We had a leisurely morning and made plans for our day. Bob had some Co-op business to deal with and some calls to make. We left the campground at 11:00 to go into Bay St. Louis and check out the seashore. From the campground, we took the scenic drive along the coast on North Beach Boulevard.
We were immediately shocked by the homes we saw which sat on very high stilts. Very high!
Bob checked the tide chart for the area and discovered that they have 2 1/2 foot tides which isn’t very much. It made us wonder why they built those homes so high. As we drove along the road, we noticed that the piers were also built high above the water.
Farther down the road, we came across parts of the road that were under water. The wind was blowing the water into the bay at high tide so there were waves breaking over the wall causing the road to partially flood.
We followed that road into town to find an eclectic mix of shops, bars, and eateries. There were some historical buildings mixed in.
We parked the Jeep and walked along the Bay St. Louis de Montluzin Boardwalk.
From the Boardwalk, we could get a good look at the marina.
Walking back along the street, we came upon this beautiful carving. At first glance and from a distance, it looked like eagles in flight. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the carvings were angels and it is called the Angel Tree.
Reading the plaque gave us a whole different understanding of it.
We continued our walk along the main street and saw some interesting establishments. This building reminded us a lot of New Orleans’ architecture. (Bay St. Louis is only about 40 miles from New Orleans.) This unique building has an oyster on a pole above the building and is appropriately named The Oyster.
This waterside hangout is called The Blind Tiger (TBT). Blind Tigers were late-night illegal bars in southern towns that served moonshine and bootleg whiskey during the Prohibition years of 1919-1933. Bay St. Louis had several “Blind Tigers” that were popular with local politicians, musicians, prostitutes, businessmen, and lawmen. The owners of “Blind Tigers” coordinated shipments of rum from Cuba through the Bay of St. Louis on small speedboats. This plaque told the story.
Dan B’s was a popular place, but looked like it took a big hit with the last tropical storm on the building side facing the Bay.
From there, we hopped back in the Jeep and drove farther down North Beach Boulevard which is a scenic drive along the beach. The waves were rolling in and the wind was whipping the sand into the air. St. Louis Bay empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The beach was sparsely populated on this breezy day.
Along this road, we saw a couple more of the angel carvings in the live oak trees. One was more beautiful than the next.
This one was the most stunning of all. At the edge of “downtown” was a railroad bridge that ran across St. Louis Bay, from one side to the other. We were lucky enough to see a train chug across it on our way back. The train stretched from one side of the bay to the other. It was one of the longest trains I’ve ever seen.
Along this drive, we saw the Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church built in 1908 to replace the former parish church which was destroyed by fire in 1907. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of Bay St. Louis and the church had major damage. All the pews were washed out into the Gulf of Mexico. The church needed a great deal of work to rebuild it and restoration began after the hurricane. Thousands of volunteers from around the county arrived to help with the clean up and reconstruction of the area. The Church is one of the largest Catholic churches in Mississippi and it seats about 800 people.
We left town through the historic district. The homes were well-kept and there were more interesting shops.
We had to make a few stops before going back to the campground. We stopped at Tractor Supply where Bob looked for a battery booster, but to no avail. From there, we checked out a gas station where we planned to get fuel tomorrow. With a 40′ motorhome towing a Jeep, you have to plan ahead to make sure you can get in and out of the station easily. It looked like a good place to fuel up, so we went back to the campground. Before going back to our campsite though, we stopped to check out the marina behind the casino. It looked like it was very protected from the wind and waves on the Bay. We walked around in the casino to see what was going on. It wasn’t very crowded, but we had no desire to do any wagering. We went back to the bus to hang out with Auggie and enjoy the rest of the day. Bob grilled some pork chops for dinner and we took our evening walk around the campground. More campers arrived while we were sightseeing in town today, but it still wasn’t full. The evening cooled off very quickly once the sun went down. Tomorrow we leave for Baton Rouge, LA.