Thursday, March 15, 2012

Avery Island

I can get used to these sunny days! It seems no matter how hard we try, we usually don't get underway until 9:30, or 10am. But, really, I don't think it matters. We don't drive that many miles on travel days, so even with a mid morning start we are usually at our destination for the day by 2:30, or 3pm. Since we are going to be camping without a sewer connection for the next 5 days I completely emptied both the black, and gray tanks. We will have access to water and 50 amps of electricity. We are once again utilizing a courtesy parking opportunity about 60 miles west of New Orleans. We will probably head in this weekend to Bourbon Street.

In the mean time our first stop of the day was a Home Depot to buy a DEhumidifier. Seems like a simple concept, right? Well we walked in and asked one of the associates where their DEhumidifiers were....keep in mind, it never occurred to us that anyone in Louisiana would be looking for a HUMIDifier......just step out side if you need some more moisture. So, he shows us a couple of models...we're looking for a small one to use in our coach. We pick the $29 one, and check out. Later today we went to plug it in and realized we had bought a HUMIDifier.....DOH! So, we'll drive over to Houma tomorrow and exchange our HUMIDifier for a DEhumidifier.

Our one site seeing stop for today was Avery Island. Two things you need to know about Avery isn't really an island, and this is the home of Tabasco sauce. Avery Island is actually the largest of 5 salt domes in Louisiana....because the land sits on a salt dome it is elevated above the bayou, and thus, from the air looks like an island.

Avery Island from the air......

Avery Island is a short 7 mile drive south of SR 90 on Avery Island Road. You have to pay $1.00 per vehicle to enter the island.....very reasonable. You have to, however, cross 4 enormous speed bumps as you pass through the entrance gate. There was a nice turn around for buses, so we chose that area to park our large 62' long behemouth. The tour was very enlightening. Edmund McIlhenny was given seeds of Capsicum frutescens peppers that came from Mexico or Central America, and he first planted them on Avery Island, Louisiana, over 140 years ago.None of the peppers used to make Tabasco are grown on Avery Island, but in South America. They do plant about 50 acres in peppers on the "Island", but these peppers are used exclusively for their seeds. Members of the McIlhenny family (who own the entire "island") personally inspect the pepper crop each year and choose the peppers to be used for seeds. The seeds are in turn shipped to their plantations in South America to be planted and harvested. When those peppers are harvested, they’re shipped back to Avery Island for the next step in the process.

After the peppers are picked, they are mashed and then mixed with a small amount of Avery Island salt extracted from the salt mines that lie beneath the Island. The pepper mash is placed in white oak barrels, and the wooden tops of the barrels are then covered with more Avery Island salt, which acts as a natural barrier to protect the barrels’ contents. The mash is allowed to ferment and then age for up to three years in the McIlhenny warehouse. The white oak barrels are purchased used from Jack Daniels after they are through aging their whiskey in them....who would have thought?

If you are in Lousiana you must stop by Avery Island.

The lovely Elaine

The Tabasco bottling plant puts out 700,000 bottles a day.

Apparently when I hooked the trailer back up yesterday in Galveston I did not crank up the landing gear all the way....I discovered this at the end of today as we were "dropping" the trailer....fortunately, an easy to the trailer supply place tomorrow!

This is our site for the next 4-5 days. We are couretesy parking on the property of a fellow Newell owner, who is, ironically, also on a multi year trip exploring America....they are currently in Moab. We have access to 50amps of electrical power, and water....will have to watch those tanks closely.

That's my story for today, and I'm sticking to it!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I wonder if your "courtesy parking opportunity" was provided by a friend? Or is there some secret to finding other courtesy parking opportunities when I travel?

  2. We have used several courtesy parking opportunities on this journey....they have all been friends, or relatives. 3 of them have been people we met through the Newell users group (, and one at home of my sister-in-law. I have read about people making acquaintances on the road and being offered courtesy parking. Has not happened to me yet.