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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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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