Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


We started to see Katrina damage in Ocean Springs, between Pascagoula and Biloxi. There were lovely old homes along the beach still standing empty and more prominently, lots with cleared foundations. For Sale signs abound.
We arrived in Biloxi at night in a dense fog and wandered into the Grand Casino, the first bright lights that came up in the darkness, an unnatural environment, jumping with sound and a frenetic energy, free of daily reality. We parked on the foundation of a building behind the casino and in the morning we could see that most of the beach strip, for blocks inland, was either completely missing or in ruins. Except… Except for the casinos which were scattered along like shiny high rise beacons of well-being on the sunny coast.

The remaining Mississippi coastline was in similar disequilibrium. There is a lot of reconstruction going on, people in RVs, some antebellum looking houses looking pretty spiffy and new knock offs as affluent as the casinos. These beach properties are universally the property of the well-to-do so there is nothing we picked up about working people of the area and what they went and are going through, however, the inland parts of the communities didn’t look so bad at this time. One elder on the beach told us that folks in Biloxi resent all the attention New Orleans gets.

What has struck me is the hardiness of the heritage oak trees along this coast. The trees remain stately and self pruned in a way that just adds to their appearance of strength and beauty. They circle cleared foundations that look like islands of shade and comfort, even without their former houses. The oaks live the memory of many storms and much of the old south culture that lined the gulf.
Tonight we are south of Bay St. Louis outside of a closed up state park, still on the coast. Tomorrow we head into New Orleans, the first (and probably only) big city of our journey. The act of bringing the unwieldy Voyager into city conditions without a clear idea of where we are going and what we may be doing is a new challenge.


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