Friday, April 14, 2017

Palmetto Island State Park and a Tour of the Tabasco Factory

While passing through Abbeville we tried to get into our favorite rv park, but it was full and so we decided to stay at the nearby state park, Palmetto Island State Park. Checking in, the ranger gave us quite a few brochures, including one on how to identify poisonous snakes and plants. She also warned us to be bear and feral hog aware!
Setting up we had a beautiful spot that easily provided space for our fifth wheel and our truck. Surrounded by Palmetto palms and stately oak and cypress trees we settled in to rest and relax. The first night Renita heard noise around the camper but the park was quite full and so we didn’t really think it was a wildlife visit.
The second evening, as dusk approached Renita went outside, looking for a calling bird, only to be surprised by a sow and piglets. The sow and her litter were joined by a medium sized boar! We could also see that the palms were moving as more feral hogs pushed through the dense undergrowth. The wild hogs seemed unconcerned by our presence, a far cry from the heavily hunted pigs in Texas!
The second day we also drove to Avery Island to tour the Tabasco Factory. The tour has been expanded and includes visits to the barrel warehouse and eight other locations, far more than the old tour which involved a walk through the bottling plant.
The tour started with a history of the family and included a near perfect mastodon tooth found in the salt mine! From there we walked the path to the small greenhouse.
In the green house plants were displayed in all the stages of growth and at the store, you could buy the pepper plant seeds.
Next was the barrel warehouse, one of three huge buildings all filled with barrels full of aging pepper mash. Aging up to three years the smell of the future sauce was intense, to say the least.
Continuing the tour, we walked past bear warning signs and a tall bamboo forest. But no pandas peeked out of the bamboo as the bears are all black bears.
The blending building was next followed by the bottling plant. There the bottles were being filled with a green sauce destined for Germany. The Tabasco sauce is shipped to and enjoyed in most of the worlds countries.
Of course we bought some Tabasco products, including a special Reserve Sauce that is quite hot
! We never did see any black bears but that’s ok as we have reservations in Yellowstone next month. The stay in the beautiful state park provided just what we needed, and the tour of the Tabasco Factory was worth the cost, (5.50 for seniors) Clear skies

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. To bad you could not get into Betty's.