Hot Times and Hot Sauce

MONDAY

So Monday morning we woke to rain, but before we were ready to leave the rain had stopped, good deal!  Today is the Hot Sauce part of the trip.  We are headed to Avery Island.  Avery Island is another salt dome, not a real island.  It is also where Tabasco Sauce is made and has been made since 1868.  They have just opened their new visitors center and tour route.  Here is the headquarters of the company that Edmund McIlhenny set up to produce Tabasco sauce.

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Next we picked up our tickets, map and sticker as we entered the museum.

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We read and viewed videos on the history of the company.  Then we walked back to the Nursery to see some of the stages of the the pepper plant.

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Then we moved to the barrel warehouse.  After the peppers are picked they are ground into a mash.  The mash is mixed with a little salt and then packed into white oak charred barrels.  The top is put on and then covered with salt.  It first sits on the floor.

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Then it is stacked 6 barrels high for three years.

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It then goes to blending and is blended with white vinegar.

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Finally it is on to bottling.

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By the way they still mine some salt from the salt dome and it is used in the sauce.  The mine is run by Cargill.  It was a nice tour and very informative.

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Then we had the chance to visit the store and purchase gear and sauce.

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We had a bite to eat at the 1868 cafe and then took a driving tour of the Jungle Gardens that was built by the family.  We saw a lot of birds and plants.  Unfortunately most of the spring bloom is over.  This is the survey tree which is thought to be one of the oldest live oaks in the state.

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Here are a few of the birds.

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These are from the rookery, lots of new young birds in here.

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Bonnie took the bird pictures and she said the noise from the birds was very loud.

After the tour we headed back to the coach.  I had ordered some RX refills for Bonnie but they were not ready.  We did head out to do some grocery shopping as we needed milk, cereal and bread.  We got back just in time to unload and make it to the social hour and hear about the plans for tomorrow.

Bonnie cooked supper and I did the dishes.  Now its time to relax and rest up for tomorrow.

TUESDAY

This morning we were up and out the door to arrive at the KONRIKO Rice company by 9:00am.

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I woke at 7am to the rain on the roof but it had stopped by the time we left.  This mill is the oldest operating rice mill in the country.  It was started in 1912 and most of the equipment is still original.  A steam engine ran it at first but it was converted to electric motors.

Here is some of our group arriving as the first tour of the mill began.

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We were ushered into the back room which serves as storage but also a video viewing area, complete with old church pews.  Our guide introduced the video.

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It was old and poor quality but it had a wealth of information on the cajun culture and rice growing.

Then we walked over to the mill with Wendy.  She had a mock up of the mill that she explained the operation of processing the rice.  On the way in we passed where horse drawn carts dumped the rice and now trucks use it and they just barely fit in.

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We did not see much of the actual mill but enough to tell that it is really old.

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I think that some of the dust maybe from 1912.  Here is the machine that still sews up the processed rice bags.

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They have two automated bagging machines that are “newer”

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The tour was very interesting and we had a good time.  We headed back to the coach.  I took a nap and Bonnie went on to visit Vivian Alexander known for their evening purses that look like eggs.

We did not have lunch today so decided to go out to dinner at a Local Place called Landry’s seafood, not part of the chain.  Once there we ran into 3 outer couples from the Beaver Club so we all ended up sitting together and we had a nice time together and got to know each other, a very enjoyable evening.

WEDNESDAY

The rain and thunder woke me about 2am this morning and it rained hard off and on (mostly on) until about 9:30 this morning.  Some said it rained about 3 inches.  Our neighbors on both sides of us had some leaks, so far we have not found any wet spots.

It had stopped raining when we pulled out for todays activities.  Our first stop was an old 1800s antebellum home called Shadows on the Teche if you click on the green link you can read about it.  Our docent gave us a lot of facts and stories and it was an interesting tour.  The main crop grown here at one time was Sugar Cane, today only 2.5 acres of land remains.  Here are some pictures outside, no inside pictures were allowed.  Approaching the house.

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The front of the Classic Revival style home, notice to Grand Entry Door, in fact most of the living was done on the second floor.

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This is a view from the back porch looking toward Bayou Teche which is muddy from all the rain.

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One of the grand live oak trees

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The family burial plot on the corner of the grounds

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After the tour it was close to lunch time.  First we found the CVS and picked up Bonnies RXs and a few other things we needed.  The it was on to Bon Creole, not much to look at but reported to have good Poor Boys.  I had an oyster Poor Boy and it lived up to its reputation, really good.  Afterward we drove around town some and looked at the named homes and also stopped at the library for a look at one of the displays there.

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Arriving back at the campground I picked up a couple packages that were delivered for me.  One was a new Garmin RV660 GPS and the other was the new repeater for my TPMS.  I rewired my hook up and it looks like the repeater is working.  We will be able to tell if it solves the problem when we leave here on Sunday.  Then I downloaded the latest maps to the GPS and put the flying J location file in it.  Meanwhile my neighbors were busy working on their leaks.

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My new repeater

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Then we headed over to our last social hour as this rally ends today.  All put 6 of us are going on to the next rally in Eunice.  We said our good bye and thank you’s.  We met a lot of wonderful people, saw things we would have never seen on our own and just had a really good time.  As the others depart tomorrow morning we will hate to wave good bye but always hope to see them on down the road.

Well its time I get this posted.  We are staying here until Sunday and hope to do a little more touring on our own.

Thanks For Checking In!

2 Comments


  1. Enjoyed the tour. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Your welcome Eric, we are working our way to Little Rock, should be there in a week or so. Sure are looking forward to catching up.

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