Friday, March 26, 2010

2010-06 Orlando to Pahokee to Marathon Florida


Orlando to Marathon Fl

I headed out from my favorite campsite in Moss Park and took a new route heading to the Florida Keys.  Going south on 15A through Narcoossee and St Cloud to Holopaw and then on down south on old 441 to Lake Okeechobee.

I love driving on country back roads.  441 from Holopaw south is one of those roads.  Through cattle country.  Pastures mixed in between pine trees, old oak and sabal palms dotting the landscape.  60 mph of scenic two lane driving, no towns, few gas stations and little traffic.  My kind of driving.

I stopped in a small town called Pahokee on the shores of Lake Okeechobee.  Now keep in mind, no one can actually see the lake unless you climb up over the dike surrounding the Lake.

I stayed at a KOA (formerly the Pahokee city park).  It was the most expensive I’ve paid in years.  $42 a night.  Though they do have good monthly rates.  The campground is over the dike and rests on a narrow spit of land along the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee.  Great views of the lake and sunset, but I can imagine in the wintertime, the cool breezed coming across the lake must be pretty biting.

Oh and their football team in Pahokee is called the Muck City Football team.  As this is a thick rich muck farming area.  The sugar cane was just being planted, along with tomato plants, avocado,  melons, and even bananas.  Vast corporate farms that reached for miles all the way to the horizon.  Quite a site to see.

The next day I drove the rest of the way to Marathon Fla.  Took about 5 hours of driving as I drove all secondary roads this time around.  


Well I made it.  What a feeling being in the keys again.  I’ve been down here so many times before and I just never seem to tire of it.  It’s almost like there’s something in the air, the atmosphere, that lifts my spirits.  The aqua, blue/greens of the water, so visible as I drive over each bridge spanning the islands.  The tropical palms swaying in the breeze above the mangroves that surround each island like a skirt.

Boating with Mary Lu and Randy, dining out at outdoor tiki huts.  All over looking the blue green waters that often appear lit from the inside out.  Visiting with friends Ben and Walt on Big Pine Key.  At dinner one evening Ben pointed out a most wonderful full moon.  As we all looked behind us, we noticed there were two full moons!  What’s in the water down here or should I say libations.  Come to find out they were globe lights over at the resort next door.  To us it was still a great full moon(s).

I’ve been trying to capture some of the essence of the keys in my photo’s and hope I’ve wet your appetite for a visit to the keys.

In Marathon, I discovered Daffy Doug’s Discount store.  Well actually I didn’t discover it so much as saw the huge sign saying Daffy Doug’s on it.  Of course I had to go in the store which had the usual dollar items and lots more.  Had a blast spending a whole $5.00.  What treasures.  I may have to go back for more.

My neighbors at the Marathon Coast Guard are quite the characters.  On one side, I have a couple that are millionaires.  It was important that they let me know that and about their houses on Nantucket and Costa Rica as well as their plane.  Spent a lot of time discussing his Mercedes and not wanting to get the paint ruined by seagull poop.  Life if rough.

On the opposite side of me is a retired chief and his wife.  In an older Bounder MH and bright yellow jeep.  I was telling him how much I love life and the keys being so special to me.  And how we have to live each day to the fullest.  He confided that he was told over 11 years ago that he had only about 5 years to live.  Lung cancer.  But he’s beaten the odds so far and he and his wife are living life to the fullest.  Before he got down here his Dr. called and told him the spots on his lung have not progressed… so maybe he’ll have another 5 years.  Good people.

So while being surrounded by the Atlantic ocean on one side, the Gulf of Mexico on the other, ribbons of concrete connecting each island, palm trees swaying in the breeze, tiki huts, sunsets, life is good and I can’t wipe the smile off my face.

Till my next report, Live Life….

and don't forget, lots of pictures on my Picasa web site.  

1 comment:

sterpebird said...

Oh how beautiful the scenes of the Florida Keys, a very special place to once againn feel part of home, your story of this part of your journy is heart felt and brings me back reminders of days gone past,and the glory of it all remains.
Thank you for sharing it with me, see you soon