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Thursday, June 16, 2011

DAY 151: BAY ST. LOUIS - BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI.

Oysters On The Half Shell...GULF PORT, MISSISSIPPI Beach Restaurant, SHAGGY's, getting ready for the evening crowd. These oysters are "farm" raised much as is done in Grays Harbor Area of Washington State.

Shaggy's Restaurant...Oyster Bar is downstairs...Restaurant up.

Leaving Wal*Mart at day break this morning, this dark storm front greeted me. It hung over the shoreline of the Gulf as I approached the Bridge at BAY SAINT LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI.

A sign of coming events. One of SPIA's rear tires began a THUMP THUMP. Stopped...checked it out and found no problem...so, continued on across the 2.5 mile long bridge. Reaching the other side, it worsened, so I turned around to recross the bridge. At Center Span, the tire exploded. I never drive fast, so other than the tire, no damage. I stopped, checked it out, and decided I could reach the Tire Store back in BAY SAINT LOUIS. I did.

The Tire Store installed my spare - at no charge, and ordered me four (4) new tires. When I purchased SPIA last October in Denver, all six tires were in poor condition. I immediately replaced both front tires. Since then, two of the rear tires have exploded...

Was very fortunate both times to have a Tire Shop nearby. This time, the Tire Store did not have my tires in stock, but ordered all four to be delivered in the afternoon to their "sister" shop in GULF PORT, MISSISSIPPI, only 15 miles away. I drove there, parked SPIA, and took a 2-hour walk back down the beach and back. SPIA now has all new rubber at the cost of $688.00.

This $$ set-back severely curtails my options for continuing my walk.

Flags flying in a stiff breeze off the Gulf of Mexico at the GULF PORT MARINA.

The Fishing Dock next to the Marina.

Across the 4-lane divided US 90 Highway are a few surviving homes.

From BAY SAINT LOUIS all the way to OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI, US 90 is actually right on the Beach of white sand. This is a distance of approximately 30 miles of continuous Beach.

KATRINA hit dead center along this coast line. The normal water level is only 10 feet or so below the highway level. Hundreds of businesses and homes along this stretch of beach were totally destroyed.

The entire length of 30 miles has "For Sale" signs on land fronting on US 90 with ocean-front views...the water being only 300 feet or so away.

Mile after mile of foundations and old parking areas lie empty along Us 90.

Folks apparently are thinking twice about re building.

Two Marinas are rebuilt...one at GULF PORT and the other at BILOXI. Work continues as I walked by.

I have seen many of the World's famous beaches...none surpass this 30 mile stretch of white sand beach. Yet, there were not more than a couple hundred beach-goers altogether enjoying the white sands.

Nearly all homes remaining - or recently built - are on stilts, such as this elegant home above.

Some are pretty high in the sky.

Others have a large number of reinforced concrete pillars...hopefully to withstand the next high water event.

Notice the sand in the street. The stiff breeze was blowing a constant stream of sand off the beach, across US 90, and some distance beyond.


More stilted homes.

In an attempt to keep the sand on the beach, hundreds of fences have been built facing the water. Reminds me of the "snow" fences of the Wyoming Rocky Mountains...

BILOXI HARBOR.

The b each endlessly stretches beyond the horizon - and in both directions, for 30 miles or so.

Beach Regulations.

Pedal Sand Buggies...many toys are available for rent from Beach Vendors, including Jet Skies
and Sunfish Sailboats.

I pulled SPIA into this utterly destroyed Marina. Had plans to stay the night, but the breeze was blowing water into the air and splashing on SPIA..., so looked around and left to find a Wal*Mart.

This Marina was a VERY large Casino. When KATRINA slammed into it, it simply disappeared. Today a 2 square block area - with a large marina in the center - sits abandoned.

A new 10 foot wide sidewalk is nearing completion along the entire length of the beach. This beach is truly a paradise of white sand - and empty spaces where proud homes once stood. It appears to be recovering...it has a long way to go.

DAILY REPORT: Walked 10 miles today

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 10 miles @ $0.02 = $0.10 for the day.

After driving full hour to find a suitable place to park for the night, SPIA sits in the parking lot of a Church in the village of OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI.

In the morning, we must drive back to BILOXI, some 5 miles back West on US 90, so we can complete walking that section...then continue East on US 90, which leaves the Gulf Coast, heading for MOBILE, ALABAMA.

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