Oct 6, 2013

October 5-6, 2013: Louisiana: Monroe and Duck Dynasty: Not what it's Quacked up to be....

Flew into Dallas, TX yesterday with the intent of taking a week of vacation to do...well...nothing.  I had the pleasure of sitting by two dudes from Tok, Alaska on the flight.  These guys, Darrel and Scotty, ended up being really cool.  Funny cool.  The kind of people you wish you were in a bar with, sipping (or chugging) the night away because you just KNOW there will be some great stories and a whole lotta laughter.  After ditching the men I jumped in my sporty rental car (Hyundai Elantra) and drove to the Rudy's BBQ that was on my way to Monroe, LA.  Yeah, I admit it, I drove an hour out of my way to Tyler Texas just to get BBQ.  It was worth it.  As I sat in the parking lot in my Elantra (because some things are better in private), I thought, good BBQ is like sex.  The excitement of what could be is almost torture and when you finally get it, it doesn't last nearly long enough (maybe I should stop that train of thought right now before my pervo friends make comments).

I ended up driving a total of almost six hours to my destination, West Monroe, LA.  Why West Monroe?  Well, Duck Dynasty, of course.  I have not been a devoted fan this season, though I do have the episodes waiting on my DVR...but still, this was at least a place to visit.  I ended up getting into town around 11:00 PM and was happy to have booked my hotel in advance, as I met a nice lady out front who was turned away in the pouring rain.  I'm used to rain.  Oregon is rain grand central.  We do rain.  We do rain well.  But, in Oregon the rain doesn't usually keep me up...or come with thunder storms that rattle my bed.  I finally fell asleep around midnight only to be awakened around 1:00 AM by the loudest  storm I've ever heard.  Pounding and shaking weather that you only read about.  It was like someone was dumping a full water truck on my window.  I seriously started wondering if evacuation sirens were going to sound.

This morning I slept in (vacation, remember?) and drove to the Duck Dynasty home front, their duck call warehouse.  Now, keep in mind, I haven't watched the show this season except for maybe one episode...but somewhere along the lines, the TV made the warehouse look like it was in the country...and well...I could go on, but let's just say I saved you a trip.

There are houses next door, a car wash on one corner and a auto parts store on the other, and a large parking lot that I'm guessing they had to put in because of the FLOCK of tourists.  Despite it being closed today (along with everything else that's awesome in this town), There was a steady stream of Duck stalkers...and I drove by twice just to make sure I wasn't completely crazy...which makes me sound crazy.  But, in my defense, my hotel is right up the street.   I met people from Georgia and Texas...and one cowboy whom I think should have been more afraid of ending up in my suitcase than he was.   He was McDucklicious.  

That's me at the compound.  I know my head is too small for my body.  Must have been something I ate.  
I did the whole "Duck Dynasty" day...for a few hours until I became increasingly bored.  I drove to a few eateries the gang had used in the show...Haskel's Donuts (a block from my hotel and an overly sweet 60 cent donut), Danken Trail (where I was planning on eating BBQ but found it closed), Catfish Cabin (which came in second place on my food list but was also closed), Landry Vineyards (the wine episode, also closed), at I attempted to find Excalibur Family Fun but got lost and decided there was no family fun I'd experience there anyway (you know, on account of me being alone and all).

I finally settled for a steakhouse...ordered me a nice steak and some shrimp (cause it seemed like a mandatory thing since I'm in Louisiana) and a margarita.  Um, yeah, no hard liquor served (It's Sunday, you tourist!).  Of all the disappointments I've had in life, being stuck in West Monroe without a margarita is up on the list near the top.

Tomorrow I hit the Duck Store and buy some trinkets for my Alaska pals, and maybe a few of my friends if you all promise to post photos of yourself with beards.  Monroe and West Monroe are pretty run of the mill towns.  I was hoping West Monroe would be more rural and picturistic but it's not.  I found everyone here very nice and approachable and hey, Jack, no one seems to care about the Robertson's other than us tourists.  One chick in Walmart even said she's always asked if she sees them and she never has.  Hmm..maybe they ship them in...cause I sure didn't see anyone with a long beard wearing camo around.  I'm betting those boys don't come to town much.

PS.  So far, Louisiana is a lot like Oregon...but we have better roads.  Much better roads.  It's also green and lush here...but in Oregon we don't have as many things hiding under rocks and in the waters that can kill you.   Yeah, I choose Oregon.

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