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The Gaines Street Elephant Hunt

Thursday 03/02/2006 9:47 AM

I left the house at 6AM yesterday morning to look for elephants on Gaines Street, over near the universities. No, I swear I wasn't drunk or otherwise under the influence of anything. And, yes, I mean ELEPHANTS, as in largest land mammal, big trunk, lives in Africa, etc.

No, I'm not insane. Other people have seen them. Credible people even. Let me explain.

Sometime in the last year or two, I read an article in our local paper, The Tallahassee Democrat, about several large pachyderms being spotted in the early morning hours on the south side of town. The weekday morning traffic hadn't really started up yet, so the big, gray, floppy-eared, flat-footed ones were able to take their time, sauntering past the coffee house, the sandwich shop and the gas station. No, it wasn't April Fools' Day, and it wasn't some irrational confusion on All Hallow's Eve either.

Figure it out yet?

I'll give you a clue. Technically, the elephants only crossed Gaines Street as they made their way down Railroad Avenue. Towards the Civic Center.

That's right! The circus was in town.

So a couple days ago, when I heard Ringling Bros. has a few shows in town this week, I remembered the article in the newspaper. With the first performance starting this evening, I thought maybe they'd be coming in yesterday (giving the animals a day to rest and all). So early yesterday morning, I headed out, looking for elephants.

If I had more time, I'd love to stretch out the story with all the gory details and step-by-step discoveries. Suffice it to say, there were no elephants on Gaines Street yesterday morning. But I did manage to snap a few foggy pictures of parts of Tallahassee most people don't know about.

Case in point: Today's image. At first glance, it would be easy to believe that the picture was taken near the privacy wall of some highfalutin Southern estate. South Monroe Street, though, is just out of frame with the headlights of the morning traffic starting to strengthen in number.

Oh, and as for when the elephants are walking the streets of Tallahassee... they're not going to this time around. Turns out, according to the administration office at the Civic Center, that since this is not the three ring circus coming to town (just a single ring, I guess), the animals are coming in by truck, not by train (in case you were wondering where they were walking from — it was from the train depot, Silly!).

File Under: Cascades Park; Photography

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