Florida Road Trip ’09

It’s two days until take off. I still haven’t decided on a direction. Rooster and I have done this many times. I am of the opinion that it is best to live your life, in the flow. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is possible. The last time we did a “drive about”, in the United States, we were in a similar situation. We had time on our hands.

I kept feeling the need to get out; out of the house and into a tent. I felt the need for a ROAD TRIP.

We bought a tent and a few other accessories and took off. We knew we wanted to start out in Acadia, Florida. Rooster had been there as a teenager and had fond memories of the place. I had met someone from Amelia, who was living down there now, in what she called a CANDOMINUM. It sounded interesting, so I was looking forward to it.

We took off. When we got there, it was not what we had envisioned. It had a creepy vibe. It felt to me, like old stories I’ve heard of Florida, where you wouldn’t want to get caught off by yourself. You might not be seen again. We were walking around the town, which we were told had thirty-two churches. Unbelievable; no people around, but thirty-two churches.

We left. We felt like we did not belong there.

I will say it was like going back in time, as far as country roads and huge oaks. But the river looked crowded with people. There were parks scattered about with RV’s, the candaminiums that my friend was talking about. And there was golf course or two. That’s all I know about Acadia, and all I ever want to know about Acadia. We left out of there, driving a little too fast, ready to put some distance behind us.

We went straight to the West Coast of Florida. Here are some pics.

We stayed in a camp ground called Turtle Pass. It is an awesome spot. You are in nature under the pines, but surrounded by civilization. My neighbor was in a hundred thousand dollar camper, and he was a bit put out that we just drove up and got a spot. He had to make a reservation six months in advance. Oh well, that’s how the good the universe works! We wandered on the beach. Rooster fished and did some diving. He salvaged those rod and reels from under a boat ramp. He found a case of exotic beer, a motor prop and a cb radio. I bet there are tons more stuff there today.

After a few days we took off to Alligator Alley. I had always wanted to drive that road.

I would say the road is named correctly. Snakes and gators EVERYWHERE!

This is Clyde Butcher‘s Gallery, which is on Alligator Alley. Back in the day, he traipsed in the swamps with a Hasslebad camera and captured the beauty of the swamp. I don’t know how he did it. The thought of him being waist deep in the water with the reptiles is hard to fathom. Clyde was a real photographer.

We found a State Park with an opening and we took it to get off of the road. Rooster fished and caught a Pompano, which created an argument with a man and his two sons over the validity of the fish. They claimed it was a Jack. Rooster claimed the man was a Jack Ass. A pompano has one fin and a jack has 2 fins.

We met these seasoned vacationers. They had a super travel camper and this motorcycle. They were a lot of fun to talk to.

As were these young people who were our neighbors.

We met because they were listening to Johnny Cash‘s last music, which I love and we needed tech assistance, with my I pod.

We left there and headed to Flamingo. The most southern point in the Everglades. It was remote, and full of crocodiles and pythons, birds and mosquitos. From what I was told, it has been severely altered by Hurricane Andrew. Many of the trees were bare, but it’s majestic just the same.

We rented this boat and headed out to explore the 1000 Islands that Carl Hiaasen often refers to in his novels about Florida. I love his books. I wish I could write like that, but it seems, I will have to settle for being like one of the characters in his stories. When I first heard of Carl Hiaasen, my friend told me, “Cheri, you have to read this. These people are like people we know.” And they were.I’ve been hooked on his writing ever since. Being from Florida, I know how weird it really is.

We met Lou, and Rooster hung out with him. They talked about the psyche and getting free. That me left with his wife, who I can’t remember her name. But she had a British accent and told me what seemed like her entire life’s history. hhmmmmm

We also met a poacher who was a rather interesting man. Rooster got some fishing tips from him. I have no picture of him, being that he was a poacher.

Then we beat a path to Isle of Marada~the purple island. I love the Keys. It use to be one my favorite destinations.

We met Carolyn and had breakfast, in a local hang out on the morning of our departure. She was a cool lady.

Then we headed home. We made ourselves, take our time, and not be like barn crazy horses. We stopped for the night in Stuart, Florida. Now that is a beautiful Southern town. It has everything. The ocean, marinas, golf courses, pastures, sounds, theatre, you name it, it’s there. 

I was glad that we were in the Mercedes, on this trip. At one point we found ourselves on a road with mansions on one side and a golf course on the other. A police officer was riding along putting something in each mailbox that he came to. That was a little odd. But if we had been in our previous vehicle, a rusted Nissan pick up, we would have been odd-er. The officer waved and we got good directions out of the decadent neighborhood. That wrong turn was a treat. 

And that summarizes my road trip of sunny Florida.

It’s a simple account from a simple traveller. So, I’m simply going to sign out, from the parking lot of Staples Supplies.

3 thoughts on “Florida Road Trip ’09”

  1. P.s. i always liked that picture of you in the straw hat camping, i find the fact that you are camping and your camp vehicle is a Mercedes to be what makes you one of the most eccentric people I know. Good Work!


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