January 28, 2017 (by Jimmy) – We are back on the road. We left Arkansas last Saturday, so we have been on the road for a week. Wow, time does fly. Saturday we drove to Texarkana, Texas and stayed at a nice park called Shady Pines. Saturday night we had supper at a quirky seafood restaurant called Scottie’s. It was like a sports bar with many things to look at and read on the wall. The food was good and we had a nice evening.
Sunday was a relax day. We took a drive around a lake and let Chewie visit some new places. The weather was cold so we stayed at the RV most of the day.
Monday, we drove to Longview, TX, about an hour and a half from where we parked. I worked at a hospital there about 4 years ago and wanted to visit the folks with whom I had worked. It was a great trip and a great visit; we even ate at one of the restaurants we used to frequent for lunch on special occasions. Angela had met some of the people but not all of them. It was very cool. Unfortunately, we had so much fun visiting that we forgot to take pictures.
When we parked the RV at Shady Pines and set-up, we found some of the rubber padding/weather stripping around the front basement door had come loose. We went to the RV store associated with the park first, but they didn’t have the right size. So we took a length with us to Longview and tried an RV store there. They had the right padding, so when we returned, we installed that and did a few other minor repairs that needed to be completed.
Tuesday was a travel day. We left Shady Pines and headed for Cajun Palms in Breaux Bridges, LA. The trip was pleasant and the day was warm.
Wednesday was a big day for me. I had been wanting to go to the Tabasco plant on Avery Island for a long time. This was the day I got to go.
The process of making Tabasco is similar to what we saw when we went to the Jack Daniels Plant and how they make whiskey. The plants are grown and harvested. They are then ground into a mash and stored in oak barrels for at least three years. They are then removed from the barrels, the seeds and skins are removed, and they are mixed with vinegar, then bottled.
These are Jalapeno peppers that were grown in a greenhouse. They were one of several different peppers used in production.
The white stuff on the top of the barrels is salt. They put salt on top of the barrels to keep any impurities from getting into the mash.
This is where the mash is mixed with vinegar. The picture was shot through a plexiglass cover. There was a button that you could push that would let you encounter how the room smelled. I pushed the button, and my eyes watered. It was like someone stuck a hot pepper up your nose. Wow, very pungent.
Here are a few more pictures of the Tabasco Factory, and gift shop. (Click on a photo, or hover the cursor over it, to see the caption.)
After we left the Tabasco Factory we were allowed to tour a bayou and bird sanctuary that was built by the McIlhenny family. This was an awesome driving tour. (Click on a photo, or hover the cursor over it, to see the caption.)
The McIlhenny family is amazing. One was a Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt. One was a brigadier general, and one helped rescue a crew stranded in the Artic.
Thursday was another travel day. We left Cajun Palms and drove to Indian Point in Gautier (Go-Tee-A), MS.
Friday, we met with my cousin for breakfast. He is the City Manager at Gulfport, MS.
We had a nice visit and drove along the beach on the way home. When we got back to the RV, we took Chewie out to a beach. He loves beaches and would have been really upset if he knew we were so close to a beach and didn’t visit. The day was cooler, and we needed a jacket most of the day, but it was nowhere near the temperature of Batesville, AR where we had been this time last week. (Click on a photo, or hover the cursor over it, to see the caption.)
We changed our plans and will be in MS one more day. This pushes us to get to St. Augustine on January 31st instead of the 30th. We also decided to stay at an RV Park closer to I-10 for our next stop, so some plans have changed, but for the most part we have stuck to the original schedule.
We are having fun and enjoying the trip.
Until later… Later…