Only a scant couple of hours down the interstate got us down on the soft, hot sand of the beach. Not like the grey, rather chilly beaches of the PNW, but the kind of beaches that people dream of...glorious sunshine, sugar white sand, beach chairs with bright colored umbrellas and clear, turquoise water and waves curling beautifully and crashing softly onto the shore.
The lifeguards we talked to said they heard the oil was about 7 miles out, but moving quickly. Not if, but when the oil comes ashore, it will kill the fish, birds, shellfish, the tourist industry and the jobs of lifeguards, museum workers, hotel staff, fishermen and countless other employees that live and work along the Gulf of Mexico. It is a heartbreak I cannot even begin to describe. It makes me sick to my stomach as I watch the powers that be try this or that to stop the flow of toxic oil, only to be thwarted. Things continue to worsen, much to the dismay of the helpless watchers. It is on the minds and lips of every person down here; from the coast of Louisiana to the beaches of Florida, and rightly so. It is a tragedy of epic proportions.
Anyway, we did not see any oil globs on the beach today. We were fortunate to be there today, as there are rumors of closure tomorrow. Things are being closed, tourist attractions canceled one by one in anticipation of the oil, or it's arrival in some places. I didn't smell any chemical or oil smell, though.
Even with the impending doom, we enjoyed the beach. We walked down the boardwalk, slipped off our shoes and got our toes into the sand. We splashed in the cool, but not cold, water, watched the waves hit the shore and snapped pics. It was hot...really hot. On that white sand, it just feels like a frying pan. Amazingly beautiful, but hot.
After our time on the sand, we drove all the way to Florida's Perdido Bay. I just loved the pastel homes and condos...just like you see on TV. Then, we impulsively decided to make a side trip to Fort Morgan and indulge in a little history. It was a must if only because of the name...my daughter's name is Morgan.
One more day here in Mississippi, then we will head back westward. Tomorrow - Biloxi and meeting with friends for a final meal and photo op, then it's back on the road.