Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Pearl of Mississippi

We are at the Bass Pro Shop in Pearl, Mississippi (map). We had not planned to come this far yesterday, but circumstances conspired against us. Nevertheless, it was a nice and welcoming place to stop. We had dinner at their restaurant, now "Uncle Buck's," a somewhat disappointing change from the Islamorada Fish Company (although the decor, including the enormous fish tank, has not changed).

From where we are parked in the lot, the Holiday Inn is actually closer, and also sports a restaurant, the Alumni House Bar and Grill, which likely would have been a better choice. Unlike Islamorada, which was a fairly upscale seafood venue, Uncle Buck's is basically a glorified burger joint, and I didn't think that the burgers were particularly noteworthy. Since Bass Pro is generous enough to let us park, though, it's probably best that we also patronized their restaurant, since we couldn't find anything else in the store that we needed.

Our original plan yesterday had been to take US-80 all the way to Forest, Mississippi, even though I-20 basically parallels it from Cuba, Alabama, and spend the night at the Walmart there. Unfortunately, even though that store purportedly allows overnight stays, there are 12'0" height restrictors installed at every entrance to the parking lot, to keep the trucks out. There was a small lot just for trucks near the loading dock, with five 70' stalls, but it was entirely full, and not very level. With no way to access the large and inviting parking lot, we headed back out onto westbound I-20.

Our Walmart directory indicated parking was allowed at the store in Pearl, so that's where we headed next. We found fairly new-looking No Overnight Parking signs there, a growing trend. It's possible that the store would have allowed us to stay upon request, but with this Bass Pro just another few miles west, we decided to come here instead. We did call ahead to check first, since we were starting to run out of options. The backup was a pair of truck stops just west of here, in Jackson.

It was a good choice, because it was fairly quiet here last night, and darker than the average Walmart lot. Plus we always enjoy browsing at Bass Pro; I need a new lightweight jacket and we spent close to an hour in the outerwear section. In a few minutes we will roll west to Clinton, where the Walmart has $3.52 diesel, and where we can find a Radio Shack as well as an O'Reilly's -- I need thermal fuses and liftgate struts for the never-ending bus maintenance.


  1. What's your preferred method for locating these overnight spots? Previous experience, an app, recommendations?

  2. Ben, we use a variety of sources to look for a place to park. I wrote about it on this post:

    When we're passing through familiar territory like this, though, we often just go by memory of what works.


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