We spent the first night of our trip to New Orleans at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida. It was a really rainy drive but we got there just as the rain was clearing out. Alex stopped at this super cute seafood joint for lunch and they even had veggie food for me and a few bisuits for Trixie.
The park included a long stretch of white sand beach so we went for a really long walk down to the pier only to find out that we weren't supposed to bring pets out there! But we did anyway cuz that's how we roll.
And we found an old VHS tape poking out of the sand.
Trixie still didn't know what to think of the ocean and she tried to fight it, then went nuts digging in the sand. We hung out there awhile and I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday, then we walked back to the camper and fell asleep pretty early that night.
In the morning we set our for Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi. When we called to make a reservation, the dude on the phone said “Yeah, you won't need a reservation.” It was another longish day of driving, but when we got down to the Mississippi gulf we understood what he meant. So many things were never rebuilt or cleaned up from hurricane Katrina, even six years later. Driving along the coast, tons of houses were up on ten-foot stilts or even higher, and probably two-thirds of the lots were still vacant. There were steps and sidewalks leading to nothing, and a few piles of rubble still hanging around. There were decimated piers abandoned along the ocean, with nothing left except long rows of posts with a few sections of walkway remaining waaaay out in the water. The park we stayed at was pretty much in the center of the disaster but was one of the first things that got rebuilt after the storm because it had lots of electric hookups and that's where a bunch of the FEMA people stayed in the months after Katrina. The park used to have a big waterpark but that was ruined and hasn't been rebuilt yet.
One of the rangers there told us that all of the pine trees that were there died because of all the salt deposited in the soil and the only trees left were live oaks that were definitely struggling to adapt.
It was totally surreal, and really mind-boggling to think that this was after six years! There were only four or five other RVs in the whole park, but there was room for a few hundred at least.
It was a pretty sobering thing to see...I always thought I wanted to be Tank Girl, but standing in that post-apocalyptic wasteland, my heart just went out to all the people and animals that suffered through that nightmare.