St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Martha suggested we go to St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge. She knows I love these places. We invited Bev and Willow to join us. It’s about a half hour from town. By the time we pulled into the park office, I realized I had been here before. It was flooded then, so there was little to see.

Bev’s rig
Bev’s folding electric bike

As we drove the gravel roads, it looked just like the last time I was here – flooded. We parked and walked down a gravel road that was restricted for park service. We were talking as we walked along, but were soon startled by a huge splash, obviously an alligator trying to get away from us. There were a bunch of coots standing at the end of the flooded road. When we stopped to listen, there were lots of birds singing. 

We drove up the opposite direction in this huge refuge and pulled up beside a van we had spoken to earlier. Three ladies were bird watching, and they knew their stuff. It would have been fun to follow and learn from them, but Martha wanted to see the catholic church in town.

Driving back to town, we passed Mammy’s Cupboard that Sally had recommended on our tour. Quickly, we turned around and went back. It looks small, but when we went in, we were surprised how big it was. The menu was printed on a single piece of paper, soup and sandwiches and pies with ice tea and blueberry lemonade. 

There was no mammy, as I envisioned, but a nice family ran the place – father, mother, daughter, grand daughter and maybe a mother in law. We ordered chicken salad, vegetable soup and potato salad. Then lemon meringue  and chocolate pie. The father is an energetic, gregarious guy, who kept coming around with tales and suggestions of things to see. The food was good, the service excellent, and it’s a happening.

We went into Saint Mary Basilica Church, a beautiful church. Bev wondered how a town could build such a church in 1842, “touted as an architectural masterpiece among Catholic churches. ”(

We went back to camp to wait out a coming storm. A line of thunderstorms was coming with tornado warnings. I unhooked the electric cord in case lightning came close and put it under the trailer to keep it dry. We kept an eye on the weather map showing greens, yellows and red areas. The rains came for an hour. Then they got really hard. Bev kept looking out her door, which made me nervous. She is from Indiana where her family has been hit hard with tornados. 

I watched my doormat float away in 2 inches of water. As it rose to 3 inches, the mat floated out into the street. We had torrential rains, but thankfully no tornado. I put on my rain shoes and stepped into 3 inches of water surrounding the trailer. My electric cord was covered by water.

Walking around the campground, others were coming out. A nice guy from Massachusetts said he heard a tornado popped up south of us. The campground is about eight feet above the Mississippi, but you feel like you are eye level with it.  A barge was heading upstream. Business as usual.

  4 comments for “St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge

  1. March 19, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Oh, I see how it is….you’ve already replaced us!!!!!

    • March 19, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Well, you left us after all 😊

  2. amanda
    August 30, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    When I was a child this large track of land was our private hunting club, Sibly Hunting Club. Mrs Jimmie ran the kitchen in the main lodge. They had a ‘Big Game Program’ in place and the game harvested scored so high many publications were written about the club. So the federal government found out it was there. They then forced a sale and seize of private property…

    • August 30, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Very interesting Amanda. We recently spent 10 days in the Smoky Mountains National Park. I thought so much about the people who once lived in that beautiful place, and then had to leave. I also think about the Native Americans who lost it all. I’d love to hear more about the days of the Sibly Hunting Club. Thank you so much for your comment.

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