• South Bay to St. Lucie South COE

    We were sitting there at South Bay CG trying to figure out where to go next when we scored a four-day stay at St. Lucie South COE CG and then, wonder of wonders, another four-day reservation at Long Point Park at Sebastian Inlet. This is in late January while everyone’s Polar Vortexing and snow and sleet are falling in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. So we’re heading east.

    We headed out on US 27 and SR 80 through the cane fields and soon came to Belle Glade. This isn’t a particularly high-income area of the state and it’s packed with migrant field workers; se habla Espanol. That said, Belle Glade contains the largest and most well-stocked Winn Dixie supermarket that I’ve ever been in.

    Continuing northward on US 441 along the lake with miles and miles of cane fields to the east we eventually came to Pahokee; I mentioned that while you might think Pahokee has had better days the fact is that Pahokee has never had better days. It’s a rugged sad-looking place but I suppose the people who live and work there consider it to be far better than where they came from.

    We continued alongside the lake and more cane fields until heading eastward on SR 76 at Port Mayaca, paralleling the St. Lucie Canal. Quickly the complexion of the land changed; the muck farms around the lake gave way to pine and oak uplands, sod farms and ranches.

    Suddenly we encountered a convenience store, a huge self-storage facility, a few houses and a mile or two later we were at the turnoff for St. Lucie Lock; the Florida Turnpick was only one-third mile away, I-95 was only two-thirds mile away and civilization was upon us.

    Although these are two-lane roads past Belle Glade there was no real traffic to speak of. Since there’s not much in the way of shoulders and it would be mighty dark I probably wouldn’t want to do it after dark but the roads are fine in the daytime. Note that January, February and March are times of very dense morning fog in central and south Florida; bazillion-car pileups on the interstates are legendary.

  • Polk City to Ochopee

    We boogied on south from Polk City on the Polk Parkway. It’s a toll road and there was no traffic at all. It’s amazing to think that someone would go through incredible traffic to save $1.25. Idiots and good for them; leave the road for me. We got off toward Bartow and had a couple of stops, the grocery store and THE LIQUOR STORE. Notice the level of importance.

    Out of Bartow, fortified by Burger King, the grocery store and THE LIQUOR STORE!

    We got to Zolfo Springs where we were tentatively staying the night at Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park appeared ok for  a night or two but since it was only 2 in the aftermoon we really needed to push on.

    So we go down US 98..and down US 98..and keep going. Eventually we get to SR 29 where we can turn right..and go..and go..

    It’s amazing  how long these roads in south Florida are. On the map it’s just a little ways while in fact it’s endless..endless..

    Eventually, endlessly, we arrive at Tamiami Trail and turned east, passing the Ochopee post office and arriving at the Skunk Ape place. And that’s another story.

  • Catching up

    We’ve had a different week.

    On our last couple of days at Lake Louisa we came down with bad colds. Floridiots return to sunny Florida and catch colds…

    But it came time to move on; we had an appointment with the RV doctor. We pissed and moaned and groused our way down US 27 to I-4 whereupon I had to accelerate to WARP SPEED. Went ok though; the beast is steady as a rock. We eventually reached our destination, Creative Coach in Polk City.

    When we saw the motorhomes they had parked all over the place I was surprised they let us in. These were half-mil plus units and we’re the Clampetts. But they got us settled in Camp Parking Lot where we could plug in.  ACHOOO

    We’d initially gone there to get a dash cover made because the saber-tooth tigers sink their talons into the vinyl dash but they couldn’t make the complex shape.  Then we considered the front windows which won’t open and close; the mechanism is old Ford, like as in Edsel, so us and the tech decided to ditch that idea. One more thing. Dash air.

    Dash air in an RV is similar to that in a car but the working end is 36 feet away from the blowing end.  ACHOO  Did I mention we had miserable colds. Dash air is essential in a class A motorhome because all that glass up front creates a hothouse, steaming the driver and copilot. Ours had never worked.

    So get this. Monday night gave part of the country record-breaking cold and Tuesday night was almost as bad, and we’re getting the air-conditioner fixed. Figures.

    On the third day at Camp Parking Lot the dash air was working great and they cut us loose.  The guys at Creative Coach do spectecular work especially paint; highly recommended.

    We decided that the best plan of attack was to trundle down the road a few miles to the other side of Kermit Weeks’ Fantasy of Flight and settle in at LeLynn RV Resort for a few days to get rid ACHOOO of these colds and relax a little.