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.

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