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USA Road Trip- Thanksgiving in Louisiana

Updated on November 30, 2012
Sunset in Gulf
Sunset in Gulf | Source
Thanksgiving or Xmas ?
Thanksgiving or Xmas ? | Source
Terns and Skimmers
Terns and Skimmers | Source
American Oystercatcher
American Oystercatcher | Source
Pelicans in Lake Charles
Pelicans in Lake Charles | Source
Shrimp boat
Shrimp boat | Source

We were distracted in Biloxi, Louisiana by the birds! A drive on the coastal road along the beaches between Biloxi and Gulf Port amazed us by the sheer number of Brown Pelicans, Gulls, Terns, Peeps and Waders walking on the white beaches or perching on the various structures along the coast line that seemed to be remnants of Katrina a few years ago, or those marvelous Jetties that survived. Workers were very busy replacing structures along the road and sea sand on the beaches. Accommodation at the Pelican Beach Motel placed us right on the beach and a drive along the “ Least Tern Highway” provided many good birding opportunities including a group of about 6 Skimmers among the Gulls and Terns and a group of 5 Oystercatchers along one of the Jetties. The sunset in Biloxi was perhaps one of the most dramatic of our trip with shrimp boats and sailing boats and Pelicans perched on posts providing a great foreground. No wonder we have taken and kept about 20 000 photos so far!

Then on to Lake Charles in Mississippi for a good push of nearly 300 miles along the I-10, interrupted only by a stop in Barton Rouge, when Audrey spotted a few hundred White Pelicans on the lake next to the high way and a perfectly placed off ramp allowing us a magic photographic detour. We snapped away as the Pelicans kept arriving and then feeding on the unsuspecting minnows that provided a great smorgasbord for the hungry travelers on their way from where? - To heavens knows where?

Every place we stop has a charm or interest that calls out ‘stay a while longer if you dare!’, but the need to complete our planned trip counters with an equally urgent “keep moving!” Today is Thanksgiving day as we travelled and every entertainment venue, food venue and shopping centre is closed down to truly allow those who so choose to “go home.” In our imagination we saw many arriving at Grandma’s house to enjoy the traditional family turkey feast. It was good to have a phone call from Heidi to catch up with some news from home – we are really looking forward to seeing every one soon!

On Thanksgiving Day even the fast food places do shut down and we eventually managed to buy a turkey sandwich at a gas station, wrapped in U.S.A. flag colors wrapper, providing us with an adequate lunch. Accommodation at the Howard Johnson Motel was one of the better motels we stayed in, another of Audrey’s coupon discoveries. I woke up at 3.30a.m. in order to queue up for the Black Friday sales but got a “lets rather sleep a bit longer” by Audrey (much to my delight) and so went back to sleep to wake up again at 7.15. When we finally, after breakfast, got to Best Buy at 9.15 we left in disgust after seeing the crowds waiting to pay for the goods they had queued up for since early.


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    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      The Pelicans facinated us all along the trip. Thanks for the comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I do so love the water birds!


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