Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trains and Obscene Flora

Okay people, today we're making all your vacation dreams come true and taking you with us on a big trip to Folkston, Georgia. So make sure you've got plenty of water, and your fanny pack stocked with appropriate number of diabetic test strips, bandaids, and neosporin -- don't want to be caught down there unprepared. Here's the itinerary:

First up, the Folkston Funnel. As any diehard trainwatcher knows, the Folkston Funnel is where two sets of train tracks come together and go through the town of Folkston. While that may not sound very impressive to you, it's impressive in this little town because 40 or so trains come through every day. They've built a deck there where you can hang out with the other trainwatcher people and, you know, watch the trains go by. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) there were actually two other people there watching trains when we got there. One of them snapped this picture of us:

We had promised Mace trains and he was already watching for them instead of looking at the camera. I made a cute little slideshow of him watching a train go by, car by car, but I couldn't figure out where the "rendered" file saved to on my computer and I lost patience, so here's just one of the photos that was in the slideshow.

We saw at least four trains while we were there and we also visited the Folkston Train Museum, which is in an old train station there. There's not really much in the museum, but there is this collection of model trains:

Mace kept saying, "Buy dis one! Buy dat one!" And I would say, "Mace, sweetie, those aren't for sale, they're just to look at." So he would try to negotiate (which is what he was doing in that picture), "Jus' one, buy jus' one." We were in the museum for 15 or 20 minutes but he never left that case to look at anything else.

Outside the museum, Pop Pop gave Mace a lesson in train signals and switching devices. Casey wasn't listening -- he was running from wasps -- I don't have a picture of him running around, screaming and flailing his arms, sorry.

The Folkston Funnel can only entertain a 2 3/4 year old and a 7 year old for so long. So we moved on to the Okefenokee Swamp (see itinerary above). We visited the National Wildlife Refuge's visitors center and it had some pretty cool exhibits:

Should you ever stand underneath the water in the Okefenokee Swamp, this is what you would see when you looked up -- of course, if you were standing underneath the water in that swamp, you'd better look up quick so you could get a glimpse of that before this ate you:

My children weren't very impressed by that alligator -- Casey said, "Don't we have a bigger one than that at home?"

After soaking up all that swamp knowledge at the visitor's center, we took a hike into the swamp to the lookout tower.

On the way back to the car, Casey spotted one of the plants he'd seen a picture of at the visitor's center and actually remembered the name of it: Hooded Pitcher. It's not notable because of it's slightly obscene form -- it's notable because it's carnivorous, which is of course why Casey remembered it from the visitor's center.

I hate to leave you with that particular image (very unfortunate camera angle -- I do apologize).

So I'll leave you with this nice panoramic family-friendly shot:

1 comment:

  1. What about shopping at "Whistlin' Dixie?" Railfans can't go to "The Funnel" without going to Dixie's. YaYa and PopPop


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