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Winter Wanderings Day #17, Fountainebleau State Park, Mandeville, LA, Buccaneer State Park, Waveland, MS

On another gray, wet, chilly day, we took a walk down to the Lake Pontchartrain waterfront and onto the pier, before leaving Fountainebleau State Park. I look forward to returning to this gem of a park, that I didn’t get to explore, because I was in NOLA with Ashe. Wiley and the puppies had some great hikes on the trails and boardwalks. We will definitely be back!

As we drove the short distance to Mississippi along the Gulf Coast, we saw a wild pig rooting around on the side of the highway. This fall, we saw a herd in FL and a couple in GA, all of them along the highway. Wiley saw the two babies at Fountainebleau, cross the trail, right in front of him. It is always exciting to see them, especially without incident. LOL! We stopped, just short of Buccaneer State Park, where we were to camp, so we could play on the dog-friendly beach with the puppies. Let me mention here, that we have now been to two Mississippi Gulf beaches, but have not let the dogs in the water. We saw a dead cat and two dead shore birds at Ocean Springs Front Beach, then a dead possum here in Waveland. These parks and beaches were closed this summer due to blue green algae. I believe there is still toxicity in the water, based on what we have seen…It is so disturbing, especially after the recent federal government’s lifting of what water protection there was. Agricultural, municipal, and industrial waste is what causes the water contamination, making it unsafe for humans and pets. Sickening and scary that this is allowed and will be even more prevalent going forward…

After a short time playing on the tiny beach in the shadow of the Lady Sipper Casino, we checked-in at Buccaneer. The park has a large water park with multiple slides, splash pad, giant wave pool, and an additional swimming pool in the campground. My guess is all of this was put here, because there’s not much beach to speak of, plus, it’s not really safe to swim in the Gulf here, anymore with the Mississippi River waste pouring into the gulf, right here. The facilities are nice, but the 206 site campground is crowded with no privacy. We are in campsite #41, right on top of our neighbors, one of whom has a Dixie flag and a Dixie flag banner all along his awning. Welcome to Mississippi.

Upon arrival, we took a only short walk, because it was cold and misting. We hiked on a tiny trail in the campground then through the playground/picnic area, before returning to the van, because the rain started coming down harder. We hoped for a nicer day the following day, planning on doing the 1.75mi marsh nature trail and playing on the park’s beach, just outside the entrance. Fingers crossed!

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