Davis Bayou

marsh, davis bayou photographed by luxagraf

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.

marsh, davis bayou photographed by luxagraf

davis bayou photographed by luxagraf

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.

trail, davis bayou photographed by luxagraf

boy on trail, davis bayou photographed by luxagraf

hiking in davis bayou photographed by luxagraf

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.

eating a peach, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf

kids playing on the beach, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf

There was also a playground that proved popular, more popular than the beach in fact.

playground, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf

kids on a bench, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf

kids playing on playground, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf

 photographed by luxagraf
One day we got some ice cream from a store. The owner basically shooed us away from the bench outside and gave us towels “so I don’t have to clean up”. To be fair, Elliott can be messy with his ice cream, but the guy didn’t need to be an asshole.

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.

rules, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf rules, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf
rules, ocean springs, ms photographed by luxagraf
One of the problems with so many rules is people tend to ignore them all, when there’s one that’s actually a sound rule to have.

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.

playing vet at the children's museum photographed by luxagraf

 photographed by luxagraf
“Sorry, not enough money”. Our children are into very realistic health care games.
kids playing at children's museum photographed by luxagraf
Lilah giving one of her rare interviews.

Playing talking head photographed by luxagraf

playing drums at the children's museum photographed by luxagraf

face painting photographed by luxagraf

face painting photographed by luxagraf

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.

playing in bus photographed by luxagraf
“We’re baby sea turtles running to the sea.”
old time car with trailer photographed by luxagraf
If I had that car I’d sure as heck get a cooler trailer. Still pretty cool though.
 photographed by luxagraf
This is Jumpy. He or she was a pet for a few hours before making a dramatic escape.

The bus in Davis Bayou photographed by luxagraf

eating bananas in the bus photographed by luxagraf
“Hey dad, take my picture.”
eating bananas in the bus photographed by luxagraf
“No, take *my* picture”. Clearly they already understand depth of field.