We were heading for Rainbow's End, the headquarters and main campground for the Escapees. The short route would be I-10, which is what we did in 2004, but the campgrounds are full of relief workers due to Hurricane Katrina. We hadn't taken I-20 before so we decided that was the route for us even though it would add about 100 miles.
We decided our first stop would be the Elks campground in Hattiesburg, MS. We got onto US98 in Mobile, AL and it was a two lane road, but became a really nice four lane road at the Mississippi border which took us right to Hattiesburg. We got a little lost getting to the campground and had to dig the computer and GPS out to route us, but we made it after 159 miles.
Wow, this is not your normal Elks club camping, it has 59 sites with 50AMP and water, a lake to boat and fish in, and ATV trails. More a spot to come for a week instead of a night. Here is our campsite and what the campground and lake looked like:
Saturday night the place was full since they had a party at the lodge, but there were few of us this night.
It was Evita's kind of place and she enjoyed her walk. One camper had two dogs, Evita kept the border collie in view but didn't pay much attention to the toy poodle. The toy poodle found Evita scary, she was bigger than he was.
We drove into town to look around, but decided to move on. Hattiesburg area deserved more than a day of exploring. We also would have more work to get our internet connection due to the trees, which we could live without for one night but would want for a week's stay. There was hurricane damage in this part of Mississippi, the campground had lost about half its tree cover but was already cleaned up.
It got very cold that night, but our furnace could handle it. The motorhome was also a bit bouncy to move around in by morning, which meant it had settled in the night and wasn't level. When we went to raise the leveling jacks the driver's side rear jack didn't come up, it was stuck in a hole of its own making. Bill pushed and pulled on it to dig it out a bit, but it wouldn't move. Diane started the engine and let the motorhome raise up on its air bags, that broke the front of the jack pad loose, but not the rear. Bill had Diane go forward an inch, that broke the rear of the pad loose and it came up. That was a close one and a new experience. We should have used blocks because we could feel the ground was soft.
We took MS49 to Jackson, MS, and hooked up to I-20 and followed that west to Vicksburg, MS. We checked into the Isle of Capri RV Park, which is part of the Isle of Capri Casino. We had driven 146 miles. Here is our campsite:
We drove around to get gas in the car and took some pictures of the Mississippi River and the I-20 bridge at sunset:
We could see why it is called, "Big Muddy", from the water.
We took the shuttle to the casino for the buffet, which was decent. Some customers were complaining because there was no beef this night, lots of shrimp, oysters, catfish, ham, and chicken, but no beef. We know people like that, going out to eat means steak or prime rib. The desserts were very good, they really had a good selection for chocolate fans which let Bill forgive them for no pecan pie. Diane had her red velvet cake, a southern favorite of hers.
Vicksburg is a magnet for Civil War buffs. Another place to come back to later.
The next day, Valentine's Day, we planned on going to the Shreveport, LA area for the night. But we got to the Flying J truck stop at the Texas border to fill up with diesel and propane at 2:30PM, so we called a campground inside Texas and headed there. We have still only spent one night in Louisiana, today we drove across it. We stopped at Carthage, TX after 222 miles and setup:
It was Valentine's Day so we had dessert again. We were back in Texas and the next day we were heading for Rainbow's End.
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