Angle to Key West: Return to the South (6/4)

Martha Lou's
Lewes, DE – June 4, 2013

New Jersey’s clearly northern, waiting twelve miles from me across Delaware Bay, and Virginia is definitely southern, just ask Robert E. Lee, but Maryland and Delaware blur the line.

Neither of the two joined the Confederacy, so good old boys would call them yankees. But they were both slave states, which puts them back in the South. The Mason-Dixon Line splits the difference like Solomon, sends Delaware north and Maryland south. Or you could lop them off on each end, call them the Mid-Atlantic, and draw the line at Virginia’s edge.

The point is that the definition is flexible and for me, the South ended in a one-room concrete restaurant called Martha Lou’s in Charleston, South Carolina, when I picked my last plate of good, southern-fried chicken clean.

There are only six tables inside so you gotta squeeze in and make friends. Martha Lou and her daughter were there cooking and carrying plates to and from the kitchen. Old friends popped in along with new to say hi and pick up boxes to go. Fried chicken, cornbread, and okra filled plates. I said, ma’m, they said darlin’, and the sweet tea tasted right, full of sugar.

The outside of the building is painted as pink as a sunset with a mural of Martha Lou’s face on the side. She’s smiling big, welcoming all.

“Serving America over 30 years,” the mural reads in green letters.

North, south, east, and west, doesn’t matter, just come hungry.


If you were here from the beginning of this trip, you remember voting (hopefully for me!) in Outside’s Adventure Grant. Thank you again! Your support made this trip!

There are five new finalist and the voting is fierce. There’s three women who want to turn the State of Alaska into one giant playground, two fellows want to paddle to Hudson Bay like voyageurs, a pair wants to hitchhike down Marco Polo’s old stomping grounds, another group wants to ski across Idaho because airplanes are boring, and two guys who are going to try bot to get eaten by lions as they run and bike three thousand miles in Africa.

They’re all great adventures so I am not going to tell you who to vote for, but go watch their videos, get inspired for your own trips, and vote!

Here is the link:

One thought on “Angle to Key West: Return to the South (6/4)

  1. There is no better definition of the South than your line “I said, ma’m, they said darlin’, and the sweet tea tasted right, full of sugar.” And the tea was full of sugar but I bet not nearly as sweet as her inflection of “darlin’.”

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