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The Last of the Louisiana Road Trip

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On Saturday, Amanda took me to see more of Monroe and West Monroe (also known as ‘her hometown’ and ‘the town those duck guys are from’, respectively).

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Monroe has a RiverMarket every Saturday; Amanda’s dad was there with his friend to show and sell the wood bowls that they’ve made.

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The work is incredible, and it’s fascinating to hear how they transform these bowls from blocks of wood. I’m told that some ‘turners’ incorporate the bark into their designs, depending on the time of year that the wood was harvested. He shares how hard it is to sell handcrafted items in a smaller communities where such art may not be as valued. I learn what spalting means.

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I bring a bowl home myself, a gift from the artisan. Note that curve across the top?

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That’s because it was turned along the natural curve OF THE TREE. The rim of the bowl is where the bark once sat, and the tree’s rings give the bowl a uniquely rippled design.

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There are other things to see at the RiverMarket, too.

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Including, but not limited to, Spider-Man.

Including, but not limited to, Spider-Man.

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We spent some time talking to one of the owners/creative minds behind Pelican State clothing.

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And we wandered around some more before heading back to guys the wood-turning booth, where Marion treated us with a walk up the riverbank and a brief overview of Monroe history.

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It was a wonderful moment in the day, and I was sad to have to leave it.

 

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Next we headed over to downtown West Monroe to do a little shopping n’ sight-seeing.

 

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Including Amanda’s favorite shop, Mojo.

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And then, lunch…

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…on the bayou.

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Oh, and Amanda’s mom? She’s creative too. I left their house with a hand-made bowl cozy, just in time for soup season.

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We departed Louisiana early Sunday morning.

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A quick stop once more in Ruston, and then on down through Shreveport and across the great expanse that is East Texas…

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It’s good to be home.