A rest stop on the way away from Hurricane Irma
LAKE CITY -- It looked like the parking lot after a football game.
Cars parked anywhere they could fit, sitting on the grass and nearly blocking the paths in and out. Bits of plastic and paper were scattered all over. Portable toilets were brought in as backup.
The scene had nothing to do with football, of course. There is no football in the state this weekend.
Florida, Florida State and UCF canceled home games. USF and Miami canceled theirs on the road. All were originally scheduled for today. None will be played. There are more important things - like what was going on at the northbound Interstate 75 rest stop between Gainesville and the road to Tallahassee.
At least a hundred vehicles - probably more - parked for a few minutes, or longer. A man and woman napping in the front seat by the entrance. Big dogs and small dogs on leashes to stretch their legs. Children running around or snacking before getting back in the car to head north, away from the path of Hurricane Irma.
A man hosed down the portable toilets, anchored down by cinder blocks. Considering the lines to the restroom, they were a welcome sight.
Eventually there will be happier scenes like this again, with cornhole and music and burgers on the grill. But not today. On a fall Saturday between The Swamp and Doak, there are no kickoffs in sight.