One thing that we did like about Dauphin Island was the drive there. We’re not fans of long drives — too long for us is about four hours — and getting to Dauphin Island was just a two hour drive. We decided that was about right so we opted not to drive straight from Dauphin Island to New Orleans. Instead we noticed a little slice of the Gulf Islands National Seashore sitting roughly midway between the two.
We pulled into Davis Bayou around mid day and figured we’d spend a night or two and move on, but we wound up spending a week.
There is something very relaxing about marshes, or bayous as they call them down here. There’s a rhythm to life that lulls and comforts. The tide goes out, the tide goes in. The periwinkles go up the cordgrass, they go back down. If it’s sunny the alligators are on the log, if it’s not they’re in the water. You almost get the feeling that life is predictable. And then you watch a heron wading in the mud, like herons always do, when suddenly it trips and falls face first in the water and you remember that nothing is totally predictable, just rhythmic, one foot in front of the other.
Some places are like that, they lull you and keep you longer than you think. It wasn’t that there was much to do, there was a nice enough beach that the kids liked because this part of the Gulf is flat like a lake and has a long, shallow shelf so that you can walk out a hundred yards and only be in shin deep water. Annoying for people my size, perfect if you’re two.
There was also a playground that proved popular, more popular than the beach in fact.
Ocean Beach was pretty nice, but like most places these days it had tons of rules signs. Pretty sure if you combined all these rules all you’d be able to do is still perfectly still until you died.
About half way through our stay we were chatting with the ranger who suggested we visit the children’s museum down near Gulfport. It ended up being really fun for the kids, with a ton of stuff tucked away in a massive old schoolhouse, even some face painting.
A fair bit of the time we hung around the campground, I got some work done, the girls learned to ride bikes, explored the nature center, went on a hike and watched the random wildlife that stopped by our camp. All in all a pretty good week, but by the end we were ready to hit the road again.