I was recently deployed to the West Mims Fire near Folkston, Georgia. We were all responsible for booking our lodging. So while all my teammates were staying in generic hotels, I decided to take a different tact. I found the Inn at Folkston, and I am so glad I did. The proprietors, Ted and Alease Kelly, could not be more considerate. When I checked in Mrs. Kelly asked what time I would like my breakfast. I told her that on incidents, we work 16 hours a day, 21 days in a row. I said I'd leave early and get back late, and that she'd probably think I was a ghost. Mrs. Kelly insisted that I must have a good breakfast to start my day; finally, we agreed that I'd just grab a sack breakfast to go. Every day I would wonder into the kitchen at o-dark-thirty, to find Mrs. Kelly busy preparing breakfast for her guests. There would be a pot of fresh coffee and a little to-go bag for me. Each day I got something different, a wonderful breakfast casserole made from homemade biscuits with an egg, bacon, and cheese, a small cup of cheese grits, an egg and locally made sausage on top, freshly baked blueberry muffins and apple butter. Each day something different; each day something wonderful. I was in a train themed room. It was spacious and clean. The bed was comfortable, and the shower was hot, with good pressure. There are two things you have to understand about Folkston. First is the water. It smells bad, like the swamp. It's not a reflection on the Inn, it's just how the water is in this little town, and second are the trains. Since Hurricane Katrina, the train routes have been changed so that most all of the cargo coming from, and rolling into Florida is channeled through Georgia. Folkston has as many as 60 trains rumbling through on any given day. Quite a few guests at the Inn come to watch trains. You can hear and feel these mighty steel beasts as they pass through town. They shake the ground and blow their horns like concurring armies charging through. I didn't mind the trains, after a long day, stacked behind a bunch of long days; I would wake, hear the horn, feel the vibration and then drift back to sleep when the train passed. I highly recommend the Inn at Folkston. Ted and Alease Kelly will make you feel like family.
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