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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Alabama: Gulf Shores State Park

By Jul 16th 2010 No Comments »

On Wednesday we departed DeSoto State Park and headed south through Birmingham towards the Gulf Coast of Alabama. We arrived Wednesday night at Gulf Shores State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Since neither of us have been in the area, and also because of recent events, we decided to spend a few hours at the beach.

Upon arrival at the State Park beach, you are immediately taken back by 1) the 100+ degree heat, and 2) the seemingly-endless white sand beaches.

By 11:00AM the beach was only dotted with a few people, something we found strange considering the location.  We found a nice area of sand, plopped ourselves down and decided to just sit and take in the views for a few minutes.  Five minutes later our moment of reflection was interrupted by an army helicopter.  That was alright, until five minutes later a Coast Guard helicopter flew by to say hello.  This was the pattern the entire time we were there – helicopters flying by every 5-10 minutes. We later learned that the waters were closed to swimmers, obviously because of the impending oil spill.

We decided to head West a bit further and drive the Alabama coast for a bit. Houses and condos lined road, nestled in the sand dunes and only feet from the ocean.  It was beautiful and perfect in every sense except for one thing; only about 10% of those houses and condos were occupied.

Houses were boarded up, still remaining unopened for the summer – State operated cleanup stations dotted the strip and were heavily guarded by police presence.

It was really quite depressing.  To us, it was as if we were entering an evacuation zone, about to be hit with another huge hurricane.

Unfortunately we’ve been able to see first-hand the affects of the oil spill – which are clearly not only in the water.

We continued our journey through Alabama and into Mississippi & finally into Louisiana.  Our drive through the remaining coast of Alabama contained coastal views loaded with oil booms.  Biloxi, Mississippi contained houses and empty building structures still left behind from hurricane Katrina.  Driving into New Orleans we were shocked and saddened to see all the empty and abandoned houses, roofs still caved in, slowly dying in the hot southern sun.

Today we are heading downtown – to take in more of the city and sites of New Orleans.

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