Monday, Feb 18, 2008
Monday started off with a heavy downpour and we had some heavy showers for most of the drive West to Tallahassee. We are collecting photos of all of the states' capitol buildings and hope to fill in four of our missing slots on this trip. As we approached Tallahassee, the sky cleared and we were able to take photos suitable for "The Sunshine State."
The Florida capitol is difficult to capture on film, though. There is both a traditional looking Historic Capitol Building and a current modern skyscraper behind it. With the historic building blocking the view from one side and the Florida Supreme Court building blocking the other side, I found myself wishing for Ann Althouse's new "fisheye" lens. Lacking that option, we settled for a view of the newer tower dominating the old building.
With that accomplished, we began another of our famous "detours." We had eliminated traveling farther West as an option since we need to get to North Carolina and Virginia on this trip. Looking at the map, we spied the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia/Florida border. We headed up to Thomasville, Georgia so that we could find some Georgia information and take a "scenic route" to the Okefenokee. We soon found Thomasville and began following signs to the Visitor Information Center. Lots of signs and arrows - but no center! Eventually we spotted the Chamber of Commerce. They told us that the Visitor Center used to be there but moved. They were very nice and gave us lots of information in case we decide to move to Thomasville.
Our main concern by this point was actually food. After conferring with the folks at the visitor center we tried to find the Market Place Diner, next to the Farmer's market. With no name on the building and no address visible we had trouble. Finally, thinking that "Early Bird Special" might just mark a restaurant, we found it. That gave us a 4:10 start on our lunch and that was definitely a "late lunch."
We let the Garmin GPS take us along the route toward Fargo, GA, the gateway to Okefenokee. Miss Garmin, as we call her, has been a terrific routing assistant on our past few trips. She is getting old, though, and seems to remember restaurants that no longer exist. That had been the start of our problem in Thomasville. Perhaps a software update is in order! She took us on the back roads East to I-75 and soon had us headed back into Florida to within thirty miles of Lake City, now becoming our second home. As we pulled off the Interstate near Jasper, we decided to stop for the night.
Our motel manager suggested that the food was good at the Country Kitchen just down the road. We headed out for a late dinner. As we pulled into Sheffield's County Kitchen I felt the prospects were good. There were at least five semi's parked underneath the canopy that was labeled "Jesus is Lord." As you enter the restaurant, the chapel is to the right and the food is to the left.
The waitress was very cheerful as she came to take our order. Since we had a late lunch, we were ordering light. Linda asked for a chef's salad. "We're out of lettuce, sorry!" Figuring that pretty much eliminated the salad options, Linda settled for the barbecue sandwich. I ordered the six-ounce sirloin. "We're out of steaks", she laughed. Tex, with a loud voice behind me said, "This'd be a good town to open a restaurant in!" I agreed. I ordered the barbecue too. Looking ahead, I asked what kind of pies they had. "That carrot cake - that's all we have left." she said pointing to the case behind her.
Actually, the barbecue sandwich was pretty good.