The rest of the Louisiana Rally included a tour visiting a German heritage museum and a farm that grows rice and crayfish. The German community was settled in the Rayne area of Louisiana in the early 1800's and remains an active and tight community. They currently have around 125 families with community life centering around their Catholic Church. We had a private tour of the museum. It was interesting to listen to this oral history. Within the museum they have a couple of interesting ways of following the family trees of the residents. I found the photographic method to be very effective. Also displayed in the museum were many family treasures.
Next on the trip was a stop at Kelly's Landing where rice and crayfish are the crops. Now I would have thought from both the name and the crayfish farming that we would end up near the water. I was completely wrong. We traveled deeper into the farm land where we started passing all these fields that were surrounded by what looked like dikes.
Upon arrival we were welcomed by Mr. Kelly and given a brief tour of his large toy collection before we were seated for lunch. Mr. Kelly was also the cook and the entertainment for lunch. He proved to be a very funny storyteller and regaled us with many stories of his life and how he got started in the farming business. It turns out crayfish are often grown in these fields along with the rice crop. The very short version is that they first plant the rice crop , flood the fields and allow the rice to grow, then seed the area with bags of crayfish. When the rice crop is ready, they drain the fields and harvest the crop. Then the field is flooded again and over the next several months the crayfish grow eating the left over rice stalks and are eventually harvested to end up on seafood restaurant menus across the world.
To say that Mr. Kelly is a John Deere fan is a huge understatement. We enjoyed his stories and touring his personal collection for well over an hour.
The rally was the usual collection of eating, talking and having fun. The only negative note was our bean bag team not only lost but made Col Custer look like a winner at the little big horn.
Now Rayne is the Frog capital of the world and they take this title very seriously. The local Lions Club visited the rally with their frog queens to demonstrate the prowess of some of the champion frogs. The pictures are a bit blurry, but in my defense those big guys were moving fast, as they each tried to make the longest jump.
I am one of those people who have never liked putting bumper stickers on my vehicles, no matter how excited I may be about a cause or tourist attraction. I just do no get it. However, we did have one coach at our rally that clearly had no problem with stickers. Since the message seemed determined, I assume he was not just covering up a bad paint job!