I Love Fish Camps

I spent a day and a half roaming around Gastonia, N.C., looking for familiar sights without finding many. Maybe being in the town for just under two years didn’t imprint many memories, or maybe the town really HAS changed. I couldn’t even find the two places we lived while we were there.

One thing I wanted to check out, though, was a fish camp. They were huge, barn-like affairs with long tables (and equally long lines of people waiting to get in). Huge quantities of seafood and other delicacies were served family-style and all-you-can-eat.

First fish camp so-so

I was told the one we used to frequent had changed hands several times, but another one was just down the road from it was recommended. I showed up and got a huge quantity of food, but it was nothing to write home about. It tended to the greasy side.

Long Creek Fish Fry

I was still in town at 2 o’clock, so I thought I’d give Long Creek Fish Fry a try for a late lunch. I ordered a shrimp/oyster combo and added a buck to get onion rings instead of another side.

I hadn’t expected to take any photos, but I just had to pull out my Droid smart phone to shoot the Before photo of my plate to send back to Wife Lila.  Sorry for the fuzzy pix.

The sad thing is that I ate so much that one more bite would have caused an unpleasant explosion, and I still had almost half a plate of oysters and shrimp left. I was tempted to stay another night so I could heat the leftovers in a hotel microwave.

Cost: about 20 bucks, including tip.

I Could Skip the Clown

I keep an audiobook in one of my MP3 players just for visits to the dentist’s office. An audio book and some gas makes the quarterly cleaning go by in no time. I started Stephen King’s book IT about three cleanings and a crown ago and and had barely made a dent in the book. He must get paid by the pound.

Anyway, I decided to listen to it on my trip. It got me all the way TO Cape, around Cape and past Murray, Kentucky, where I spotted this guy. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, but you may not want to.)

King’s clown a creature of evil

One of the nightmarish characters in King’s novel is Pennywise, otherwise known as “It,” a prehistoric creature of evil who can change shapes at will.  “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children.

Some folks have commented that they developed a fear of clowns because of a mural of them on the wall of Dr. Herbert’s office, but I escaped childhood relatively unscathed in that category. I’d hate to be a kid in Murray, Kentucky, who read IT, though.

Kentucky Traffic Safety Message

We cheated death once more. pulling into Cape in late afternoon. I tried to shoot a few frames of the Nashville skyline at the split, but decided that I didn’t want the last photo before (or during) the wreck to be of the Nashville skyline.

Kentucky reinforces safety message

Had I seen this memorial to Kentucky traffic fatalities BEFORE I got to Nashville, I might not have tried to shoot the skyline photo from a moving car. I pull into that rest area on almost every trip, but I don’t recall seeing the memorial before.


Northbound TN I-24

The trip back home to Cape has been mostly uneventful. Getting out of Florida was a wet slog, but traffic was light and my Rain-X meant that I rarely had to run my windshield wipers.

I’m not a big Stephen King fan, but I loaded one his books in my MP3 player and have had the miles click off listening to the horrible happenings in Desperation, NV. Maybe they’re clicking off so quickly because the book dampens any desire you have to go on backroads through desolate countryside.

Most of Thursday was spent escaping Georgia. It’s kind of disheartening to have to go through l0ng states like Florida and Georgia. You have a better feeling of making progress when you’re going through skinny states like Tennessee (if you’re going north and south, that is).

Atop Nickajack Lake bridge

Traffic was moving fine until I got to Atlanta at rush hour. Boy, RUSH hour is a misnomer. They should call it Crawl Hour.

I rounded a curve north of Chattanooga and mentally kicked myself for not being ready to shoot a high railroad bridge that crosses the highway.

I decided I’d better take advantage of the few minutes of daylight I had left to capture the foothills of the eastern Continental Divide.

The photo at the top was taken as we were starting to climb the big bridge over Nickajack Lake, about a third of the way between Chattanooga and Monteagle Pass. The second shot was taken just ever the top of the bridge.

Garish fireworks stand

This fireworks store has always fascinated me, but never enough to get off The Big Road to stop, particularly with a Stephen King horror book playing in the background.

I should be pulling into Cape late Friday afterno0n.