Go Camp!

S1.E4 Go Camp With Aurora LaRay (My My Mississippi)

May 31, 2022 Aurora LaRay Season 1 Episode 4
Go Camp!
S1.E4 Go Camp With Aurora LaRay (My My Mississippi)
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to Go Camp! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Aurora LaRay! I am traveling with my furry-faced pride and joys: Paco and Atlas. We call a Coachmen Freelander home sweet home on the road! 


In this episode we are talking Mississippi! We’ll be covering….

1. Radar Apps/Tornados

2. Dog Parks

3. Red Bluff

4. And Pecans

Thanks so much for joining our adventure!❤️

Welcome to Go Camp! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Aurora LaRay! I am traveling with my furry-faced pride and joys: Paco and Atlas. We call a Coachmen Freelander home sweet home on the road! 

In this episode we are talking Mississippi! We’ll be covering….

1. Radar Apps/Tornados

2. Dog Parks

3. Red Bluff

4. And Pecans

Right after this! 

Couch Potato to Five K by Zen Labs Fitness is a simple, free, user friendly running app. I was skeptical, I’d never tried long distance running. Couch Potato to 5K starts nice and easy. Baby steps for the win! 

Before I knew it, I was signing myself and Paco, my four-pawed running coach, up for our first ever 5K! I love that this has been something I can share with Paco and it’s taken us to trails and created opportunities to make new friends, that we wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Now, we’ve leveled up to Couch Potato to 10K. 

Thanks to Couch Potato to 5K and Zen Labs Fitness, I feel amazing! 

I don’t know what it is about storms, there’s something about them. When the storms are coming, I feel… I feel like an outlaw. Like an outlaw on the run.

The little red dots pop up on my radar app. Not today Buckaroo. I’m re-routing. You can’t catch me tornado posse. I’m a black hat. I’m a Highway Woman. I’ve come close to killing you a couple times red dot tornado posse. It saddens me that I haven’t yet. 

I crank up Folsom Prison Blues. Kind to balance myself out. As a reminder that there are consequences for your actions. All this traveling, I may have lost my mind, but we’re having fun! That’s what matters. 

We’re in a place called, Transylvania, Louisiana. Their water tower has a vampire bat with Welcome to Transylvania written across in a really cool font. To be said, of course, in a Dracula accent. Welcome to Transylvania. I am here to suck your blood.

I found a KOA in Hattiesburg with a few sites available. Made a quick reservation. We’re bee-lining for Mississippi. 

The app I mentioned, myRadar is a great weather app and very user friendly. Most of the features are free, I’m jumped on the subscription so, I also have Hurricane Tracking. Based on my current location, totally worth it. It’s $14.99 annually.  There are a lot of great weather apps, but that’s the one I’m currently using. 

When you’re traveling, I feel like, one of the most important things, definitely on the top of the list, things you can do to make your trip great is to be weather aware.

We made it! We’re at Hattiesburg/Okatoma KOA. It’s wonderful. We got here in front of the thunderstorms. The wind has been pretty rough, the last few hours. I’m definitely feeling the core and arm workout from today. It’s called the, “Stay on the Road/Wind Resistance Workout”. It’ll keep you fit. It will keep you fit.

I’ve decided to stay two nights. Our site is lakefront. This a beautiful campground. The hosts are so kind. They’re having a potluck tonight. Very, very cool people.

I always work in rest days when booking my shows, scheduling tours. You never know when you’re going to hit weather, need to get something repaired, want to have a full work day or if there’s scheduling things come up and I have to switch stuff around, want to add another show, the usual – I find out about sightseeing that I absolutely don’t want to miss. When I’m going to new to me areas, I really try to schedule loosely. 

For now, I’m going to take the walking bridge across the lake and take a shower in their amazing and clean facilities before the down pour begins! You can see it coming.

The rain has come. We’re still in good shape tornado-wise. Atlas has been keeping watch, just in case. He is, he is my protector. It’s seriously so nice to be clean. To be showered. We’ve been boon-docking the last few days. I was scaring the buzzards away. They were like, “That girl is worse than dead.” That’s what the buzzards were saying. It kind of hurt my feelings a little bit.

Now, I’m clean and while we were rehearsing tonight, I was having some fun and wrote a verse to a song you may be familiar with, I Ride An Old Paint, about our experiences today. I hope you like it. Here we go…


I drive an old coachman/her name is Nell
Heading south to Mississippi/Tornados on my trail
Followed the Okatoma/to a Koa
People are nice her/set us up for the night
The winds came a hollerlin’/but we’re alright.

Looks like it’s going to be clear skies in morning with a high chance of sunshine coming through the windows! Somebody, Paco has one thing on his mind, and that my friends is the KOA Dog Park.

On Paco’s first trip to the Dog Park, I say first – we’ve already been six times today. He’s been having a blast playing with Amber and Max – a cattle dog and Australian Shepherd. They had a riot and I enjoyed chatting with their people. 

It reminds me, going into the dog park, it reminds me of what we call the “Incident”. The “Incident” happened a few years back. 

 So, Paco and I are at this park, none of the pet parents were letting their dogs play with Paco. It was very, rude. I walked over to these dog-ists. That’s dog racists by the by.

 “What’s wrong with you people? Paco’s nice. He’s the nicest dog.” 

 A teenager says to me, of all the people in the world, this teenager, it’s hard to talk about – he says… (Clear throat) 



 I spend thousands of dollars a year on lotion to not be called, “Ma’am”. 

 I put hemorrhoid cream under my eyes every day, two times a day to not be called, “Ma’am”. Hemorrhoid cream is legit part of my beauty regiment, okay.  


“Ma’am, can you hear me? Excuse me Ma’am. Can you turn up your hearing aids, Ma’am? You can’t be here. Your dog. Your dog, isn’t a dog.” 


That’s the day, I found out Paco is a coyote. I’m one of those people. I thought I was adopting a puppy, puppy. I adopted a puppy, coyote. It explains so much; like why we don’t sleep at night. Why we (howl) at the moon, no matter the phase. But, he’s like the nicest coyote. He would never drop an anvil on you. 


Between our multiple dog park visits today, we caught up on some work and did some travel planning. Cannot beat this home office. Lake side with a shade tree. I also got some great hiking advice from the campground hosts. I’m so glad I stopped by to ask. 


Near here is Long Leaf Trace, which looks like an awesome trail. I didn’t tow a car this trip and there doesn’t appear to be RV Parking. We’re saving that hike for next time. I will definitely be returning to this area for an extended stay! The hosts told me about Red Bluff which is also known as the “Little Grand Canyon”. I’m so excited to check it out! 

Cut to: Red Bluff! It is breathtaking! 

Red Bluff was created by the natural erosion of the Pearl River, which is still active. Very active. The original road has been moved twice! That’s how active it still is! You can see chunks of the old road on the canyon wall.

The views from the rim are stunning. If you’re comfortable, I highly recommend hiking into the canyon, the views are spectacular! You can also, if you have the time,  follow the stream – the source of the erosion on a fairytale like walk through the woods, across the railroad tracks to Pearl River.

We spent about three hours at Red Bluff. I wouldn’t have minded having a little more time, but we are due in Alabama by the end of the day. So, we’ve got to get truckin’! 

 Filling up for gas at Keith’s Super Store off of US 49 near Wiggins, Mississippi! It’s early than planned, but they’re 4 cents lower than anywhere I’ve seen in a longtime. That adds up no matter what, but it really adds up when you’re filling up one of these RV tanks! It was a super nice travel center. Clean restrooms, great snacks and other fun merch to check out. 


While I’m thinking about it, one of our listeners, suggested we create a travel fund. Thanks so much for that idea! If you enjoy the show and would like to contribute to our travel fund, our venmo is @auroralaray. It all helps so much!! 

One more Mississippi stop before we cross into Alabama! The Pecan House in McHenry! There isn’t much I love more than a roadside, family owned, local business.

 They have it all! Pecan Pie, fudge, flavored pecans, pralines, pecan coffee to send home to my parents and my all-time favorite, Pecan Brittle! Everything is handmade and wonderful. If you don’t want to wait until you’re in Mississippi, you can order online at www.thepecanhouse.com. 

 We’re at the original location. It is operated by Phyllis and Billy Shoemake. Their granddaughter Chelsey works with them as well.  A little backstory. Barbara, Phyllis’ mom, founded the company in 1984. People, including her husband, didn’t think she could make a living selling candy. Luckily, for us, she decided to prove all the nay-sayers wrong and makes the most amazing candy.

 A second location in Gulfport opened in 2015! Go get yourself some pecans! 

 I’m going to be honest, I already ate a bag of pecan brittle. I started with two bags of pecan brittle. I’m going to go back in and get a third for safety.  

 We have crossed the state line! Thanks so much for joining us! I love sharing our adventures with you! Go Camp is now available on the iheart radio app and wherever you enjoy your podcasts.

 Please subscribe, so you don’t miss our next adventure. If you would like to connect, I would love that, you can find all my social links at www.auroralaray.com.

Have a wonderful day and many, many happy adventures!