Avery Island outside New Iberia, LA is best known as the home of the McIllhenys and their Tabasco factory, but a geek like me knows it as a semi-obscure indie rock album from the late 1990's. It isn't an island exactly but rather a round dome of salt pushed up above the swamp. Somehow on this salt dome, Mr. McIllheny was able to create his "Jungle Gardens" and bird sanctuary for us tourists to drive through, safari-style. I'd say my two-day-old street bike is up for some safari!
I saw alligators, which seemed a bit kitschy and touristy, but hey how may times am I going to roll up next to one? Still a bit uneasy to hop off the bike next to one with no one else around.
I took some pretty bike pictures among the amazing oak trees.
It definitely seemed more interesting doing the tour on the bike than in a car. I think I saw more than I would have with the windows and roof and other obstructions in the car. And near the end of the loop the road goes through a grove of rose bushes (trees?) that smelled amazing, causing me to literally stop and smell the roses. But of all that the highlight of the visit was getting off and walking down to the bird sanctuary and the mighty colony of egrets. Amazing stuff. Thanks, Tabasco. Sorry I skipped your museum...