Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Escape/Part 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast/Part 2

April 13th, 2022

 Our next super secret undisclosed location was just going to be a short drive down the highway to Shepard State Park near Ocean Springs, MS.

We got set up in the jungle. It is a small state park so it promises to be very quiet. Lisa has her eye to the sky as there are supposed to be some severe thunderstorms rolling through tonight. So we will see. Since we got here early in the day we went to the Gulf Shore Island Visitor Center. There we learned about the bayou's and the unique ecosystem that is here. We checked out the visitor center and then drove around the park. Crossing a bridge I saw an alligator so Lisa jumped out while I parked. She got some good photos as it passed under her.

Dumb blogger. They are in the reverse order. Oops.

It was so close she could have easily jumped on its back. That would have been blog worthy.

The Gulf Island National Sea Shore is a national park but you need a boat or take a ferry to the islands to see them. We did not bring our new pontoon so we could not get over there today. Since the day was still young and it was sunny we decided to go eat some shrimp. 

We decided to try McElroy's Harbor house in Biloxi. I decided to order blackened gulf shrimp and fries. Lisa decided to try the Royal Red shrimp platter.
We have never tried the Royal Reds so we had to google them. They are deep water shrimp that are red in color. The meat is sweet tasting and is compared to lobster meat. They were so good. I can't believe how much she got on her plate. Thankfully I was there to help her out. 

The weather service was right. We got rain and lots of it. They were calling for a couple of inches. Thankfully the other severe weather didn't materialize. The rain continued on into the morning so that ended any beach days today. So we decided to drive to Dauphin Island in Alabama.

Not knowing what was over there we just winged it. There is an old coastal fort there so that is where we started.

Fort Gaines. This fort sits at the mouth of the Alabama Bay and was a strategic point in the Civil War. There is another fort on the other side of the bay.

From those two points the confederates held off the Union Navy. This fort is well preserved and it was fun to walk around and explore it.

The latrine. I hope you are not shy if you had to use it.

As I walk around I can just imagine what life was like here and during the war how dire it could be. As usual I had to get a canon picture.

We worked up an appetite walking around the fort. We decided to try the Pirate Bar and Grill. I've always wondered what pirates ate so we gave it a try. I ordered a hamburger and Lisa ordered the shrimp po boy. After eating hers, Lisa said that she was tired of shrimp now. LOL. That's why I ordered the hamburger I said. LOL again. The food was good but the coolest thing about this place is the place itself. This was a really interesting art deco building built in the fifties when everything was cool. It was originally called "The Isle Dauphin Club". I found a grainy old picture on line of it.
Everything was built with circles giving it a very unique look. Here is another photo from online.
I could just imagine the Rat Pack there. Men in suits, women in evening dresses. Smoke everywhere. Here are a couple of photos I took.

As you can see from the photos that the sun was starting to come  out. You know what that means. Off to the beach!

We got our beach day anyway. The beach we went to is at the very tip of the island. We ended up spending a couple of hours there.
Lisa contemplating on how lucky she is to have me drive her there.

This is the most wave action we have seen since we got here. It felt good to dip our toes into the water and just listen to the surf.
The wind, the sun and the water wore us out and we were ready to retire. It turned out to be a great day even though the start of it was questionable.

"Gladys! What other surprises do you have planned for us?"
Dorks on Parade!


What we  thought was going to be a short drive to our next destination didn't quite work out like that. Fate has a way of making your life more challenging. We hooked everything up and started to head to the dump station. Windows were down and it seemed like there was a lot of metal on metal sounds coming from the trailer. Clue number one. At the dump station it looked like the trailer was leaning to one side. Clue number two.
I said to Lisa that that doesn't look right. So after further inspection we saw this.
Oh no! We limped back to our camp site and started making calls to find a mobile RV technician. It was Good Friday and half the places we called were closed and the others couldn't do anything being very busy. One place said he had the parts so I guess it is going to have to be us. We unhooked and found the RV place to pick up new shackles. $2.99 apiece. Funny how everything rests on 3 dollar parts.

In my professional opinion I said that those thingies look like they should be attached to that bendy dohickus. 

We got back to the RV and I started removing the tires.
Being in an RV you never have the tools you need so you have to do with what you have. Getting everything to line up was quite the head scratcher. I would jack one point up and then the holes would move a different way. Finally after much trial and error I came up with this configuration.
I put my bottle jack along with a scrap piece of wood and a piece of fire wood on one wheel to push that spring down. The holes would get close but not close enough. So I then got the jack out of the truck along with some leveling blocks and a chunk of concrete Lisa found to push down on the rear spring. McGyver would be proud. We got everything lined up. bolted down the new shackles. put the tires back on and left our spot minutes before check out. Luckily our next spot wasn't too far away. 

Beers were well earned that evening.

Adapt, improvise and overcome. Words to live by. Now if this ever happens to you you can us this acronym. WWDD. What would Dino do?

"Gladys! Fetch me another beer please!"


  1. We really enjoyed touring the Civil War forts too. Great job on your shackle repair. Safe travels!

  2. Wow, great job Dino. Good thing they had parts. I also find the beach very calming just listening to the waves crash. Although I love being on our lake, seeing the water, Ray and I do go to the ocean occasionally just to get the smell of the ocean. :) Fortunately for us the ocean is only 45 minutes away from our house on the east side of Vancouver Island.

    1. It was nice to get away after the long cold winter we have had this year in our SSUVFL.

  3. Those Royal Reds are the best! Great job on the shakles!

    1. Rumor has it that we may or may not have brought some back. Lisa may be saving them for someone special. I hope it's me.