Around 10:00 Saturday, our 10th morning at the Gulf Islands National Seashore campground, National Park Service rangers began knocking on doors bearing bad news: everyone has to pack up and leave before 4:00 this afternoon. The campground is closed indefinitely due to lack of funding. Yes, Kat and I were evicted from our paid for in advance campsite.
This was disappointing if not unexpected. And we have enjoyed ten days here while riding out two winter storms. It has to be much more disappointing for our camp neighbors who arrived Friday night and worse yet for those early risers who drove hundreds of miles only to be turned away at the gate.
Despite plentiful fake news to the contrary, most if not all Federally-owned campgrounds are closed as part of Trump’s S***hole Shutdown. You may be allowed to drive through some National Parks, but word is law enforcement will remove any who try to sleep in their campgrounds. It’s bad enough to have to listen to “alternate facts”; living them is just plain nasty.
Luckily for us there is a nice quiet Airstream-only campground 50 miles north of Fort Pickens. We will hang out there in Mystic Springs Cove until later this week when we drive to south Louisiana. We’ll find a state park to camp in, and after that we’re off to a public utility’s camp near College Station. And then? A Corps of Engineers camp is penciled in, but unless funding has been restored, that one will be closed. The Turtle, Ryan, and Drumpf have taken the fun out of dysfunctional government.
Now for the good news: we have been eating well and have visited some lovely beaches. There was one warm sunny day during our stay and Kat’s pictures will describe them. Delicacies consumed include Coquilles St. Jacques, Clam Linguine, Bienville, half-shell and some Garlicky Cheese Oysters, pan crusted sea bass, swordfish with peppercorns, boiled shrimp, perfectly fried calamari, and garlic pepper broiled crabs. We discovered Royal Red shrimp — salty, delicate, and almost as sweet as crab meat. During this afternoon’s rainstorm we will stir up a batch of seafood gumbo starring shrimp, blue crabs, and oysters.
Life is good, unless you’re on the ballot in November.