Jan 192011

We spent yesterday driving along U.S. Highway 90, which parallels the Gulf beaches here in Mississippi. The eye of the Hurricane Katrina came ashore here, back in 2005, and decimated the region. We wanted to see how much damage was still evident, and what had changed in the wake of that disaster. It was an eye opening experience.

We have always liked this stretch of highway, especially between Bay St. Louis on the west, and Gulfport to the east. On the south side of the highway, the sand is almost as white as sugar, and there are frequent pullouts and parking areas where you can safely stop and get out to walk on the benches, or just sit on one of the many beaches built all along the way. Many of the pullouts will easily accommodate an RV.

The north side of the highway was lined with handsome antebellum mansions, built by wealthy plantation owners who spent their summers here, to escape the heat and mosquitoes inland. Some of the mansions survived the storm and have been repaired, like this one, and others are still waiting for either demolition or reconstruction, like the one in the second picture below.

Mississippi mansion

Mississippi mansion 2

Unfortunately, only a few ruins remain of many of the historic old homes.


There are still a lot of scars left by the hurricane. We saw a lot of empty cement slabs like this, that once held homes and businesses.

Empty slab

Not much remains of this church.

Church ruins

But there is good news, too. Everywhere we looked, we saw homes and businesses being restored.

Rebuilding house

Rebuilding house 2

There is also a lot of new construction going on, or completed.


Making the most of a bad situation, in some areas, instead of cutting down trees that were killed in the storm, artists have turned them into beautiful sculptures.  

Tree sculpture

Tree sculpture 6

Further east along the coast, the casinos in Gulfport and Biloxi are all busy.

Hard Rock casino

New Orleans got most of the attention from the news media during and after the storm, even though the Mississippi coast took the hardest hit. And while some people in New Orleans are still sitting around waiting for somebody else to come and make it all better again, the hard working, decent people of the Gulf Coast rolled up their sleeves, got to work, and put their lives back together.

Then, in a double whammy, the oil spill happened, and again the news media climbed up on their doom and gloom bandwagon. We saw a few crews working on beach cleanup, but most of the beaches we saw looked fine to us, and the seafood we ate while we were here all tasted wonderful.

Beach cleanup crew

The Gulf Coast is alive and well, and just waiting for you to come back and enjoy.

I wish we could stay here and enjoy it longer, but unfortunately, we need to get on down the road. Today we plan to head for Livingston, Texas. We have some business to take care of there, and some people we want to touch base with. Our dear friends Sal and Bonnie Bellomo bought a lot in Livingston a few years ago, and have greatly scaled back their traveling. It’s been way too long since we’ve seen them.

Greg and Jan White are spending the winter down near Houston with their kids and grandkids, and we plan to get together with them for lunch, dinner, or whatever works out. As long as Greg’s buying, I’m eating! 

We won’t be in Livingston long, because we need to get to Arizona for some family time before we get too busy with rally activities. Once we wrap up things in Livingston, it will be a fast trip across Texas and New Mexico.

Thought For The Day – Replace your wishbone with a backbone!

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Rebuilding The Gulf Coast”

  1. Who said I was buying?

    No one said I was buying!

    I’ve seen you eat!

  2. My wife and I passed through the same area in 2009. We had very similar observations regarding the rebuilding after Katrina. New Orleans remained beaten and destroyed, while Gulfport had worked very hard to restore and rebuild.

  3. are you still going to stop at Thousand Trails headquarters in Mississippi??? We were hoping to see how you are treated there and what it’s like.

  4. Jake and Nancy,
    Yes, we did stop.

    The headquarters for Thousand Trails, NACO, Encore, etc is housed in a large commercial storefront in an older strip mall.

    They were friendly and efficient, and answered all of the questions we had about our membership, but they were but not overly welcoming. We signed in, were given Visitor badges, and I never made it past the lobby; Terry needed to use a restroom, so they called an employee to the front to “escort” her. It’s a business and we were treated like a customer. Several years ago when we stopped in, we were given a tour and it felt much more open.

  5. Thanks for the wonderful comments about our state and our people.

  6. Had I known you were in town, I’d of love to meet up with you both. We are Saucier, MS at big biloxi campground.

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