Hurricane Ivan came came through this area and wrecked havoc about seven years ago. We drove along the coast today and it took awhile to recognize the signs. Nearly all the homes looked quite new and all were on stilts. There were a few that were still boarded up and there were a few lots that had the stilts without the house on top. There were few tall trees, but many bare trunks. Osprey love to build nests on such high perches with a view and we even saw a few little heads peering over the nests as we passed.
The beach here does not have the blinding snow white appearance of the sand in the Florida Panhandle. Rather it has a reddish brown tinge that reflects the color of the soil farther inland. Here too, we saw clean up workers under the employ of BP passing back and forth on the immaculate beach. Locals told us that the beaches used to be full of shells. Were they cleaned up as well? Has the oil spill damaged the animals who lived in those shells? No one seemed to know.
When we got to Mobile Bay we were surprised to see a number of oil platforms. They each got brief visits from a small ship - bringing the mail? exchanging workers? It was too far away to see.
Gulf Shores has a state park campground that will need a longer visit from us. It had about 500 sites with full utilities and charges about $440/month. It had a large pool, tennis courts and an adjacent golf course. The town of Gulf Shores had plenty of restaurants and shopping and it would be easy to spend some quality time here - just not in January, when it is still too cold.