Below is a guest post by John Rials, a Clearwater Snowbird.
Who would have thought that staying “in the woods” would present so many opportunities? Our time at Clearwater RV Park in Carriere, MS has been full of opportunities. Even though during the winter months Clearwater is populated with snowbirds from points North, it is still a sleepy little park where “Quiet, Never Sounded So Good!”
When you think of quiet and rural you would expect to have grassy areas, and you do. You will also find birds, turtles, fish, frogs, pond with paddle boat, ducks, chickens, horses and cows. In fact, while we were there two calves were born – one all black and one black with a white face which we named ‘Snowbird’.
So what about the social aspect of Clearwater? The get-togethers are numerous. With a closed group on Facebook for RVers staying at the park, members would post outings to restaurants, drinks under the Gazebo, community campfires with s’mores, potlucks in “The Roost”, wine tasting, cobblers cooked in a Dutch oven on open coals and even music and dancing. Card playing was a consistent activity around 6:30 each evening.
As full timers we believe that no matter where you are there is always something to see or someplace to visit. The same is true at Clearwater. There is a world class arboretum just a few miles from the park, The Crosby Arboretum, including a famous structure (Pinecote Pavilion).
I don’t play golf but there are others who do, so usually twice a week there is a group foray to the golf course. A short ride away, the course offers a senior discount that is hard to beat. In Slidell there is a great indoor shooting range for those who like to stay on top of their shooting skills.
The Teddy Bear House Museum is located in Picayune. The MS Gulf Coast is located 45 minutes to the South so a day of sand and fresh gulf seafood is just a short drive away.
A walk around the park will usually reveal Lady Bug, Bubba, and Fifth, the three resident horses of Clearwater. With permission there is opportunity to give them a treat so they look forward to your walks. Also, from time to time, the owner will hitch one or two up and it’s possible to catch a ride in the buggy. Whether just a short jaunt around the park or a longer ride, it is a thrill from yesteryear.
But even though you are in a rural area, Picayune, MS is just minutes away with multiple groceries, box stores like Tractor Supply, Home Depot and of course the everywhere Walmart. Lots of restaurants to go to from chains such as Ryan’s Steakhouse and Applebee’s to many local, one of a kind Mom and Pop to larger eating establishments.
How about fresh eggs instead of the grocery store variety? Well, both the owner of the park has chickens and so occasionally he has eggs and Ed’s (just past the Dollar Store) has fresh eggs.
Craft beer aficionados will appreciate Lazy Magnolia brewery near Kiln, about a 30-35 minute drive. You’ll find brews such as Southern Pecan and Lazy Saison with many of their brews on tap.
If you stay at Clearwater and are bored, it is probably because you have your head down and are not looking around. Some of the snowbirds have been coming here for well over 10 years. For us, it is a park we will return to in the future…
John & Laurie Rials are full time RVers with Cajun heritage from South Louisiana who now consider the Lafayette area to be home base. You can read their blogs at rvcajuncooking.com and travel.cajunville.com.