Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 51 of our trip to FL and SE

On the Road Again Thursday March 17. A day of oil rigs, cypress lumbering, air races and sugar cane harvesting.

First education session was at the International Petroleum Museum in Morgan City. "Mr. Charlie" was the first transportable offshore drilling rig. It started working in 1954. It worked for 4 decades before being retired. Now it is an educational site, the only place where the general public can walk aboard an authentic offshore drilling rig. It is also a training site for some future rig employees. Virgil, our guide, was a very thorough teacher. He presented so many aspects about the oil industry, life on a rig, history of drilling and the question: how much fuel is there?

Mr. Charlie - offshore drilling rig from 1954


A model of an offshore drilling rig on a barge

A model of new offshore drilling rigs

32 foot sections of pipe

A drill bit

Drill on to which 32 foot sections of pipe are attached.

Next stop in Patterson to the Cypress Lumber Museum. We learned about the history of the cypress lumber industry in LA.

800 year old cypress tree

Two man saw to cut the trees

Cypress cistern

Spanish moss was harvested....not the gray that we usually see. That had to come off, used for mulch. The inner part of the moss was used for cushions, etc.

Cypress silos were built. This is a sample.

In the same building is the Wedell-Williams Museum. Jimmy Wedell and Harry Williams were Louisiana aviation pioneers. They formed an air service in 1928. We watched the very interesting film about the 1932 Air Races in Cleveland and marveled at the airplanes.

Italian car owned by Mr. Williams, one of only 2 cars of this make and model.

Next stop in Jeanerette to learn about the sugar cane industry. We watched the film about harvesting the sugar cane. We have been driving past fields where the canes are sprouting. They are planted in the fall. The growth comes from the nodes in the canes. In the museum we also saw native animals, fish and reptiles. It was interesting to see a tarpoon after hearing so many stories about them.

Sugar cane harvesting equipment

Sugar cane refinery

Sugar cane field

We have been learning so much about the stat of Louisiana!
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