Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.


My low-clearance Prius once again demonstrates its lack of off-road prowess.

“Yahooo!” shouted one of our neighboring campers, rousing me from my slumber at 6 am. It was still dark. Their generator and the volume required to hear each other over it kept me from dropping back to sleep. Wayne, wearing earplugs, snoozed blissfully away for another two hours.

It poured overnight, making for muddy roads. Wayne sent me off in the Prius first. figuring he could play read guard rescue if needed. Despite the road being slicker than a greased pig, I only lost control for a few seconds, once in the five or so miles back to the paved road. Wayne said he was saying “Don’t stop!” as following me, fighting to maintain control of “The Beast” too.

The official appearance of this sign on a formal building made me smile. Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Given how thirsty The Beast gets, we often use Gas Buddy to find the best price, that’s not too out of our way. In Jackson, Mississippi, we bought gas at the cheapest price we’ve seen so far this trip: $1.63/gallon. 

Classic Hattiesburg architecture in its historic downtown area.
The last time when we drove cross-country from Portland to Florida in 2018, Hattiesburg architecture and vibrant spirit intrigued us. We made a point of stopping there again to stretch our legs in their historic downtown and enjoy the architecture.

National Bank of Commerce, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The Vernon F. Dahmer quote outside their courthouse, If you don’t vote, you don’t count t seemed especially apropos, with the Presidential election a little over a week away. Vernon F. Dahmer was a martyr; he stood up to the Klu Klux Clan in defense of black voting rights. He and his wife were murdered for it, but his family made sure their killers were prosecuted.

Close up on the Bank. Note the build date, 1895, and the plants taking residence.

Hattiesburg also posted more signs urging mask-wearing than anyplace else we’ve driven through this trip. Mask-wearing was still hit-or-miss.

More cool concrete building detail. Hattiesburg Mississippi.

If I chose to live in a small town in South, Hattiesburg appeals. Housing prices are more reasonable than most, with a 1600 sq. foot 3-bedroom for less than $150K—36% less than the national average.

Detail on Hattiesburg Mississippi Post Office facade: airmail delivery.
I remember the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle exhibit on airborne mail carriers—
a dangerous job, back in the day. 

On the other hand, Hattiesburg rated a “D” in crime and an “F” in schools according to Area Vibes. More homework required if we ever choose a place to settle down!

Welcome sign, Lake Perry, Mississippi.

We mulled whether to burn a few more miles and treat ourselves to a meal in Mobile Alabama for the eve. However, we’d camp in a Walmart or Costco parking lot if we did. 

One of several Lake Perry docks. Mississippi’s Pine Belt.

Instead, we opted for fewer miles and a $15 camping fee for Lake Perry, outside Beaumont Mississippi. We opted to skip the power use, for $7 more.

Not hard to tell who’s being welcomed to Lake Perry—fishermen!

After the Little Sunflower River Recreation Area’s smelly mud pit, Lake Perry offered a pleasant place to rest our heads.

The swampy area off Perry Lake Nature Trail. Near Beaufort Mississippi.

We wandered the docks and walked the nature trail.

Different shape to lily pads on Perry Lake, Mississippi.

Instead of the dank stench of swamp mud, we inhaled Perry Lake’s pleasant piney scent. It’s considered part of Mississippi’s Pine Belt.

Wayne wasn’t going to feed the ‘gators. Perry Lake, Mississippi.

“Nah, I don’t see any ‘gators,” scoffed Wayne when he saw the warning sign. 

“Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there,” I countered.
Look closely! The dark streaks parallel to the gator look like another two swimming alongside.

Sure enough, later I pointed one out to Wayne. Initially, it looked like a log. “That is moving mighty fast for a log,” Wayne observed. My zoom confirmed our suspicions—definitely, at least one ‘gator swam by.

A good warm-up for when I return to Florida, where I kayaked with many a gator—and only once got scared. I still don’t know if that was a ‘gator or a manatee.

Tomorrow we’ll end up somewhere in Florida; not sure where, yet.