Monday, March 31, 2014

Vietnam Memorial, MS - 03/31/14


Monday – March 31, 2014
Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

This is our last day at the Davis Bayou Campground at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. We decided to visit the Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located about a mile east of the entrance to the Gulf Islands National Seashore on US-90.

Jackson County is home to the Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is a living tribute to those who served there and honors the 669 from Mississippi declared dead or Missing in Action in the war. Their names are laser engraved on black granite panels on parallel walls. While all 50 states have Vietnam Memorials, Mississippi’s is unique in that engraved photographs from those memorialized are also displayed.

Included on the Memorial site are plaques honoring WWI, WWII and Korean War veterans, as well as a pedestal-mounted "Huey" helicopter. Honoring Navy veterans, the entire main mast from the retired nuclear cruiser USS Mississippi towers overhead and the "Tullibee Memorial" recognizes sacrifices by the nations submarine veterans.

Flags of the Allied Nations (Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand and South Vietnam) who fought in Vietnam alongside American troops are flown at the Memorial.

The Tullibee Memorial honors 79 U.S. submarine veterans from WWII who were lost in battle aboard the USS Tullibee (SS-248) on March 26, 1944.

Tullibee began her career in the submarine force in July1943, with her first patrol in the Western Caroline Islands. On this patrol she sank one freighter and damaged another. Her second patrol in an area south of Formosa she sank a transport ship and damaged a tanker and a transport. On her third patrol in the Mariana Islands Tullibee sank a freighter. This gave Tullibee a total of 15,500 tons of shipping sunk and 22,000 tons damaged.

On her fourth patrol leaving Midway on March 14, 1944, Tullibee was not heard from again. According to a lone survivor on the Tullibee, C.W. Kuykendall, CM2, Tullibee arrived on station, March 25, 1944. On March 26, 1944, radar contact was made with a convoy consisting of a troop ship, two freighters, two escort vessels and a destroyer.

Tullibee made several surface runs on the transport, but held fire due to squally weather. At 3,000 yards and still unable to see the target, she fired two bow torpedoes. A minute or two later a terrific concussion shook the boat. Kuykendall, who had been on the bridge, found himself in the water. Kuykendall stated the explosion was a result of a circular run by one of Tullibee’s torpedoes.

There were shouting men in the water when Kuykendall regained consciousness. After about ten minutes everything was silent. On March 27, 1944, a Japanese escort vessel came in and rescued him. He learned that the transport they had fired at was sunk.

The story of Kuykendall’s captivity is much the same as the survivors of Grenadier, Sculpin, Tang, Perch and other U.S. submarines. He was questioned and beaten when he refused to talk. On April 19, 1944, he was taken to Ofuna Naval Interrogation Camp where he stayed until September 30, 1944. From that date until September 4, 1945, he was forced to work at the copper mines at Ashio.

The Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a wonderful tribute to Mississippi veterans who lost their lives in service to their country. It provides a unique space for those visitors who wish to sit and pay silent homage to these courageous young men and women.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thunderstorms, Gulf Islands - 03/28/14


Friday – March 28, 2014
Davis Bayou Campground
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Heavy thunderstorms with frequent lightening prevailed throughout southern Mississippi Thursday night. The same inclement weather continued throughout today with the temperature in the low-seventies. The thunderstorms are forecast to clear the area tonight with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms on Saturday. The heavy rain accumulation has prompted the weather service to issue flood warnings for the surrounding area. On days like this, we just hunker down in our warm and cozy Casita trailer and read a book, play a board game or watch television.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ocean Springs, MS - 03/25/14


Tuesday – March 25, 2014
Davis Bayou Campground
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

We awoke to a cold, windy morning with the temperature in the mid-forties. We departed the Boomtown Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi at 8:00 a.m. We had a hearty breakfast at the Denny’s Restaurant in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

We arrived at the Davis Bayou Campground located within the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs, Mississippi at 9:00 a.m. We were referred to this area by some campers we had met at the Everglades National Park in December 2013. This will be our home for the next seven days.

The campground has 52 sites with hookups for electric and water. A variety of trees, including live oaks, shade most of the sites. There is one restroom facility with flush toilets and four separate and private hot showers. There is one dump station available. All campsites are first-come-first-serve.

We receive a 4G signal with 3 bars signal strength through our T-Mobile service provider. This signal strength provides very good Internet service with our smartphone.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a place of sparkling blue waters, magnificent white beaches, and fertile coastal marshes. There are historic forts, shaded picnic areas, trails, and campgrounds. The park includes 12 units stretching eastward 160 miles from Cat Island, Mississippi, to the Okaloosa Area east of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Congress established Gulf Islands National Seashore in 1971 to provide recreation and to protect the wildlife, barrier islands, salt marshes, historic structures, and archeological sites along the Gulf of Mexico. Although 80% of the park is submerged lands, the islands are the most outstanding features to most visitors. The national seashore islands are long and narrow, composed of white sand carried seaward by rivers draining the Appalachian Mountains. Dunes of snow-white sand give the islands a distinctive look. Held together by a network of stems and roots, the dunes are composed of fine quartz sand that originates in distant mountains.

Besides the islands, the national seashore includes four parcels of land on the Florida and Mississippi mainlands. Here the visitor will find fortifications built by the Spaniards and Americans. Forts here span from the Spanish colonial era in the 1700’s to World War II in the 1940’s. See the site of the first federal live oak plantation and reservation, archeological traces of American Indians, and forests and marshes with a variety of wildlife.

There is no beach within the Davis Bayou Area but public beaches are nearby in Ocean Springs.

We spent a relaxing day, enjoying the sunshine with the temperature in the mid-sixties. However, the strong wind made it feel much cooler than that.

Camping Fees: $22.00 per night (50% discount with Golden Age Passport).

Total miles traveled today: 15

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Entrance to Gulf Islands National Seashore - Mississippi

Campground Entrance

Campground Overview

Davis Bayou

Davis Bayou

Davis Bayou>

Davis Bayou

Monday, March 24, 2014

Biloxi, MS - 03/24/14


Monday – March 24, 2014
Boomtown Casino
Biloxi, Mississippi

It rained throughout last night and into the early morning hours at the Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, Louisiana where we had been camping for the past eight days. Now it is time for us to move on! We departed the campground at 2:30 p.m. under a sunny sky with the temperature in the mid-sixties.

We arrived at the Boomtown Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi at 5:05 p.m. They have a large, separate parking area for RV’s, with 24-hour roaming security. We will spend the night here. We had spent the night here once before in March 2013, and had added it to our list of overnight places to stay while in route between destinations.

We thanked the casino for the free overnight parking by purchasing two of their Po Boy sandwiches at their Grill Restaurant, upstairs, inside the casino. Not bad tasting, for casino fare. It is always interesting to see how mesmerized the gamblers are playing the slot machines, as we wander through the casino. I fear the odds of winning are not in their favor.

We spent the evening watching a few of our favorite prerecorded television programs while our trusty Honda EU2000I provided electrical power for our television and electric heater.

Total miles traveled today: 102

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mosca's Rest., NOLA - 03/22/14


Saturday – March 22, 2014
Mosca’s Restaurant
Avondale, Louisiana

We had read rave reviews on several forums about Mosca’s Restaurant. It is literally located out in the middle of nowhere and looks like a nondescript white, house from the highway. A sign hanging out in front identifies the place as Mosca’s Restaurant. It is an Italian restaurant, serving food family style. If you go there, be forewarned, they only accept cash. No credit cards or checks are accepted. They are open Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted, but there may be a long wait.

We arrived at 5:15 p.m. and there were already two other vehicles in the parking lot waiting for the restaurant to open. At 5:30 p.m. the door was opened and we were seated immediately, without making a reservation.

Mosca’s has a very limited menu: one soup selection, two salad selections, three spaghetti selections, two chicken selections, one shrimp selection and an oyster casserole selection. Side dishes of potatoes or vegetables are priced separately. I was disappointed that as an Italian restaurant they did not have any veal selections. I guess I have to chalk that up to it being a family style restaurant.

Sharon ordered the one-half Chicken Le Grand and I ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs. The chicken is roasted with herbs and spices and cut up. The servings on both dishes were huge (plenty was leftover for another two meals). The spaghetti is served with angel hair pasta and two giant meatballs. Both dishes were well done and very tasty.

As Italian restaurants go, we have been to better ones within the same price range. I am not quite sure why they get such rave reviews. But, to each there own. With our curiosity satisfied over why Mosca’s is so popular, we will probably not return, but rather stay with our favorites in the New Orleans area.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, March 21, 2014

VIP City Tours, NOLA - 03/21/14


Friday – March 21, 2014
VIP City Tours
New Orleans, Louisiana

Another warm, sunny day with the temperature in the mid-seventies provided a wonderful opportunity to further explore the New Orleans area. On Wednesday we had made a reservation with VIP City Tours for their tour on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. This is a two hour unique and informative sightseeing tour of New Orleans.

Henry, our tour bus driver, greeted us with a hearty New Orleans welcome as we boarded his tour bus where Canal Street and Royal Street intersect, in the French Quarter. Henry is a big man, an African-American, born and raised in New Orleans. He has a wonderful personality, a hearty laugh and made us all feel welcome in his home city.

The tour included the following places of interest:

  • The French Quarter
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • St. Louis Cemetery #3
  • Lafayette Cemetery
  • Lower 9th Ward
  • Garden District
  • Lake Ponchatrain

Since we had visited the French Quarter and the St. Louis Cathedral on a previous visit, the highlight of the tour for us were the visits to the Lower 9th Ward and the St. Louis Cemetery #3.

To witness first-hand, the devastation still remaining, caused by Hurricane Katrina in the lower 9th ward is an overwhelming experience. You could hear the emotional toll it took on Henry as he spoke about the terrible loss the people had experienced during this catastrophic event. Abandoned homes showed the water line left near the rooftops. The graphic markings left by emergency personnel still remained on the front of those homes; depicting the home had been searched and no survivors were found.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeastern Louisiana and the subsequent storm surge caused 53 different levee breaches in greater New Orleans, submerging eighty percent of the city. It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Over 1,800 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods. Total property damage was estimated at $81 billion.

Thanks to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of volunteers along with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie through their Make It Right Foundation the lower 9th ward is very slowly making a comeback. New single-family housing is sprouting up in newly developed neighborhoods as well as next to homes that are destroyed and waiting to be rebuilt. I remember seeing the televised reports as the tragic events of the hurricanes aftermath unfolded at that time. To now observe some of the destruction that still remains is a most profound experience. As we drove through the neighborhood people walking on the sidewalk or sitting on their front porches would wave and smile as we passed by; very touching moments.

After we leave the lower 9th ward, we enter the Garden District, well known for its antebellum homes. Two totally different lifestyles are merely separated by a short drive. In the lower 9th ward there are modest homes being rebuilt out of the devastation. In the Garden District, there are multi-million dollar homes, such as the Belfort Mansion as seen on MTV’s The Real World New Orleans. This is also home to the acclaimed local author Anne Rice. Quite a contrast indeed!

Only in New Orleans could cemeteries be a major tourist attraction. However, because the city is built on a swamp, the deceased have to be buried above ground here in elaborate stone crypts and mausoleums. Over time the cemeteries, with elaborate sculptures and other decorative artwork embellishing the tombs, have come to resemble small villages. They are known by the nickname of "Cities of the Dead." Our tour included a visit to the St. Louis Cemetery #3. As we walked through the cemetery, our knowledgeable tour guide, (Henry) provided a detailed narrative on the history and burial methods employed on the departed that now reside in these unique final resting places.

Lake Ponchatrain is New Orleans largest lake and home of the 24-mile long Causeway Bridge, one of the world’s longest bridges over water.

As we reentered the French Quarter, on the completion of the tour at 3:00 p.m., we had Henry drop us off at Bourbon Street. We walked over to Royal Street to have a late lunch at the Pere Antoine’s Restaurant. We had spotted this restaurant on an earlier visit, liked the atmosphere of the place, and decided to give it a try.

We ordered an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms. Sharon ordered their Blackened Chicken St. Ann served with broccoli and green beans. I ordered their Crawfish Etouffe (one of my favorite Creole dishes). Well… the atmosphere was great, but the food preparation was mediocre at best. The stuffed mushrooms had a hard crusted coating that required them to be cut with a knife. The etouffe was too soupy and bland for my taste. The blackened chicken breast came with a steak knife (our first clue that something was amiss here). The steak knife indeed was required to cut the chicken! It was definitely way overcooked. The only redeeming quality was it had a good flavor. This restaurant will never see us there again on our future visits to New Orleans.You win some, you lose some!

We arrived back at our campsite at the Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. Time to settle in for an evening of relaxation.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

424 Seafood Rest., NOLA - 03/19/14


Wednesday – March 19, 2014
424 Seafood Restaurant
French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana

We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary in the Old French Quarter of New Orleans today. The weather cooperated, providing a warm, sunny day with the temperature in the low-seventies.

We drove from our campground, at the Bayou Segnette State Park, to the Algiers Ferry parking lot. We then took the ferry across the Mississippi River.

A view of New Orleans from the ferry

A short walk of about two blocks and we were enjoying the sights and sounds of the Old French Quarter. Most of our time was spent walking along two of our favorite streets: Bourbon Street and Royal Street. We always enjoy watching the street performers who pose as human mannequins and the street musicians performing for the tourists.

Street Performers

Street Muscians

We had a late lunch at around 2:00 p.m. at the Pier 424 Seafood Restaurant on Bourbon Street. We had eaten here before in March 2013 and it has become one of our favorite restaurants there. We ordered an appetizer of their Blackened Ahi Tuna. For our main course, I ordered the Grilled Drum Fish Stuffed with Blue Crab and Sharon ordered the Grilled Shrimp Grits Cake. Everything was absolutely delicious. The grits were prepared as a three-inch square, deep-fried cake about one one-inch thick. The grilled gulf shrimp were placed on top and around the grits cake, topped off with a very tasty sauce. I am not a fan of grits, but I really enjoyed them prepared as a deep-fried cake.

After completing a fun-filled day of sightseeing we boarded the Algiers Ferry for a five-minute trip across the mighty Mississippi River to the ferryboat parking lot. On this trip the ferry had to delay its departure while two barges, traveling south, cleared the area. A short walk from the ferry brought us to our Ford Cargo Van.

The absolute worse part of the drive to and from the ferry parking lot is the condition of the streets you must traverse to get there. These are narrow, bumpy streets with a patchwork quilt of repairs that limit your speed to 5-mph! Travel any faster and you run the risk of damaging your vehicle's suspension. Fortunately, you only have to travel about six blocks before you finally reach the main street where you can travel at 35-mph.

We arrived back at the campground ready to settle in for an evening of relaxation in our Casita trailer.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Katie's Rest., NOLA - 03/18/14


Tuesday – March 18, 2014
Katie’s Restaurant
New Orleans, Louisiana

A beautiful, warm sunny day, with the temperature in the high sixties, welcomed us to the "Cresent City" today. We decided this would be the perfect day to visit one of our favorite places to eat: Katie’s Restaurant. We arrived their at around 2:00 p.m. It was the perfect time to arrive; after their busy lunch schedule had concluded and before the dinner menu, with higher prices, kicks in at 4:00 p.m.

Katie’s Restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-in’s & Dives in 2011. This is our third visit in the past two years to this charming neighborhood restaurant. It is a small restaurant with about 15 tables plus a bar on the inside, and a few tables facing the street on the outside. It is located on the corner of Iberville and Telemachus streets in a residential neighborhood, only one block from the Canal Street Streetcar Line. It is quite far from the French Quarter and not within walking distance from there.

Parking throughout the neighborhood is free, but finding an open parking space is difficult. The streets are very narrow and very rough from a haphazard sequence of road repairs. Drive slowly so you don't cause any damage your vehicle's suspension. This area will challenge your parallel parking skills, especially if you have a large SUV or full size van. Fortunately, they now have a parking lot close by that they purchased in 2013.

Katie’s provides the diner with delicious, inventive dishes and a friendly, attentive wait staff. We started off with two appetizers: Char-grilled Oysters (their unique version of Oysters Rockefeller) and Fried Green Tomatoes topped with Louisiana Gulf Shrimp and homemade Remoulade Sauce. The fried green tomatoes are served with several large gulf shrimp lightly covered with a delicious sauce. We had one of our favorites for our main course; the Boudreaux Pizza. It is a very crispy, thin crust pizza with toppings of smoked pork, spinach, whole garlic cloves and several different cheeses. We finished dinner with a delightful, chocolate infused piece of a marble-like cake.Yummy!

We returned to our campsite at the Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, Louisiana and took a walk around the campground to burn off a few calories.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bayou Segnette SP - 03/17/14


Monday – March 17, 2014
Bayou Segnette State Park
Westwego, Louisiana

We awoke to an overcast sky with the temperature in the low fifties. As the day progressed the temperature climbed into the low sixties with brief glimpses of the sun. We took advantage of the cooler temperature to do our laundry, rather than do any sightseeing. This state park provides FREE laundry and dryer facilities. A very nice feature indeed!

Bayou Segnette State Park offers the convenience of being located just 30 minutes from New Orleans within the tranquil atmosphere of a nature-filled bayou marshland. Recreational opportunities include camping, canoeing, fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking and a wave pool. Visitors have access to a spacious boat launch area with adjacent parking.

The campground has 100 campsites. Each campsite has electric and water hookups. There are two restroom facilities with flush toilets, hot showers and laundry facilities. Each laundry facility has two washers and two dryers. There is no charge to use the laundry facilities. There is one dump station.

There is free, non-secured, WiFi throughout the campground. We use our smartphone tethered to our laptop when we need a secured Internet connection. We receive a 4G signal with 1-2 bars signal strength through our T-Mobile service provider. Our signal booster provides a 4G signal with 3 bars signal strength. This signal strength provides very good Internet service with our smartphone.

Visitors who prefer to drive to the French Quarter in New Orleans take a right turn, upon exiting the state park, onto West Bank Expy / US-90B and get in either the left or center lane and get onto the elevated expressway. To get to the French Quarter, take the second exit (Camp Street). Camp Street will take you to Canal Street. Parking can be found on N. Peters Street and Rampart Street.

Visitors who prefer not to drive to the French Quarter in New Orleans can take the Algiers Ferry (GPS: 1 Morgan Street, New Orleans 70114). You'll witness some of the best views of the original city of New Orleans on the ferry ride across the Mississippi River. Take a right out of the state park onto West Bank Expy / US-90B and get into either the left or center lane and get onto the elevated expressway. Take the Stumpf Blvd exit and turn left at the light onto Stumpf Blvd. Turn right onto Franklin Ave. When you get under the bridge, turn left onto Mardi Gras Blvd. Go to the next stop sign and turn right onto Teche St. Go down to the second stop sign (Opelousas Ave) and turn right. Turn left after a couple of blocks onto Sequin St. Go all the way down until the road ends at the levee and turn left onto Morgan St. The parking lot and the ferry will be on the right.

The ferry leaves Algiers on the hour and the half hour and the French Quarter on the quarter hour (:15) and three quarter hour (:45). Effective February 23, 2014, the ferry now charges a fee (it used to be free) and has new operating hours. The fees each way are $2.00 for adults, $1.00 for seniors (65 years and older), children ride free. Exact change is required.

Algiers Ferry Schedule:

7:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Final trip from Algiers Point at 6:15 p.m.
Final trip from Canal St. at 6:30 p.m.

7:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Final trip from Algiers Point at 7:45 p.m.
Final trip from Canal St. at 8:00 p.m.

10:45 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Final trip from Algiers Point at 7:45 p.m.
Final trip from Canal St. at 8 p.m.

10:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Final trip from Algiers Point at 5:45 p.m.
Final trip from Canal St. at 6 p.m.

We prefer to take the ferry on our visits to the French Quarter. You merely exit the ferry, walk about two blocks and you are in the French Quarter.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Westwego, LA - 03/16/14

New Page 1

Sunday – March 16, 2014
Bayou Segnette State Park
Westwego, Louisiana

Time to depart the Green Eggs & Ham IV Casita Rally held at the Gunter Hill COE Campground in Montgomery, Alabama.

The weather forecast called for rain starting Saturday night and continuing throughout Sunday. Sure enough, the rain started coming down around 10:30 p.m. with a steady rain throughout the night. Fortunately, I had the trailer hooked up and ready to go before the rain started. I am so glad I did that! Sunday morning we awoke to heavy rain, thunder and lightening.

We departed Gunter Hill at 7:00 a.m. under a heavy rain. We stopped for breakfast at a Denny’s restaurant in Hope Hull, Alabama at 7:45 a.m. After a refreshing breakast, we were back on I-65 heading south. On the first 54 miles we were driving through a torrential downpour.

Most of the drivers had the good sense to slow down, due to the amount of water on the highway, one did not. Their car had apparently hydroplaned off of the Interstate into the median. A State Trooper was assisting them. On miles 54-84 we had no rain. On miles 84-160 we had a light rain. After traveling 160 miles, we had finally left the rain behind us. During our travel south on I-65, our CB weather radio had issued a tornado watch for southwestern Louisiana through southeastern Alabama. This storm was traveling northeast at 40 mph with wind gusts of 60 mph. By the time we had reached Mobile, Alabama, the storm had already passed through. We could see the menacing, dark storm clouds off to the east. As we entered Mississippi the sky became mostly cloudy with patches of sunlight beaming through.

We arrived at Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, Louisiana at 3:00 p.m. under a sunny sky with the temperature in the high sixties. This will be our home through Sunday, March 23, 2014.

Camping Fees: $20.00 per night plus a $6.00 state park entry fee. A senior discount is available only to residents of states that have a reciprocal agreement with the state of Louisiana.

Total miles traveled today: 330

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dutch Oven Demo - 03/14/14


Friday – March 14, 2014
Green Eggs and Ham IV Casita Rally
Gunter Hill COE Campground
Montgomery, Alabama

Cool temperatures in the mid-thirties and a sunny sky greeted us again this morning at the Gunter Hill Campground in Montgomery, Alabama. As the day progressed, the temperature climbed into the high sixties, making for a very pleasant day to be outside.

We attended a dutch oven cooking demonstration this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Six Casita Rally members volunteered their time to prepare one of their favorite recipes for the large group of attendees to sample. The recipes were prepared using 8", 10" and 12" cast iron dutch ovens mounted on a variety of stands. The most popular dutch ovens are: Lodge and Camp Chef. The major difference between the two is the Camp Chef has standoffs cast into the outside surface of the lid. The lid can be used as a full size skillet. Simply turn the lid over to cook eggs, bacon or pancakes.

Recipes Included:

  • Black Forest Dump Cake
  • Breakfast Casserole
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Calico Beans
  • Italian Sausage, Bacon & Bean Soup
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Pizza

Everyone in attendance had a chance to sample each of the recipes and appeared to be quite pleased with them. Sharon and I really enjoyed each of the recipes. They were all delicious.

The Finished Product!

At 6:00 p.m. we attended the Community Gumbo. One of the Cassita Rally members prepared a huge pot of gumbo for all to enjoy. It was absolutely delicious.

Gumbo Chef Meister!

Me - Gumbo Chef Meister Impersonator!

The Community Gumbo was followed by music performed by some of the talented members at the rally. A fitting end to the third day of the Green Eggs & Ham IV Casita Rally.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alaska Talk - 03/13/14


Thursday – March 13, 2014
Green Eggs and Ham IV Casita Rally
Gunter Hill COE Campground
Montgomery, Alabama

Cool temperatures in the mid-thirties and a sunny sky greeted us this morning at the Gunter Hill Campground in Montgomery, Alabama. Despite the cool temperature, we completed our daily five-mile morning walk. As the day progressed, the temperature climbed into the high fifties.

This is day two of the Green Eggs & Ham IV Casita Trailer Rally. At 3:00 p.m. we attended a very informative talk on camping in Alaska. Like a sponge, we absorbed every bit of information shared by several campers who had previously traveled to Alaska. This information is very timely since we are tentatively planning a trip to Alaska in 2015.

Topics of discussion included:

  • Best time of year to visit.
  • Interesting places to visit.
  • Camping and which campgrounds will require reservations.
  • Best places to shop.
  • Favorite restaurants.
  • Best places to convert U.S. currency to Canadian currency.
  • Protecting tow vehicle and trailer from road debris.
  • Medical documents.
  • Vehicle insurance cards for Canada from your U.S. insurance company.
  • Ferry rides.
  • Crossing the border into Canada (interaction with border guards and forbidden items).
  • Recommended travel directories and books on Alaska.

The event concluded around 4:45 p.m. We returned to our campsite to prepare dinner.

The weather forecast is for the temperature to drop into the high thirties tonight, so we will rely on our trusty electric heater to keep us warm and cozy.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Green Eggs & Ham Rally - 03/12/14


Wednesday – March 12, 2014
Green Eggs and Ham IV Casita Rally
Gunter Hill COE Campground
Montgomery, Alabama

Last night we had a steady rain throughout the night, here at the Gunter Hill Campground in Montgomery, Alabama. The morning began with an overcast sky and a few sprinkles of rain. As the day progressed the weather cleared a bit providing brief glimpses of sunshine. Thus began the official opening of the Green Eggs & Ham IV Casita Trailer Rally. This is the fourth year this event is being held. The Rally begins on Wednesday, March 12, and ends on Saturday, March 15. The total attendance is projected to be in excess of 70 trailers, comprised of Casita’s, Scamp’s, Bigfoot’s and other makes of trailers.

The Rally Activity Board lists a variety of events and topics:

  • Daily Breakfast (for those who wish to participate)
  • Nightly Music Festival (performed by participants at the Rally)
  • Chili Dump (Wednesday night)
  • Casita Care Clinic (Thursday morning)
  • Talk on Trip to Alaska (Thursday afternoon)
  • Group Outing to a Local Restaurant (Thursday evening)
  • Gumbo (Friday night)
  • Open House Tour on Saturday (some Rally participants agree to show their trailers)
  • Pot Luck (Saturday evening)

Gunter Hill is a beautiful campground, with spacious campsites dispersed throughout an open wooded area. It is one of many COE campgrounds located throughout the Alabama River Lakes Region. This region is a fisherman’s paradise. Large populations of catfish, crappie and bass provide an adventure for anglers of all ages.

There are two campground loops in the Gunter Hill Campground: Antioch and Catoma. Antioch closes for the winter and reopens on March 1. Catoma is open all year. There are 146 total campsites, 71 in the Antioch Loop and 75 in the Catoma Loop. The Antioch Loop has gravel pads with electric and water hookups at each campsite. The Catoma Loop has very long concrete pads with full hookups (electric, water, sewer) at each campsite. Both loops have nicely appointed restroom facilities with flush toilets, hot showers and laundry facilities. There are two washers and dryers in each facility, $1.00 fee for each. There is a dump station in each campground loop.

Late afternoon arrived with windy weather and dropping temperatures. A cold front is approaching this area of Alabama, with the temperature expected to dip into the low thirties tonight. The high for tomorrow is forecast to be in the low to mid-fifties with sunny skies and a zero percent chance of precipitation. Although it will be a bit cooler than we would like, it still is better than the weather back home in the Northern Illinois area.

Time to retire for the evening and turn on our electric heater to make our Casita nice and cozy!

Tomorrow another adventure begins.