Duck Dynasty Land

MONDAY

It was nice to wake up this morning and look out the front window at the view of the lake as I had my cereal and coffee.  I woke Bonnie up and after she had her breakfast we kicked it into high gear to get packed up and to get on the road.  There were some big rain storms off to the west and the forecast was for them to move into West Monroe later this afternoon.  I try not to drive in the rain unless its necessary.

We were on the road shortly after 11am and we made the 104 mile trip without incident.  The roads were not bad except I49 looked nice and smooth but it had big dips in it almost like frost heaves up North.  So I had to pay attention to what I was doing.  The new TPMS monitor must be doing its job as we were on the road over 2 hours and did not lose communication with any of the sensors.

We are at Pavilion RV Park in West Monroe, LA.  Its an older park and seems to be mostly full of workers.  There are a lot of trucks with welding rigs on them.  So far it is pretty quiet.  Toward the late afternoon a few motorhomes pulled, my guess is they are just here for the night.

We decided to go out for dinner and taking one of the recommendations from the CampGround host that checked us in we headed for Willie’s Duck Diner.

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Its on the end of a strip mall and I must say it was pretty good.  They have a huge menu, it was hard to make up my mind.  I had Kay’s meatloaf with Kay’s mac and cheese and fried okra.  Bonnie had a shrimp salad that looked really good.  We were both full when we left.

We went next door to Academy sports to see if they had any Keen sandals but they don’t carry them.  Then we took a ride and located the Duck Commander Headquarters.  We will go back tomorrow or the next day to visit the store and I think the new Duck Commander experience is open.

Then we took a ride to find the Whites Ferry Church where Samaritans Purse is located to coordinate the disaster relief in this part of Louisiana.  Then it was starting to sprinkle so we headed back to the coach.  It was soon dark and we watched a little TV before calling it a night.

TUESDAY

We slept in this morning and got up when we were good and ready.  When I checked my messages we had a message from Sharon and Palmer Pisle, friends from Buffalo.  They would be passing through West Monroe this afternoon so we decided to meet for a late lunch or linner as we call it.  Bonnie had a load of wash in so we waited for it to finish and then decided we would go over and visit the Duck Commander warehouse store.

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It was much bigger inside than I thought it would be.  Lots of items that you can look at and buy if you are so inclined.  Yes we made a couple purchases.  Then we decided to make our own duck calls.  We got our tickets and then were met by Royce our tour guide.  We had a small group and he took us back into the warehouse and told us a little bit about the Duck Commander history.  He has know the Robertson’s for years and attends church with them.  He said that the way they are on TV is the way they are in real life.  They still teach Bible studies at church and are very generous with their money to many causes and organizations.  Then it started raining we could hear it hitting the roof.  Then we went into the Duck Call room to make our duck call.  I forgot this young fellows name he is working on the Classic wooden call with the double reed.  He is a fireman and does this on his off days.  Just before we entered the room Godwin came in the back door and shook hands with all of us.  He was coming back from filming a scene for the show.  In fact they are so busy filming they have little time to work on the duck calls, but still do some work.  Every call is made in this room and it is tested to make sure it sounds right.

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This is Royce our tour leader.

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Some of Phil and the Boys trophies.

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Getting tired or need a dip, just open the fridge door.

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Building our duck calls and yes they work.

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This was Uncle Si’s chair and the cutter he used to shape the reeds.  If you remember he quit on one of the episodes and it was real.  He said he was bored and decided to quit.

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This was Jase’s seat I think I would fit right in if I could grow some more hair and a beard.

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That door in the back was Korie’s office and Willie’s was off to the right.

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Everything is pretty much just like you see on TV.  They also gave us a hat and a bobble head figure.  After the tour we headed out in the rain.  We drove over to the visitors center and had a very nice chat with the ladies that work there and picked up some info on what to see here.

We got a message that Pisle’s were close.  We headed over to Sam’s Seafood to meet them and arrived there about 5 minutes ahead of them.  They are friends for Buffalo, we attended church with them and Bonnie went on a Mission trip to Africa with them.  The volunteer with Samaritans Purse and were returning from a trip to North Carolina to return a supply trailer.  They are also full-time RVers and their coach is 90 minutes from here at a church where they were serving.  They were expecting to be assigned here in West Monroe to help flood victims after some time off to rest up.

It was great to see them again and they are looking good and healthy.  Here are Bonnie and Sharon with Palmer just coming into view.  As you can see its raining quite hard again.

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We ordered and started catching up on all the news.  While we were eating they got a message and a call asking if they would change plans and head to Houston on Sunday.  Houston had 17 inches of rain yesterday and lots of flooded homes again.  They said yes so will be heading there on Sunday.

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It continued to rain as we all enjoyed our meals and before we knew it almost 3 hours had passed.  So we said our See you on down the road and safe travels and took off.  They were stopping by the relief site here to turn in some keys and then heading to their coach.

It has continued to rain steadily and pretty hard all evening but should end before midnight.  Just heard that our friends are safely back at their coach, so I will call it a night.  Did you know that Coca Cola was first bottled here?

Wednesday

It rained most of the night and was wet when we got up this morning.  After breakfast Bonnie started the sheets in the washer.  The other evening we saw an other Beaver coach pull in and park a couple sites away.  Because of the rain we have not been able to say hello, just a quick wave the first night.  So this morning Ginger and Becky were out walking the dog and they knocked on our door so we had a quick visit.  Their Blue Ox tow bar broke the other day and they were here waiting for one to be shipped in today to a nearby dealer.

We left just after noon and decided to visit the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens.  Joe Biedenharn was the first to bottle Coca Cola.  He had been bottling other carbonated drinks, one bottle at a time.  He sent someone over to Vicksburg to check on getting some syrup and this started his fortune.  There is a very nice museum and tour that includes his house and his daughters Bible collection.  This is the entrance to the Coke museum area.

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An old Model T delivery truck

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We learned the history of the bottles.  The first on on the left sealed from the inside and was hard to clean for refill.

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You can still get a bottle of Coke here for 5 cents

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Some of the cooler and vending machine collection, wouldn’t you love one for your house.

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This is one of the early automated bottling machines.

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The second part of the tour focused on Joe’s house which we walked over to in the rain.  We just missed a group so we were asked to do the self guided tour of the Bible Museum first.  Joe’s daughter Emy-Lou collected most of the pieces and also decorated and added on to the house.  She lived there most of her life and as her mother died young she was the woman of the house.  One of the New Testaments

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These are ancient oil lamps from around the time of Christ.

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These represent the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.

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She had collected a lot of religious items besides the bibles.  Most were in glass cases and hard to get good pictures.  Then we went into the front of the house to wait for the tour to start.  Emu-Lou took off the front porch and added this room which she called The Fountain Room.

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When she was alive and the fountain was operating she kept the bottom full of ice and bottles of Coke.  The house is still the way it was the day she died.  It was beautiful and of course no pictures were allowed inside the house.  Once again she had lots of collections displayed.  At one time she was an opera singer and traveled the globe.  Her Dad wanted her home and she finally came home and took care of him.  She spent a lot of time building and caring for the beautiful gardens that surround the house.  We did not see much of them because of the rain.  He is one example.  At one time this was a performing area when she had friends over, imagine a stage at the far end before the center was planted it would have been seating.

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After we left the tour we headed over to a new place called Burger Grind.  Wow huge burgers that were delicious with home made fries and onion rings, I am still stuffed as I write this.  Of course it was still raining.  We did a little grocery shopping, took out the trash and put the sheets back on the bed.  I also talked to my cousin in El Dorado and made arrangements to visit him for a couple days, we call it moochdocking or driveway docking. So we are really looking forward to that.

Thats about it for the first part of this week.  Thanks for Checking in and Stay Dry.