Bay St Louis, LA

Hurricane Katrina Comes Ashore

Our next stop was at Bay St. Louis near Waveland, Mississippi. You may remember hearing the name during Hurricane Katrina. Waveland is actually where the eye of the hurricane came on to land. It’s hard to imagine the terror and devastation that took place here in August 2005.

 

Sunrise red sky and sun
Sunrise at Waveland coast taken by devastated dock

It is now a beautiful calm and peaceful seaside community again, but the devastation that took place is evident here, not in what you see, but rather by what you don’t see. As you drive down Lakeshore Road and throughout the area there are miles of paved driveways that lead to nothing, but perhaps a ghost of a house indicated only by a foundation, pilings that once supported a home, or flowers left from a former garden. What you won’t see are piles of debris. All signs of the destruction have been removed, even if a structure was saved but not yet refurbished inside, the outside is painted and clean. Its clear that this community has made it a priority to move on and work hard to return to economic stability.

Watch this Youtube video of the storm surge.

Car parked in driveway
If it wasn't for Cat 4 hurricanes, photographers would have nowhere to park their cars.

You can tell that this beautiful area was once a vacation destination as well as summer home for many. We’ve talked to several people who told us about the beautiful large homes that lined Lakeshore Road before the hurricane. It appears that many of these summer home owners have chosen not to replace their homes. This is leaving not only driveways to nothing, but also no one to support the businesses that are trying to stay afloat or get established.

destroyed dock wrecked by Hurricane Katrina
A common scene along the coast, wrecked docks and pilings strewn everywhere.

We were unable to find how many people in this area lost their lives in the horrific storm, but understand there we’re many. If you have an opportunity to visit this section of the gulf coast, please do, you won’t be disappointed.
While staying at Bay Hide Away Park and Campground we enjoyed the beaches, sunrises and nearby communities. We were close enough to New Orleans to spend one day in the French Quarter and another at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Blues Music Festival.
We met three interesting couples who also were staying at Bay Hideaway campground: Bob and Jackie from nearby Slidell,LA, gave us the tip of wiping the front of our RV with mineral or baby oil to make getting the squished on bugs easier to remove, and convinced us to stay on to take in the Jazz Festival in New Orleans. Thanks for both tips, we followed them and enjoyed both!
Next we met Larry and Paige who not only shared the name of a great local restaurant, Jourdan Riverside Steamer in Kiln, MS. , but also took us to dinner there! We all four found interesting that although we had only just met, we all felt like old friends by the time they pulled out of camp. We hope to meet up again somewhere on the RV road.
Finally we met David and Judy, full time RVers who pulled in next door for a night and shared their wisdom for RV life from being full timers for 11 years.

 

Our cat Cabo laying on a rock
Cabo enjoying some sun in Bay St Louis, MS

This camp seemed to be Cabo’s favorite. He spent a lot of time outside on his leash here and enjoyed the peace and quiet, green grass and large boulder on our site.
Great setting!

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