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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A tourist day

As planned, I headed out today in quest for some Louisiana pecans.  (I say peh-cons, some people say pee-cans, and there are several other pronunciations.)

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First up was Natchitoches (pronounced knack-eh-tish) Pecans at Little Eva Plantation.  I was hoping for some fresh roasted nuts, but it seems this is not the season.  October until January is the time for those.  Oh well, who knew?  Not me.  I didn’t end up empty handed however.

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The pecan trees are just leafing out, and it looks like there’ll be another crop next fall.  I was able to purchase some honey-roasted pecans along with some dark chocolate coated pecans, and just couldn’t pass up a luscious pecan roll and praline pecan patty.  Hey!  I’ve run out of sponge candy, and nuts are more nutritious than sugar is, right?

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Did you notice all the purple flowers in front of the pecan orchard above?  Well, these flowers are blooming all over the roadsides here in Louisiana.  I know they’re not bluebonnets, but I’m not sure what they are.  At any rate, they’re beautiful.

There are two pecan plantations each located on opposite sides of Hwy 1.  I had hoped to visit both, but the Louisiana Pecan Plantation appeared to be closed up tight.  The lady at Little Eva’s told me that it had been sold last fall to new owners.  They apparently didn’t understand all the work involved in raising pecans, and shut down for good last December.  That’s a shame.

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The next stop on my tourist expedition was the Grand Ecore Visitor Center.  As you can see, it’s an Army Corp of Engineers project along the Red River. 

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The Red River empties into the Mississippi River.  There’s a lot of history in this area about how the Red River impacted early settlement here.  This is a very nice visitor center, and as usual, I learned something new for the day.

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There are four ports, so far, along the Red River from Shreveport until it gets to the mighty Mississippi.  Apparently there is a lot of barge traffic along this river.  That was my learning point for the day.

_MG_0020I’ve never thought much about barges and commerce, but this visual brought it home to me.  Each barge can carry as much as 15 railcars and 58 18-wheelers! _MG_0022

Think of all the savings in fuel, and so much less pollution.  That was amazing to me.  There are lots of other displays here, and I especially enjoyed the interactive presentation about eight specific individuals that have lived and explored here over the last 300 or so years.

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After my time inside, I stepped out the back door to this view on the observation deck of the visitors center.

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        Can’t really get over how brown the rivers are here compared to the sky blue colors I see up north.

I had one more stop on my itinerary today, but I’ll save that for a separate post.  I’ll probably talk about that tomorrow as it seems I may be sitting out some severe storms tomorrow rather than moving on.  I’ll just see how things look in the morning.

I do want to say, though, that my biggest challenge here has been learning to pronounce Natchitoches correctly.  I want to just sound it out, and knack-eh-tish just doesn’t compute! Disappointed smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy 

24 comments:

  1. Yes. there is a Nachitoches...and there is another one in Texas similar..They are very persnickety about the pronunciation on each!! I do love Louisiana for it's great history...and pecans...and plantations...

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  2. The pecan orchard is beautiful! And your purchases sound yummy...especially the pecan roll!
    Wish I could help name the wildflowers.....sorry!

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  3. Excellent post and pictures--my natural history lesson for the day! You would love the native pecan grove at South Llano State Park. In recent reading, I learned a good bit about the use, management and impact we've made on our rivers, and why they are brown with silt and runoff by the time they reach the south.

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  4. Never thought about barges either so thanks for my learning point for today. Maybe, like Emily, you will learn why the rivers are so brown and teach me that too.

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  5. Loved your post and photos. You pronounce pecans, right, but believe me, when in Louisiana, be sure you know how to pronounce the word "praline" correctly !!!
    --Jool in North Texas

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  6. Is the flower some kind of vetch? I will be thinking about you during the storms we are about to have...button down the hatch!!!

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  7. I was hoping you would have bought a Pecan Pie - a real favourite of mine. That river water is definitely muddy looking.

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  8. One of my pet activities while traveling is to pronounce words as the natives do. That pronunciation of "Nachitoches" would be a little difficult for me too. But, attempting to pronounce it like the locals is a compliment to them.
    Aah, how I love pecans - however the word is pronounced. Pecan Pie, Pecan Roll, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Pecan coffee cake, Pecan Turkey Stuffing . . . the list goes on!

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  9. The barge traffic sure brings back memories to me. My dad and I sued to camp on a river that had "big-time" barge traffic. We would stay up half the night watching the barges pass out campsite! Thanks!

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  10. I would never have figured out Knack-eh-tish! I love pecans no matter which way you pronounce it, and I think they have the absolute best flavor of any nut. Lately I've been buying walnuts because they have a little better nutritional value for my needs, but there is no comparison in flavor. Stay safe in tha predicted bad weather - I'm keeping an eye on it and worry about you and others traveling in big rigs.

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  11. Spelling Natchitoches was even more of a challenge for me when I attended Northwestern State College, now Northwestern State University. You should come back right before Christmas when the nuts will be ready and the river drive is wonderful - all decked out in lit Christmas decorations.

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  12. Pretty little wildflower whatever it is. S is in the forecast for us this week. Highs in the 40's lows in the 30's. We might see the 50's after this week..maybe. Get out your winter clothes..and boots...and prepare to shiver. There is still Ice on the lakes. :(

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  13. Pretty sure that's Vicia cracca or cow vetch (also tufted vetch, bird vetch, boreal vetch). Took a while to find it since I was looking for a wildflower, found it under (obnoxious) weed! Pretty weed though!

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  14. I love pecan orchards. I have Paul stop and grab a ton of peacans when we are in that area. So much cheaper than buying them at the store. They freeze great too!

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  15. We got to ride a barge once. It was a smaller one used to carry gravel to a cement plant on the Upper Mississippi. They cleaned it off for a day and hosted a picnic on it for neighbors and other interested people. It was interesting to see the river from their point of view.

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  16. Pecans are my favorite! Earlier this year I drove down to Tune Farm just south of Huntsville AL to buy 20 pounds of organic pecans in the shell... for $2.00 per pound! That translates to a huge feed sack full! I still have about 10 pounds left to get shelled and into the freezer. Really nice young kids running the farm, it's the first farm that was certified organic in the state, and is an incubator farm, helping folks who want to get into farming but don't have the resources available to start up on their own. http://www.localharvest.org/tune-farm-M7237

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  17. I lived in Baton Rouge for ten years and always heard it pronounced knack-a-dish. Just adding my two cents worth. I live in walnut country now, but still love pecans. Enjoy!

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  18. I went to Northwestern State in Natchitoches. I think Natchitoches is considered the oldest town in Louisiana. The 250th celebration was while I was in college. There is a Christmas festival in December and the down town area is decorated. The weekend of the festival there is a boat parade with boats decorated with lights. I have been once since I graduated and it was more fun in college. I don't know how we managed to stay sitting on the steep bank being half "lit". lol There were no bars in Natchitoches, only liquor stores, so there were a lot of levee parties.

    Out close to where Cane River Lake began there were some cabins that were built for the filming of the movie The Horse Soldiers. I'm sure all that is gone now. They were just a movie set. The premier of the movie was in Shreveport when I was in high school. John Wayne and some of the actors rode in the parade. I got to ride my horse in the parade with the riding club I belonged to.

    I don't know if there are campgrounds at all the locks on the Red River but there is one near Colfax. I camped there with a group of ladies and we got a tour of the operation of the locks. We didn't get to see a barge go through. I couldn't get over the nice fishing pier and boat dock. Talk about our tax dollars at work. lol There is a nice club house we used too.

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  19. I'm with you about nuts being so healthy. The sugar wrapping doesn't count on nuts... ;c)

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  20. Hubby and I are from the New Orleans area (suburbs). We built a house about a block from the Mississippi River in Jefferson, LA. I would lay awake at night listening to the barges blow their fog horns. Gosh, I loved that sound! I miss it and the sweet smell of the Mississippi!

    Enjoy your stay!

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  21. I have a friend camping in Louisiana. She has a smart phone and I was trying to keep her apprised of the weather in her area. My heart goes out to those in Arkansas and any caught up in it in Mississippi, today. I couldn’t wait to get out of the south and midwest in the spring. Tornadoes are scary things. Stay safe.

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  22. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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  23. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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