Today we are back on the Interstate . We overslept and needed to get on the road as soon as possible as the weatherman was predicting a very hot day. We would no longer have the luxury of canopied tree-lined parkways to keep us cool. Thursday we were heading for Hardeeville, South Carolina, which is about five miles from the Georgia border.
Driving down Interstate 95 actually is not that bad as long as there are no accidents or highway work being done. There is, however, a great deal of trucks. We have found over a period of time that the truck drivers are the best when it comes to motorcyclist. They will slow down to let us in when changing lanes and can always be counted on when there is trouble ahead on the road.
Randy always keeps his CB on to catch whatever is going on down the road so we can avoid problems. He will put out a call to truck drivers driving on the opposite side of the highway and get the news about slowdowns, etc.
It was an uneventful ride for most of the day stopping only for gas when needed and a quick lunch at McDonald’s. As I mentioned before, we both like their snack size Fruit and Walnut Salad. It is low in calories has wedges of crisp apples, red grapes, low-fat yogurt and candied walnuts. We both find it very light and refreshing and for me at least it does not sit in my stomach like a bowling ball like some other lunches I have had in the past.
We managed to get to Hardeeville around 3:30pm and glad we did. It was 95 degrees out there and the heat index was 105 degrees. It felt really good to get into our cool temporary home for the evening.
When dinnertime rolled around I ran down to the reception desk and asked if there were any good local restaurants we could walk to. The clerk mentioned a few but said that they were at least a half-mile down the road towards town. I said that is not a problem. After being on the bike all day walking would be a pleasure. One he mentioned sounded really good, Gwen & Franny’s Fried Chicken and Bar-B-Q. I mean who could go wrong in the south ordering fried chicken?
Now this restaurant is very small I counted five tables and twenty chairs. The restaurant was nicely painted and clean. I got the feeling that they do most of their business as take-out. While we were eating dinner someone was always answering the phone and people were coming in to pick up orders. There were three people working when we arrived. The gal who took our orders turned out to be the owner’s daughter, Franny. She was also cooking and plating the food. At times another gentleman was taking phone orders.
They were all very friendly and anxious to know how we liked the food and seemed very pleased when we said things like, great and wonderful and lick your fingers good! Randy ordered the barbeque ribs with coleslaw, baked beans and a corn muffin. I ordered the fried chicken, red rice and green beans. It was all wonderful. Randy said about his barbeque, “The meat just falls away from the bone it is that tender”.
When Franny came out to our table to see how we were doing I asked how her mom made the rice and she said, “She just puts some tomato sauce, spices and sausage in it”. It was very good. The chicken had a very light coating that was very crisp and tasty. The beans were cooked with onion and done just so. All in all a good meal and the prices were very reasonable.
I found one review on the web from a Jimmy S. saying, “Been here twice while on work. People here are super friendly. Mac n cheese is killer. Collards and green beans are decent. Fried chicken is average, but totally fine. $7.00 for a thigh/drum, two sides, great cornbread muffin, and rot-your-teeth sweet tea”. Randy had the sweet tea and he too said that it was very sweet indeed.
When I went back to the motel I mentioned to the clerk that I had taken his suggestion to go to Gwen & Franny’s and he said that they were new and seemed to be doing okay. I hope they do very well indeed nice people who cook good food deserve to do well.
No dawdling tonight we were off to bed early as we heard yet again that it was going to be another blistering day on Friday. Up at six and grabbed a quick breakfast in the motel. We were on the road by seven. We only ran into one traffic problem on the road. As I mentioned above truckers on the road let us know that there was an accident ahead and to take a detour on Rt. 15. So off we went with most of the trucks that were ahead of us and hopped back onto Interstate 95 when they did.
Riding through Georgia even on Interstate 95 can be a pretty ride. There are so many rivers and waterways just looking at the water makes me feel cool. We also passed a few paper mills along the way.
Randy was kind enough to stop once for me to get some coffee at a McDonald’s on the way south near St. Augustine, Florida. I had been sitting there for a while and noticed that this particular McDonald’s had an Oriental flavor to it. I had never seen that before. Some of the seating was done in black and red; there were pictures of Oriental characters and wildlife on the walls and even a glass partition that was very Oriental looking. I found this to be very interesting.
Once we got closer to home Randy decided to do the last leg of our journey through the Ocala National Forest. It would be getting hotter as we got closer to home and he was anxious to have some relief from the heat. Once out of the forest we could still get relief as so many of our roads down here are canopied by large trees with lovely Spanish-moss hanging from them.
Did you know that Spanish-moss is neither Spanish nor moss? According to www.sfrc.ufl.edu, “Spanish-moss, also called Florida moss, long moss or graybeard, is not a true moss. It is an epiphytic plant, which is a plant that grows on another plant but does not rely on the host plant for nutrients; epiphytes make their own food”. I did not know that until I moved down here to Florida.
We arrived home at exactly three minutes after twelve. No rest yet though we have to empty the bike, wash the bike and then put her to rest in the garage. The bike was no worse for wear after such a long trip.
In a day or two after I have emptied everything, done all the laundry, put everything away and gotten some much needed rest I will write one more blog about our time on the road and then put this project to bed. Then I will go to my favorite farmers market and grocery to stock up on needed supplies so I can get back into the kitchen.