was into the very small town of Pass Christian which was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Many buildings and trees were destroyed and only those home owners that could afford to get onto the damage and repairs quickly were able to save their buildings.  Much of the after damage was due to mold in the walls, requiring those home owners to strip often up to 8 feet high of all walls, insulation, etc.  The small town is finally recovering.  New buildings and refurbished buildings are opening up as new stores, restaurants and a boutique hotel and bar are in the process of being built.  I went into a beautiful small new book store/coffee shop and had an expensive cup of coffee.  Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, a pier and fishing boats, it was a pleasant way to continue my morning.

Pass Christian Mississippi

Robin's Nest

all that remains of a home after Hurricane Katrina

After that it was off down the main street for a few blocks to the Robin’s Nest.  It’s a shop owned and operated by Dorothy Roberts, sister of Robin Roberts (of Good Morning America, ABC).  Lots of nice local artwork and great conversation with the workers in the store.

another Passport America campground, 1/2 off camping fee

Back at my campsite I noticed a couple large container units that would normally be used to haul stuff in by a semi truck.  They had been converted to living quarters of sorts.  Found out by the owner of the Rv park that they are owned by a large power company and are moved into an area to provide temporary housing for their workers on large projects.  Two of the units are set up as bunk houses and can hold a dozen men.  But she said the power company realized that was way to many men for such tight quarters so they don’t put quite that many in those units.  One of the others was divided into 4 small mini apartments.

temporary housing for power company workers in the area

Also noticed that along with many houses having been razed up on high stilts along with power junction boxes in the area.  Putting them high above flood stage height.  I talked to a local who is trying to sell some land as well as his house that’s at least a mile or more inland that has lost over half it’s value now that it’s considered in the flood zone.  Costing more for flood insurance while attempting to sell both properties at considerable loss.

Distance Traveled:  202 miles

Crossing through Alabama
Entering FLORIDA

walkway to beach

Black Water River beach

I could hear a gator, sounding like a large bull frog

Juniper loop trail, watch out for those exposed tree roots

first gator sighting in Florida this year

sand bars are all along the Black Water River, great canoeing and kayaking

I left the gulf coast much sooner than I’d really like too, but I’m heading to St Cloud Florida where my sister Dorothy lives to check out something in the area.  For now it’s back on the main interstate highway, I-10.  Not too bad, though the traffic is a bit heavy through Alabama and into north Florida.  My campsite is at the Black Water state park.  This isn’t a super big park but the campsites are immaculate.  Each with full hookups, 50 amp service, water and sewer.  Along with that, each site is level with pea gravel, picnic table, fire pit, BBQ grill and two posts with a line run across them to dry towels etc.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve been in such a beautifully maintained park.

The big draw is the river.  It’s a slow moving sandy bottom river with tea colored water from all the tannin in the water.  As I was coming in, I noticed many canoe’s, kayaks and inner tubes banked along some great sand dune beaches around every corner of the river.  Sure hope I get a chance to get out on the water in the next day or so.

The park has a nice beach with lots of sugar sand beach front.

Milton Florida

ok maybe the town isn't all that exciting, but good seafood restaurants

What a great little town in north Florida.  It’s along hwy 90 which was once the southern east/west road across country.  It’s close to Pensacola and the Gulf Coast.  A bit of history can be found everywhere, even in small towns like Milton.  As I was driving east along hwy 90, a two lane country road, I kept noticing a narrow strip along the north side of the road.  At first I thought it was just a rails-to-trails walking path, but upon closer look discovered it was a brick, single lane road.  Historical signs told the story.  Between 1919-1921 the brick road was built to carry those new cars coming along.  It was known at that time as Old Spanish Trail or State Road One.  Can you imagine meeting up with a vehicle coming in the opposite direction and one of you has to get off the road to let the other one pass.  In 1926 it was expanded with concrete shoulders making it a two lane road.  It was only about 6 miles in length, but most of that is still in surprisingly good condition.  In Milton, there are still small sections of the original brick road still in use today, abruptly ending at the Black Water river.

Old Spanish Trail

still in pretty good shape

Sure wish they could build the roads to last as well as the Old Spanish Trail has.  But then again we have thousands more roads to maintain today don’t we with lots more vehicles using them.

Pass Christine Miss photos
Pass Christine Miss photos, misc
Black Water State Park, Florida photos
Historic Brick road photos

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