Central Florida: A Road Less Traveled

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Frequently having business in  Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale, I  tired of driving I-75  through Alligator Alley and decided to take the “back roads” home to Sarasota.
Sarasota dt
Sarasota Florida
 
 I exited I-75 just west of Fort Lauderdale on US 27 and proceeded north. US 27 is a national highway and begins in Miami and stretches all the way across the nation through Georgia,Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and finally Michigan.
 
I live  on the west coast off Florida and up until this time  had never traveled through the middle of the state,  I didn’t know what to expect. I began to be pleasantly surprised, the landscape quickly changed to farm land. Miles and miles of very sparsely populated farm land awaited me. It reminded me of Texas combined with Indiana, flat, big sky like Texas, with the green vegetation of Indiana.
central Florida
Florida hinterlands
 
I drove approximately 70 miles passing through nothing but sugar cane fields, it seemed like I drove 20 miles through the King Ranch, it was harvest time so many produce laden trucks were on their way to the processing plants loaded with sugar cane.
 
I was getting a little concerned as both my stomach and gas tank were getting empty and there didn’t seem to be a fueling station anywhere, either for my stomach or my car.
 
Approaching South Bay, the first town for miles,the crop of choice changed from sugar cane to citrus with miles and miles of citrus trees again lining the landscape.
 
South Bay sits on the south edge of Lake Okeechobee, it is a quaint, pretty little town, with a lot of emphasis on “little.” I was through it in the blink of an eye, still no gas station or restaurant!
 
The lake can’t be seen from the highway, although there are plenty of places to pull off where the lake could be observed. However my stomach kept calling me so I drove on, I will do the scenic tour next time.
Okechobee
Lake Okeechobee
 
The next town on the agenda happened to be Clewiston, “The sweetest little town in America”, as the sign at the city limits proudly states . Although this is the corporate headquarters of the United States Sugar Cane Corp., it is still a rather small town.
clewiston
Clewiston
 
Luckily for me the first business in town was a gas station and the second was a Sonny’s Bar-B-Que, the home of  barbecue chicken, pork, and beef, top it off with garlic bread and a salad bar and it has the potential for some darn good eatin”. If you are in the mood for good barbecue this is the place for you!
 
Now that my gas tank and stomach were both full, I wished I had stopped and checked out Lake Okeechobee, Oh  well, next time!
 
Traveling north I soon came to my turn off on Hwy 70, as I traveled west the landscape remained pretty much the same, fruit trees,sugar cane, and cattle.
Arcadia station
Arcadia restored train depot
 
Arcadia is the only town of any size in this part of Florida, it does have restaurants and gas stations and even hotels! It  is a typical small town with a population of about 6,000. A typical cow town , it boasts a western wear store,antique shops and a yearly rodeo.
 
Soon I realized I would like to spend more time in central Florida, the Old Florida.
The Nikon D70S
 

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

You can even follow me on your Kindle.

wisdom

There is an extreme shortage of common sense in today’s world,
I often think back to what my parents and grandparents believed and said, at the time I thought they were totally out of their mind and ignored it. I now wish I would have listened and followed their advice more often.
It is in this light I have decided to publish some of my random thoughts based on the views of our ancestors

Relaxing on Siesta Key Poster
Relaxing on Siesta Key Poster by lifejourneysimages
Check out Prints & Posters online at Zazzle.com

Orlando Florida

The Amtrak Station in Orlando Florida. The home of  Walt Disney World and some might say the entertainment capitol of the world. Besides Disney, Orlando features many other attractions such as Sea World, Universal Studios golf, convention centers and restaurants of every size and description.

It’s Florida Mall is one of  the largest single story malls in the U.S. Attracting more than 48 million visitors annually, the region also offers many cultural and art museums.

Located just a short distance from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center gives tourists a peak into the future as well as the history of modern day space travel.


Amtrak Station

Undoubtedly of a Spanish influence, the Amtrak station is located in the heart of Orlando, offering easy access to all who enjoy traveling by train. Curbside food courts offers the traveler a snack before boarding the train to parts unknown.

Two trains daily travel between Miami to the south and New York to the north offering access to Georgia, the Carolina’s,Virginia, and the Washington D.C. area as well as the northeast corridor.

From our nation’s capitol, connecting trains are scheduled daily to transport the traveler across the nation.

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed and applied what he has learned to solving the many issues facing not only the United States, but the world as well.

Common Sense solutions to complex problems.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks, please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com


You can also follow him on your Kindle.


 

Photography Prints

Tampa Florida

Located on Florida’s Sun coast,Tampa has much to offer the occasional visitor or full time resident.


Tampa Florida

Offering a semi-tropical climate, Tampa provides the opportunity to enjoy the out doors year around. Moderate winter temperatures averaging a daily highs in the lower 70’s ,lows in the 50s and snow only very occasional, it is the perfect destination for a winter get-a-away.

Summer is the rainy season, with daily showers and highs in the lower 90s. The rains come almost daily, however, they normally only last an hour or so, the rest of the day is enjoyable as the rain only cools things off.

The area offers professional sports of all sorts, The Tampa Lightning professional hockey team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , and the Tampa Bay Rays round out the professional sports teams, each being highly competitive in their own fields.

The beaches in the area are the best in the nation, with several always ranked among  the top ten beaches in the United States.

What ever your interests , you will find something of value in the Tampa Bay Area.

I post regularly places of interest around the world, follow me on Kindle to stay in touch. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Snow in Florida

Being so far south, snow in Florida is rare, during the Great Blizzard of 1899 is the only time the temperature in the state is known to  have fallen below zero degrees F.

On January 19, 1977 , while the rest of the nation shivered in extreme cold conditions,the most widespread snowfall in Florida occurred. Snow fell over most of the state and as far south as Homestead, which is south of Miami, snow flurries were seen on Miami Beach, the only time in recorded history.

Snow was observed in the Tampa , Sarasota area in December of 1989, and a hard freeze in 2003 brought “ocean effect” snow flurries to the Atlantic coast as far south as Cape Canaveral.

One of the most damaging blizzards occurred in 1993, when blizzard conditions hit in the panhandle and heavy rains and tornadoes beset the rest of the state. The storm was thought to have a similar composition as a  hurricane and even brought storm surges of six feet or more to regions of the Gulf Coast.

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Epcot ,Walt Disney World

The name Epcot derives from the acronym EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), a Utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney (he sometimes used the word “City” instead of “Community” when expanding the acronym).

Walt Disney’s  original version of Epcot would have been a model community, living in rented homes and it would have been a test bed for city planning and organization. transportation would have been on monorails and people movers. Automobile traffic would have been underground, keeping pedestrians safe.

This vision never came about as Walt had to build the Magic Kingdom before he could obtain funding for Epcot.
In consequence, Walt passed away before his dream was realized.

Epcot today is an amusement park that has something for everyone, from futuristic rides to a village of communities representing various countries.

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The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments welcome

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Any trip to Florida warrants a stay at Walt Disney World. The premier entertainment capital of the world.
There are many attractions in central Florida to keep one busy for weeks, the Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios, MGM, Sea World, and many others, however the first and main attraction remains Walt Disney World and its many parks.

The Magic Kingdom, along with Epcot, remains at the top of the Disney parks. The attractions at the Magic Kingdom include, Space Mountain,a haunted house, It’s a Small, Small, World,  a riverboat ride, water rides, your typical amusement park rides, stage shows, parades, Disney characters running amuck, and it is all topped off  by magnificent fireworks display at dusk.

One admission cost covers the charge on all entertainment, although the $60 plus admission charge seems high, when a person considers the price covers 10 or more  hours  entertainment, it makes the cost seem reasonable.

Now you can follow me onKindle.

Get 3 Disney Movies for $1.99 Each, Free Shipping!

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments welcome

Back to Orlando!

Art Prints

Your FLORIDA Superstore.

Thursday emerged a normal bright and sunny day in Florida, a perfect day to make my trek to Orlando utilizing the highways and byways.

I had decided to go through the middle of the state rather than crossing and driving up the Florida Turnpike, (too far).

I left four hours before I was scheduled to be in Orlando allowing for the anticipated delays caused by the closure of I-4. I felt this would be plenty of time as well as allowing me time to eat, as I didn’t want to go 9 hours without a meal, as it turned out the timing was perfect.

My route would be to drive I-75 to hwy 64, travel east on it until reaching US17 and driving north  until I reached interstate 417 which leads into Orlando International airport.

The roads were relatively quiet, hwy 64 was a pleasure to drive, with little traffic, I was able to observe the farms, cattle, and large estate style homes that are popular in this area.

Turning north on US 17, I was driving through areas I had never been before, except for last night when it was dark and visibility was really low! The towns reminded me a lot of towns in the southwest, except for the grass and lack of cactus.

The traffic was light until I reached Lake Alfred and joined up with Hwy 92 , where I started to encounter traffic that was avoiding the accident on I-4. From there to Orlando it would be rather slow, with that part of the journey taking well over an hour.

However after enjoying a quick meal at Wendys in Kissimmee, I was able to make Orlando airport at 5:35, exactly when my flight from London was landing.

Meeting my clients at baggage claim I informed them of the long ride we had ahead of us.
I had been hoping all day that I-4 would be open for my return trip, I enjoyed the trip through the real Florida, but enough is enough.

Just as their baggage rounded the corner’s on the carousel, my cell phone rang, the long hoped for message had arrived, the freeway was open!! It would be a comparatively short two-hour ride home, cheers went up from my passengers as I informed them of the good news.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments welcome

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

baby boomers

Each generation from the beginning of our country has contributed to what our country has become. By the same token, no one is perfect. Consequently, each generation has done and will continue to perform acts that it would have been better if some other course of action was taken.
The baby boomers have contributed much and have been blamed for the decline of America. What is the true story?