Gulf Islands National Seashore, MS…

We got up early and moved a ways down the road, making an overnight, unplanned stop.  We decided that we really didn’t want to keep playing leap frog with the storm, so we stayed behind it and made a detour into the Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS) – there are actually 2 distinct parts to GUIS – the wetlands/bayou part in Mississippi, and the seashore part in Florida.  We really wanted to make it to FL, but what’s the point if we have to stay inside all day due to rain?
At GUIS (wetlands in Ocean Springs, Mississippi) they have a fishing pier…

and we took a nature walk, which ended up being lame because you walk a couple hundred yards through the brush and then come out on the park road and walk alongside of it!   Vaughn was laughing when he came and picked us up – we were going to walk back to the campground because it was only a little more than a mile, but once he saw the path along the road he knew we would rather do something else than walk along the road so decided to pick up our motley band of hitchhikers!

We found lots of lizards, a few bunnies, and even a packrat in the parking lot.

(this picture is way out of place, but on a positive note, I HAVE figured out how to put my pics on in order – just too busy to redo this post!)…this was just a river on the road between Fontaineblue and GUIS…

We stayed in the campground at GUIS – nice place, electric and water, no sewer, but we want to go back because we didn’t have enough time to explore!  

They have a pretty much resident alligator.  There is a sign showing you where you are likely to find her, and sure enough, there she was…   she doesn’t stray far.  I asked one of the rangers how they keep her there, and they said that she knows a good thing when she has it – lots of food with little competition; but he assured us they don’t feed her.

There was a gorgeous new visitor’s center, and it was super kid friendly!

Very colorful and clean, and the rangers were so helpful.   The kids did the Jr. Ranger program.

And we learned about animals that are new to us.  This is a wetlands area, and while we didn’t find it as fascinating as the bayou in New Orleans, it was still interesting.

They had quite a few beautifully carved wooden animals in the visitor’s center that the kids could touch.

like this opossum and babies… (which we haven’t seen in ‘real life’ yet)…

and outside were lots of lizards for the kids to check out.

We spent the day at the visitor’s center and then returned ot the campground.  They have wood available there, so we planned on roasting marshmallows that night, but couldn’t get a fire going as all the wood was still wet from the storm.  We played games instead – our favorite is to make a big circle on the floor in the living room and play nerds (like dutch blitz but with reg. decks so an indefinite number of players can play). 
We spent the night at GUIS, and then hit the road pretty early for our next destination, just over an hour away. Because of where we were going, the boys got up and were ready to hit the road in no time. 
Loving being on the move again!!! 

Lilla Rose

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  1. Catching up with the Tribe finally. Internet connection has been lousy but today it seems to be working okay. Glad to read you guys are still safe and not in really lousy weather.

  2. Too bad you didn’t stop at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR. I could have given your tribe a great tour. There’s a Junior Refuge Manager program, and plenty of carnivorous plants to explore. Only about ten miles from where you stayed. :(

  3. Oh Judy! That is such a bummer! I had no idea that there was a Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR!!! And a Jr Refuge Manager program (sounds interesting!) – And carnivorous plants sounds so up our alley!!! We would have loved it!!!

    We have decided that we have to come east FIRST next year, because we are always too rushed and don’t get to see close to a quarter of what we want to! I will be writing down the refuge in my notes to make sure that we hit it next year!!!
    Thanks so much for the tip – we have found that’s the best way to find the best places!
    :) dana

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