Tonight we are parked in a Thousand Trails campground about an hour or so west of Houston, Texas. We have kept to ourselves since we’ve checked in around two o’clock this afternoon just like we’ve done everyday and everywhere we’ve been for the past couple weeks. It took us over a week to travel the 800 plus miles to get here, but the road from St. Andrews State Park passed through some beautiful sections of this country and we have stayed at some very nice campgrounds along the way.
After leaving St. Andrews State Park, we stayed one night at Fred Gannon State Park near Destin, Florida. Now there is a story behind the one night stay. You see…we try to abide by the 3-3-3 travel day plan. That is to travel no more than three hundred miles, arrive at our destination no later than three o’clock in the afternoon and stay for at least three days. But a booking error, made by yours truly, left us with a one night hiatus that we had to fill (“But I booked four nights!” “I’m sorry sir, but we only have you for three nights and we are all full for the weekend”). After checking my confirmation I realized the man behind the counter was right. Geez, How did I do that? Luckily we found this very nice spot for a night. I commented to grammi when we arrived that “this is how all campgrounds should be laid out”. The sites were clean, level and spacious. There was trees and brush between the sites creating the feeling of being alone in the forest. After setting up and getting settled, we hiked along one of the many trails in the park before dinner and after dinner we built a cozy fire. It was an excellent one night stop.
As the sun rose to begin a new day we found our way to I-10 continuing our westward journey. Our next stop was Shepard State Park in Gautier, Mississippi. We stayed near this area last year at the Davis Bayou Campground. There were two reasons why we were staying in the area again. First, it fell within our 3-3-3 criteria. Secondly, because I said last year that “if I ever get back to this area I want to check out the casinos”. The Beau Rivage was on my “must-see” list as I have heard so much about it from a friend. But…as it turned out, we didn’t go again. With all the news about the corona virus (COVID-19) we decided to skip the casino and instead opted for the less crowded Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library. This estate, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, was the last home Jefferson Davis owned and is where he wrote his memoirs and his book “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government”.
From Mississippi we went into the Louisiana bayou and set up our next campsite at the Palmetto Island State Park. This area is known for growing both rice and raising crawfish. Smack in the middle of Cajun country, the first thing I noticed was the Cajun/Creole accent. It was hard for me to understand but quite interesting to listen to. We talked to an older local gentleman at the campground that said “when visiting cajun country it’s all about the food”. He said lucky for us, we were here at peak crawfish harvest time. There were campers with big pots boiling up a mess of crawfish for dinner. The next day we took the old guys advise and went to Shucks for a sample of “mudbugs”. Wee doggie them was good!
Continuing on the I-10, we stayed at Village Creek campground, our first Texas State Park. They say that everything is bigger in Texas but let me tell you, that ain’t true. The campground was small with only 16 sites but the worse part was the sites were just too close to each other. You could reach out and hold hands with you neighbor if you want to.
Nearby was The Big Thicket National Preserve where we ventured out for a day trip to the visitor center and a stroll on the Kirby Nature Trail. It was a beautiful walk through pines and down into a cypress slough. Afterward, we found a picnic table for a quiet lunch. Overall we had a really enjoyable day. So even though the campsite was not ideal, the area had much to offer and I am glad we stop to see it.
Our drive through Houston was uneventful. I’ve heard horror stories about the traffic being worse than Atlanta. But with schools being closed and most people staying home, it was smooth sailing all the way to our current spot.
So now the sun has set on our tiny home away from home signaling the end of another day. As we listen to the not so distant howls of coyotes, Grammi and I have been discussing our options and trying to map out our future plans. It is not the trip we’ve envisioned. Things are shutting down. I had hope to visit the Johnson Space Center, the Presidential Libraries, and many other places but that’s not going to happen at this point. We are trying not to over react though, we are still going to get out to places that don’t involve being around a lot of people. These are uncertain times and things may change but for now we are moving ahead. It may not be the adventure we have hoped for but it is an adventure.