We rode in Tropical Storm Claudette!

Ok, that sounds daring and it really wasn't full force tropical storm winds.....but still...what a blast!!!!

Sunday morning we get up and hope to take a bike ride out to St. Marks to try the fare of a BBQ smokehouse restaurant. We've riden down there before but always get seafood at The Riverside restaurant.

Overnight it seems a tropical storm formed. Bam! Just like that, a tropical depression turned in to TS Claudette.
We glare at the weather report and estimate the rains won't head in until early afternoon. Should we revise plans and head north into Georgia, hope we make it back before rain sets in?

It would seem the restaurants would be closing anyway but I decided to call the Smokehouse and verify.

"I'm just checking to see if you'll be open and wondered if you will serve lunch today." I inquired politely.

"Yup. We're open and have our rubber boots ready ...and the storm? It can bring it...c'mon down and eat lunch."

So we did. Grabbing all the rain gear, the liners for the jacket, waterproof pants......we headed into some darkening skies with the wind picking up as we headed for St Marks. Wooohoo...it was a FUN ride! It really was. And the ride home...fantastic! More on that later.

Me and Tristan before heading in to eat .....

Going inside St Marks Smokehouse Oyster bar we saw only one patron (maybe it was the owner, not sure) sitting on a bar stool watching the weather channel. The waitress said, "Just find a spot and I'll follow you."

We were the only customers except for a weather beaten fellow who came in for a take away order. I wanted to get a shot of the weather station on TV since it focused on the storm. Forgot I had the flash on, and also forgot to tell the man I sidled up next to for the snap. When the flash went off he thought it was lightening - hilarious. I apologized.

Lots of good food to choose from: rib plates, BBQ pork sandiches or plates, BBQ chicken, Brunswick stew, and crab cakes.

The food. Oh my......I can't wait to go back there. All the way I was picturing a juicy sloppy BBQ pork sandwich but did I end up ordering that...nnooooooooooo......the crabcake sandwich appealed to me and that's what I got. De-licious.

My plate was a crabcake sandwich with a side of tartar sauce, lettuce and tomato on the bun. For my two sides I choose cucumber salad with slices of onion. This was cold set in a vinegar marinate. Very good. I will definately order the baked beans again. Oh my, they tasted like they were slow cooked and they had slivers of BBQ pork. There was a molasses type base to them, thick and just so good.

We all ended up getting the crab cake sandwiches - Doug had slaw as one of his sides and commented that it was very good. Tristan had slaw and mac n' cheese.

By the time we were halfway through our meal, the water had already started coming in to the restaurant across the street. Our server told us as it gets closer they would pull the booths and tables up and set them atop cinder blocks. Because it wasn't IF the water would come inside, it was WHEN the water would sweep inside. Sure enough, there was a pile of cinder blocks behind our booth.

Here are some shots inside the restaurant. Lots of cool old signs and a huge fish tank.

Just a little more iced tea please.......

About to leave and I got this snap of the horseshoe playing area and you can see the sky is a bit darker. Look low under the sign - most of the sky was getting that dark.

Across the street you can see the boat ramp........water level is usually much futher down past the building.

Uh oh....water is rising and the walkway is under water.

After lunch and few snapshots we gear up and start the ride home. The plan was to skirt the national forest as it's such a pretty ride and very isolated. But the winds started picking up and we went immediately home, especially when the rain started hitting hard. We actually thought we'd miss most of it before we could get home.

But I have to say...it was one of the most enjoyable, fun and exhilarting rides I've been on in awhile. I'm not one for the heat - absolutely hate it - so the cooler temperatures and the blasts of wind rocking the bike were fantastic. I don't have summer gloves so the rain smacked my skin, tattoos of needley rain beating against my hands and wrists. The rumble of the bike vibrating and the churn of the combined roar of the Harley and the wind as we fled the advancing storm. I just can not describe how much fun that was.


Wandering Coyote said...

I just heard about this storm this morning and was like "where did that come from?"

Well, I'm glad you had such an exhilarating time! And the food looks delish. That's dedication: staying open in a tropical storm! Wow.

Pierce said...

I know....we woke up and it was a storm already. Shows how fast these things can take shape.

And it may hve been stupid as opposed to dedication but man...it was really fun. ;-)

Le laquet said...

Blimey oh riley!! Thank goodness it had no more affect/effect on you than that!!

Well, we finally have Internet again, I finally slept some and we are now finally visitor free - but that also means Simon has gone back to the UK. Lots of photos taken by other people are being posted ... I shall point you in the right direction when they're up. For now, there's a couple on FB!

Cathy said...

I used to love riding my motorcycle in the rain.....when it's hot you want to strip at every stop light ;)

Pierce said...

Hiya Jo....I KNOW you had a good time. Poor Simon. I'll check the pics later...when I'm at work the links are broken. :-(

Cathy, what bike did you have? I used to have a Suzuki years and years ago. Now I just ride behind Doug. They sure are fun!

Janel said...

Glad you had fun and got some great food too. Now I'm craving crab cakes...

Anonymous said...

Oh, the crabcake sandwiches look so good! I would love one right now!

My husband had all kinds of delays on his flights on Monday because of the storm.

Pierce said...

Janel, I wish I could make some this evening...but my car will cost $680 for all the repairs! So...no crab until payday ;-(

5 Star - was your hubby in the south, near the Florida panhandle? It's been awful weather here.

St Mark's National Wildlife Refuge

St Mark's National Wildlife Refuge was last weekend's outing. We like walking around and looking at the birds and alligators. We hav...