Devil's Churn

Devil's Churn
Devil's Churn

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Avery Island, Tabasco and Gulf State Park

While in Abbeville, LA we had the opportunity to visit Avery Island and the Tabasco Factory. Our friends and traveling companions, Faye and Dave from The Wandering Camels suggested the trip and tour. We were not disappointed. Our visit started at the Tabasco Museum. Here we learned about the McIlhenny family and the early production of Tabasco Pepper Sauce.

After a through education there we started our tour of the factory. This is a self guided tour.

The greenhouse

The girls feeling saucy(sassy)

Pepper plant

In the greenhouse you could see the peppers in different stages of growth. The greenhouse has a slightly pungent smell too.

Next we looked in the barrel warehouse where the peppers are aged before being used in the sauce.

Video explaining the barrel aging

Display of barrels

We then moved on the actual factory where the blending and bottling takes place. Again there was a very pungent smell in the air.

Blending tubs

Bottling of different flavors of pepper sauce

There was also a display of the underground salt mines on Avery Island

After the tour we ended in an area where they had large replicas of the different Tabasco sauces.

After the tour we went into the Tabasco General Store for some souvenirs. I got a cap and we also tasted some ice cream with Tabasco sauces added for extra flavor. We even got some different samples of pepper sauces for the kids. A little something to spice up their lives. HaHa.

Before we headed to the Jungle Garden, Faye, Glenda and I found an Earth Geocache.
Earth Caches are caches in an area where you learn some information about the area and then email answers to questions by the cache owner.

It was a sculpture like this one but NOT this one.
You'll have to find it yourself

Now it was time to tour the Jungle Garden on Avery Island. The Avery Island tour is by vehicle with stops along the way to explore. We saw several birds, alligator and other wildlife.

I don't remember the story behind this shrine

People place coins on these elephant statues for good luck

Egrets everywhere

E. A. McIlhenny, founded a bird colony in the 1890s — later called Bird City — after plume hunters slaughtered egrets by the thousands for feathers to make fashionable ladies’ hats.

It was quite a sight to see so many egrets nesting with their young. Quite noisy too. A very enjoyable experience knowing these birds are protected. We had a wonderful experience on Avery Island and so happy Faye and Dave suggested we go there.

After Louisiana we moved on to Mississippi as I already posted and then on to Gulf Shores, AL. We had reservations at Gulf State Park. It turned out that Faye and Dave had friends from their Alaska trip last summer and the word got out to them. The next thing we know there are several couples coming to the park while we were there. They're a great group of folks and we had a lot of in with a couple of happy hour dinners of shrimp, hotdogs that friends Mike and Liz made and shared. Then the next night Faye and Dave put on a happy hour of BBQ ribs, pulled pork and Dave's delicious Mac and Cheese. Everyone brought something to share each night and we certainly did not go hungry. If you did, it was your fault. :-) 

One afternoon we all went to Lambert's Café for Throw'd Rolls and lots of wonder, delicious food.

Everyone went home with leftovers. Cool atmosphere and they are very efficient in getting so many people fed. We had a wonderful time getting to know everyone better.

Faye started a hike, walk, run challenge for 2017 that we've been participating in this year. So everyday we got together and got our steps in at the park. There are numerous trails and walkways throughout the park. We were at Gulf SP two years ago and it's incredible to see how much they've improved the park and it's trails.

 We had the opportunity one morning on our walk to see a mother alligator and her babies along the trail. The area was guarded by a nice railing to protect her and us. Enlarge the photo to see the baby gators best.

We had a rain day during our stay and everyone went to a place in Orange Beach called Flora-Bama Lounge. They have free bingo there. It's a tent covered area behind the store and several tables set up for bingo and other activities.

The bingo caller had quite a southern accent so it was difficult to understand the numbers he called out. We played several games and I was fortunate to win one of them. There were two of us that won that game so we each got to pick a prize. I took a 6 pack of Fat Tire beer. Happy, Happy.

Why is she doing the Junior Birdman?

Well they have a drink there called a Bushwhacker.
Very tasty, sweet but very strong
It looks like a milk shake so it's easy to get giddy.

Glenda and I got in as much beach time as we could too. They have a beach across the road from the park and we got free parking access while staying at the campground. A nice little perk.

Overall we had fun time and met new friends. Most of the group left the day before we did so we got to say our "See you later's" with Faye and Dave without the crowd. Such a bittersweet farewell.

We had a fantastic 3 week travel with them and can't begin to say how much we enjoyed our time together. Looking forward to more adventures with them down the road. We might even be seeing them at Cave Creek Campground next winter if we get the workamping job there.

We get to see them again in IL at Bo Wood COE as we make our way back to B/N in May. They have a workamping job at a COE near by.

Glenda and I are now in Santa Rosa Beach, FL at Grayton Beach SP.  Getting in the last of our beach time before moving more inland to Georgia. Next post....Our time at Grayton Beach SP

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  1. What fun! We didn't get to see the birds nesting or get to watch the factory running. Nice! Bingo! Have fun heading east!

    1. It was fun and bingo was a nice change of pace. The birds were incredible. Too bad you didn't get to see the factory running or the birds. Next time.

  2. Bush-A-Wacker!!!! Thanks for the shout out. We so enjoyed our traveling with you two, you make the best traveling companions. Safe travels and we'll see you in May.

    1. Yeah...Bush A Whacka That was so funny. I said it all in my post. You know how we feel too. See you in May. <3 <3

  3. Looks like a fabulous time!! We just got to Louisiana and hope we spot an alligator!
    Wanted to thank you two for the tip to visit Abbeville and eat at Shucks! We are staying at Betty's RV Park and it's such a darling town. Had dinner at Shucks! last night and OMG it was so delicious!