02/08/19 Palmdale, FL

DAY #111

Today was hang around the trailer and start preparing for leaving next Monday day. The time here has gone by too fast. Fisheating Creek campground has been a really comfortable place to hang out, and there’s still so much to see. I’m not ready to leave yet.

Home away from home.

At the next site, I again will have no water or electricity. I wanted to make sure I had full propane tanks for the refrigerator (when generator isn’t running), and the hot water heater. One of the tanks on the trailer was empty, so I changed it out with a full tank and while rummaging around the truck bed, decided to pull out the generator and check/add oil to it. I think the generators going to get a pretty good workout the next couple of weeks, need to make sure it’s good to go as well.

Later, I went into La Belle, FL to the local Tractor Supply Co. and had the two empty tanks (have two extra) filled. The person working the counter didn’t know how to ring up the propane, and ended up charging me about $15.00 less than I should have paid. I know I should have said something but there were others in line, she was really slow, and hey, it benefited me so I let it go. Now the tanks on the trailer are full as are the two spares, I’m ready for the woods once again.

Forgot about this. Yesterday as I was driving along a canal bordering a sugar cane field, came across this kid.

I was wowed by this citing, and as I continued down the road, I saw another 6-7 gators of various sizes hanging out on the canal banks, now that was cool.

02/07/19 Palmdale, FL

DAY #110

Had planned on getting up at 7:00 am and checking out one of the trails at the campground, but as usual, I woke up, turned off the alarm, and went back to sleep, still too damn lazy to get up and get underway.

It’s OK, I wasn’t bummed, I’ve been getting a little hung up lately on having to be doing something all day, everyday, and if I don’t, I’ve somehow failed in purpose. I need to remember that just being on this journey is purpose enough, and if I take some time off and do nothing, it’s cool.

There was still a fair amount of daylight left so, I decided to hop in the truck and check out the rest of Lake Okeechobee. I drove from the west side of the lake to the north and finally east back to where I had ended up yesterday.

So c’mon, get in, buckle up, roll down your window, and sit back and relax, as we cruise Lake Okeechobee. Its a beautiful day.

One of the many canals used to handle water overflow

The closer to the lake, the more palm trees I was seeing. I like the palms, they make me feel warm, almost tropical.

I do find myself wanting the photos to be of better quality (I think I’m my own worst critic). It’s hard to set the shot up, when you’re steering with one hand, and holding the camera with the other, all the while going down the road 55-65 mph.

Found a spot on the north side of the lake where I could get some photos of Okeechobee.

Normal View.
Artistic View (Uh, OK)
Such a diversity of birds.
Cameo shot.

This is what the dike looks like at the top, as it runs around the lake.

Continued driving around the edge of the lake. I knew I was close, when I could see the dike rising up from the ground. An observation that crossed my mind while rolling down the road, it looks like all the white collar retirees settle near the Gulf & Atlantic, and the blue collar folks end up here near the lake. Lots of modest senior trailer courts, along with lots of single width mobile homes period. The area has not been gentrified, thats for sure.

The omnipresent dike.

Went over a bridge that took you across a large canal, and OMG, it provided such a fantastic view of the lake. I couldn’t do a, get the camera, take a shot, and keep your fingers crossed shot. I turned around, of course it took what seemed like an eternity to find a spot to turn around (or so it seemed), and headed back to the bridge. I pulled over to the shoulder at the highest point, and put the 4 ways on, got out and took a couple of photos. It really helped that the road was pretty quiet. As I was taking my last photos, a semi crossed over and wow, could I feel the bridge vibrating.

Looking away from the lake

Got a couple more shots of the lake after getting off the bridge and onto the dike,

The western and northern part of the lake is in an area of mostly grazing land for cattle. I heard that Florida is ranked #8 in beef production, and based on all the cattle I’ve seen, I believe it. When you get on the eastern and southern side, that changes. You’ll still see some cattle, but now you’re more apt to see sugar cane and sweet corn.

One thing I’ve noticing after spending some time around the lake, is the change in demographics. This is a working class part of the state. It’s heavily agricultural, with the crops grown being very labor intensive, Those labor needs are being met by migrant workers, the vast majority, Hispanic.

Gone is the new, crisp, and clean Florida, of retiree community’s and tourist attractions, and in its place, the dingy, gritty, dusty Florida of migrants, transients, and people living in poverty.

Lots of pictures this day. First time driving around a lake, and a big one at that and never seeing it. Not a big fan of the dike, but I guess I can understand why it exists.

It was an enjoyable day. I got to see a different side of Florida. Yes it was different and maybe at times not as pretty, but I liked it.

it was a good day in the sunshine state.