Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Into the storm

"San Carmen" and the Squall

We are at the Isle of Capri Casino Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi (map). More correctly, we are at an abandoned parking lot next door that belonged to some waterfront attraction destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. We have a lovely spot right on the water, adjacent to the bridge.

Yesterday we got a fairly early start from Quincy because I knew we'd eventually run into weather, and I wanted to try to get a full four hours of driving in before the absence of working wipers forced us to stop. We had clear sailing through the rest of the Florida panhandle and all of lower Alabama, but the skies were threatening as we crossed into Mississippi. Louise pulled up the weather radar on my Blackberry and we decided to try to make it here to Biloxi, which was our planned stop, with at least two Wal-Marts on US-90 east of here as back-up options.

I-10 all the way through Mississippi would have been faster and more direct, but this stretch of US-90 along the gulf coast is one of our favorite drives. Besides that, the Wal-Mart in Pass Christian has the cheapest diesel fuel we will see from here all the way through Texas, and I want to fill the tank. The second cheapest station I found was also on US-90, in Pascagoula, and we stopped there yesterday to put another 25 gallons in, so we'd be certain both the heater and generator dip tubes would be immersed last night -- we went through the 50 gallons I added in Quincy faster than normal due to severe headwinds from this storm.

The extra fuel stop meant the rain hit us in Ocean Springs. But the Rain-X again did its magic and I was able to nurse it all the way over the bridge. This is the first casino after the bridge, and we got parked just as the rain turned into a deluge. We were in quarters uncharacteristically early, before 3pm. While it rained cats and dogs, sideways at times, for a couple of hours, it let up enough by dinner time for us to walk over to the cafe inside the casino. I was disappointed that Farraday's steak house, where we would have preferred to eat, is only open on the weekends now.

Today we will fuel up in Pass Christian and head into Louisiana. After we cross the Mississippi from Baton Rouge into Port Allen, we need to decide whether to take the shorter but more minor route along US-190 through Livingston, or stay as far south as we can until past Houston before turning north. It dropped to freezing here last night, and is only going up to 45 today, and things will only get worse as we head west, until this massive storm system clears out.

Photo by OneEighteen, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. I live North of Ft. Worth and it was 11 degrees this morning. My friend in Austin says they have no snow and ice just rain. Hope that helps with the TX weather.

  2. I'm visiting a friend, also north of Ft. Worth by 20 minutes and it's 10 degrees and in the sub zero range with wind chill. They just had a hard freeze warning through Friday announced. Drive safe.

  3. Glad you found parking near Isle Biloxi. If you can, try out the new Cafe at the Point in Isle for breakfast or's delicious! If you can't make it all the way to Houston, our casino in Lake Charles, LA (Isle of Capri Casino) has 8 RV spaces w/ electric. $10/night w/ free access to fitness facility, showers, etc. Check in is at the hotel's front desk.


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