Thursday, November 7, 2013

Road Trip Continued: Trainspotting in Folkston

Yes, British readers, that's Folkston without the "e" and Folkston, Georgia, no less. (And yes, there's a Dover nearby too but, so far as I could tell, no Calais.) Please, everyone, visit this place if you can. Just before the Florida state line, it was one of the unexpected delights of our trip. We stopped to look for somewhere to get a halfway decent coffee. "I know!" said sister-in-law, "I'll ask in that gift shop". The next minute, there she was, beckoning frantically for me to join her. The gift shop, name of Whistlin' Dixie's also sold the "Best Coffee in Town", in proper mugs, none of your styrofoam and Dixie herself greeted us like her long-lost cousins. She suggested a bit of lunch and recommended the home made "Southern Georgia Grits Soup". This sounded a little eccentric but it proved to be just heavenly. Never before have grits (which I always thought of as the stuff Oliver Twist asked for more of in the workhouse), sausage and tomato combined together in such sweet harmony.  
  And the gift shop itself was full of train memorabilia. Folkston, it turns out, is, by American standards, a trainspotters' paradise, as several trains a day miraculously pass through the town. They are freight trains of course but for train-starved Americans, they are gold dust. Here's the restored old station 

The level crossing ("grade" crossing to Americans) barriers coming down.

And here comes a train!

Carrying goodness knows what. American "Railroad Crossing" signs are quaint.

As was little Folkston itself.

You can even stay in a renovated hut by the track so you can train-spot to your heart's content all night.
  Plus Folkston had some very friendly people. I came out of the Post Office to find a lady engaging sister-in-law in conversation. Sister-in-law had been sitting in the car and the lady had knocked on the window, "Hi! I saw you looking at a map. Do you need any help?" Turned out she'd gone to school with Dixie.
  People don't know what they're missing by not taking the back roads.

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