Mississippi Day Three : A Pleasant Morning Walk In Pascagoula, And An Afternoon Of Altered Plans, Again
I had a plan for the day when I awoke in the quaint Gulf town of Pascagoula on Friday. I was going to watch the sunrise from the beach on the Gulf in Pascagoula. I planned to only walk a mile or so along the beach in the morning. Then, I planned to drive back to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refugee and explore some of the bayou country in the heat of the afternoon. I was hoping the wildlife would be more active, , especially the reptiles, in the warmth of the afternoon soon. . So I was up early, had my coffee, and was at Point Park at dawn. Point Park is located near where the Pascagoula River enters the Gulf of Mexico.
It was another cool morning, cool being in the 50’s in Mississippi in December. . There was some fog in the area as I drove through the streets of the awakening town. I arrived at Point Park about 1o minutes before sunrise. I walked along the beach across from the houses and ancient oaks as I waited for the sun to appear in the eastern sky.
There were already a lot of folks running and walking along the road along the beach, many with their dogs. All were very friendly as we watched the sun slowly rise above some high clouds on the the eastern horizon.
After watching the sun rise, and the birds, I walked back to Point Park. As I stated above it is located near where the Pascagoula River enters the Gulf of Mexico and across from the massive Ingalls Shipbuilding facility.
This facility was built in 1938 and grew dramatically during World War II. It is the largest employer in the State and built 70% of the ships in the current United States Navy, The sounds of the shipbuilding filled the air along Point Park.
I walked about a mile or so when I decided to walk into the neighborhood with the large homes along the beach. This is when my plans for the days first changed. I couldn’t stop walking once I entered the beautiful neighborhood. I love walking the streets of the cities and towns I visit, especially the residential areas. You learn so much about a place from the people who live there.
I walked up Bernard Street, past large well maintained homes. All of the homes were surrounded by large old oak or magnolia trees. It is hard to believe this town was devastated by Hurricane Karina in 2005.
I came to the small harbor and boat dock. I imagined what a sleepy town Pascagoula was before the massive shipyards were built during World War II. It must have been an idyllic southern paradise city.
At this point in my walk, I was enjoying my exploration of the town, and decided to walk to the Magnolia Birding pier that my car trouble kept me from seeing the previous afternoon. I walked up Pascagoula Street which, after leaving the Inner Harbor became a more modest neighborhood.
There were still nice well maintained homes, many surrounded by old oak trees and other large trees, but it was a more middle class neighborhood, Here I encountered a number of folks, male, female, young and old going to work or on a morning walk. I had some pleasant short conversations with most of them. They were a friendly people and southern hospitality is a real thing I learned as I walked their streets as a stranger with a camera.
I saw some historical markers too. This one was of particular interest to me. It seems a railroad was built here in 1831, around the time of the Beaver Meadows Railroad, which was built near my hometown in Northeastern Pennsylvania and claims to be one of the oldest railroads in the Nation. I imagined the different weather and working conditions endured by the laborers on those early railroads.
As I walked past the old houses my thoughts again returned to the folks who lived there when was they built, who first looked out those windows. I thought of the Christmases , the births ,the deaths, the happiness the joy, that occurred in those four walls. Life passes so quickly and I wondered how many lives passed in these homes. So many memories and secrets each house I passed held. This is why I kept on walking. I enjoy the time to think and reflect about the town, city or country I am visiting.
My walk took me past some schools and into a more commercial area when I left Pascagoula Street and walked onto Dupont Street on my way to the birding pier. Here I passed a few museums dedicated to the Maritime and wartime shipbuilding history of the city. I wish I had more time to visit them.
There was a great white egret , a snowy egret and some type of duck on the fog covered waters. A kingfisher chattered as it flew overhead. Because of the fog, and my empty stomach, I didn’t stay long at the pier. I had already walked four miles, twice as much as I had planned so decided to head back. Here is a link to all of the birds I saw on my hike. Mississippi Day Three Morning walk birds December 3 2021.
I zigzagged my way back to Park Point, again walking through the many diverse neighborhoods. Near he shipyards many of the homes were run down, but as I near the beach improved to middle class and then affluent. I learned a lot about Pascagoula on that walk which now covered over six miles.
I returned to Park Point and had a pleasant conversation with some street workers. This fellow insisted I take his photograph and use it in my blog. We talked about football, food and life. As I said a lot of good folks here, and pretty much everywhere I travel, we all have a lot more in common then we thinks and are told.
I saw one more critter on my hike this cat sleeping near my SUV. I entered my SUV and, it started, this time. More about that in a minute. But here is a link to a gallery with more photos from my morning walk. Mississippi Day Three morning walk. December 3 2021.
I drove back to the Hilton Garden, Inn showered and had breakfast. Afterward, I edited some photos, checked into my office and spent an hour at the pool. Around 3 p.m. I thought I was off to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refugee as planned, or so I thought. I got in my Hertz Mazda SUV and it didn’t start. I was not happy. Three hours of chaos resulted. Let me just say, the car not starting did not make me happy, but this happens. Cars break down. At first I thought, que sera sera, make the best of it. Being transported to the airport with a pleasant woman driver was not what I planned but was bearable. However arriving at the airport, and being told there was no replacement car available, and there may not be for hours, if at all, had me infuriated. I won’t get into the details, but they weren’t pleasant. So I rented a KIA automobile from Avis, no other choice, it’s a small airport I guess,
But once I made it back to Pascagoula, safely, my day ended on a good note. I drove to Brady’s Steak and Seafood House and had a delicious cup of seafood gumbo and then a fried seafood platter. It was delicious. I was, and still am unhappy, with having missed the hikes because of a defective car. No amount of money could compensate me for losing these experiences. And to be abandoned at the airport. Well I will deal with Hertz later. But I still retired for the night happy to be safe and looking forward to another day of adventure in the beautiful State of Mississippi.
to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”