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Coming Home

Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 400, 32mm, +1 EV
So I traveled back home today. The morning in Tallahassee started off ominously enough, with a steady rain beating down. Everybody slept in late, including the Labs, who didn't want to go out and get their pads wet. You'd think that bred-to-the-water dogs like my two Labs would want to go out and frolic in the rain. Not those two characters.

We didn't get rolling until around 9:30am. I called number 2 daughter to see if she wanted one last free breakfast before I headed back to Orlando. She's a college student eating mac-and-cheese equivalents most of the time, so of course she said 'yes'. We hooked up at a local Village Inn, had a large and delicious breakfast, said our goodbyes, then headed south out of Tallahassee on Apalachee Parkway until it officially morphed back into Alt 27.

Somewhere south of Perry FL, barely north of Athena on Alt 27, lies the burned out remains of a motel. I have no idea how long it's been there, but I saw it going north on Saturday and wanted to stop for a few moments on the way back. While the rain had let up, it was overcast, wet and cold, just the right kind of atmosphere for poking around a burned out motel.

Motel Checkin
"Motel Checkin"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
1/640s, f/5.6, ISO 400, 21mm
At the entry to the property stand the remains of what I assume would be the check-in, and possible a little restaurant or cafe. The roof is completely gone, with little more than the slab and walls remaining. Looking around I didn't see any fire damage, so I can only assume that the roof was removed and then hauled away.

Room 15
"Room 15"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400, 12mm
The motel's guest rooms were in two long buildings behind the checkin, a common enough design theme. Most of them were open to the weather, such as room 15, which has a wayward Scotty's shopping cart sitting in the front part of the room. All of the rooms looked like someone had tried to clean up and perform some organization.

Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
1/15s, f/5.6, ISO 400, 12mm
As you can see in this room, some effort was made by someone to gather up what was considered salvageable, while simultaneously using the room to store building and repair materials. Looking around, I got the impression that someone was attempting to fix the place up before some sort of disaster struck.

Room 14
"Room 14"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, 12mm
And here's strong evidence that it was a fire in one of the units. The roof is warped and burned, and the main windows boarded up. The interiors were blackened towards the ceiling and trash lies scattered across the room's interiors.

After about ten minutes, I climbed back in the Prius and headed further south. I was moody enough before I got there, and after ten minutes I decided I'd seen all I'd needed to see. As I continued along Alt 27 I saw other closed businesses that also seemed to have suffered fire damage. When I hit Fanning Springs, I turned due east onto 26 and drove all the way to Gainesville and civilization. I finished my road trip by driving the rest of the way down I-75 to the turnpike and then home.

His Majesty
"His Majesty"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
1/50s, f/4, ISO 400, 12mm
It's a good thing I had the Labs along; they won't put up with moody and maudlin and depressed. They want their people normal, which means paying attention to them and their needs, and being of a cheerful, Lab-like disposition. And I really can't find fault with their world-view.


  1. Abandoned dwellings are hauntingly beautiful. The absence of civilization where your brain realizes there should be people is a hard thing to come to terms with.

    Keep up the good work. I always look forward to your posts.


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