Sunday, October 30, 2016

Just In Time

to help out with Wild Things, our big festival of the year with over 5000 visitors attending.

We all worked together putting up over 20 tents for the big event.

We were not expected to be here at this time, but hurricane Matthew changed our plans.

It felt so good to be driving into the gates of this refuge in Louisiana after the harrowing last few days in South Carolina.

Here are some of the brown shirts (employees) along with the volunteers getting our marching orders.

Everyone pitches in to get the job done.

This is just a portion of the crowd in the back of headquarters participating in some of the events.

It is all free of charge except for drink and food.

Wally the woodpecker thrilled some of the kids. Pictures were taken with him as we walked among the crowd. Only one child cried...did not want anything to do with him.

We finally went to Avery Island to do the tabasco tour.

Avery Island is a salt dome known as the source for this delicious sauce.

We took the tour of the museum, the greenhouse peppers, the barrel warehouse, the blending room, the bottling line, learned about the salt mine, had lunch at their 1868 restaurant, and of course shopped in the country store.

They do a pretty good business.

The blending room was interesting where the vats hold the pepper mash.  The smell hits you right away.

This lady is putting on some of the labels that did not get them on the production belt.

Look at all that Tabasco sauce!!!

There are salt domes all across the Gulf of Mexico. We first experienced these in South Texas at La Sal del Rey, a part of the Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge.

The salt is used in the making of the sauce, by placing it on top of the barrels of mash, which takes about 3 years to cure.

There are many flavors to sample in the country store. Did you notice Wallace in among the display?

It was a long day, but now we can cross that trip off our list.

We are back to our usual work. During the brochure run this past week, we found this discarded baby bed that had been dumped on the refuge. We saved the wooden parts...maybe they can be recycled in some way.

I cleaned these brochure racks, something I always do when we get back, while Wallace weed whacked. I replaced the covers and filled them with brochures.

This is what they look like now. Probably no one notices since the brochures cover them up unless the slot is empty. I like to clean them up...the yearly cleaning.

Then we found this. A sign so covered up with weeds you can hardly see it. Hello...did no one see this? Oh, well!

Then there is more boardwalk work that needs to be done.

We replaced a few of the broken boards to keep people from falling through.

It took all morning to fix this post. Wallace had to dig down 2 feet with a post hole digger to get the old, broken post out. We repaired this post last year and replaced it this year. Looks much better.

Well this is a long post, but it has been awhile since we posted and we wanted to catch up. Hope you enjoyed following along.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fast and Furious...Exodus

One hour we are walking on the beach with friends, having a great time, then stopped for a delicious lunch of flounder and shrimp.

At 3:00, we attended the staff meeting to find out we needed to leave...the refuge is being locked down because of the hurricane. We asked if it would be a problem to leave them for the remainder of our time there...they understood.

We left the meeting and packed up for our departure and were on the road about 5:30. It took us two hours just to get out of Charleston.
We drove 85 miles and needed to stop for the night as we were completely exhausted. Our first overnight at a roadside park!!!
This park was just north of Savannah, Georgia.

We were dreading the traffic around Savannah. It was not bad.

We cut down from Georgia to Tallahassee, Florida, and finally were able to relax.

In Florida, while in construction area, we were bumped...did not even know it until a fellow traveler passed us pointing to the side of our rv. 

When we stopped at the rest area in Alabama, this is what we found!!!

Could have been a lot worse. There are a few black lines further down past this area too.

Alabama has overnight security at their rest areas and this is where we spent our second night.

Quickly, we found ourselves in Mississippi.

 We stopped for fuel and noticed the Cracker Barrel was right around the corner...time for breakfast.  We needed that!!!

Full tank of diesel and full tummies, things were going good as we entered Louisiana.

Another passerby passed us pointing. We pulled over on this busy I 10, to find we had had a blow out!!!

Now Goodyear wants to see how much tread is left for us to get anything back. There is no tread. Now a lot of red tape...we shall see.

This could have been a lot worse. It caused only minor damage...a little dent in the underside of the fender.

Strange thing, as I was sitting in the truck waiting for the guys to change the tire, I noticed all the tire debris in this area...AMAZING. As a matter of fact, there was a truck pulled over in front of us with the same problem.

Makes one wonder doesn't it?

Our roadside service did not keep us waiting too long, that was a comfort and the guy did a great, quick job changing the tire.

After 2 nights, 781 miles, terrible traffic, bump, and blow out, we are now peacefully at our home here in Lacombe, Louisiana for our 4th year.

We were talking about how great this place is...we think it is the nicest overall by far!!!

Until next time...