We left South Bay this morning and saw more fires burning in the cane fields. We headed north along the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee up to the city of Okeechobee. You really can’t see the lake from the road because it’s surrounded by a dike that about 40 or 50 feet tall. I stopped for a while at the canals north of Pahokee, FL where there is a lock and dam to allow boats going to or coming from the Atlantic Ocean to enter and leave the lake. The lake looks like the ocean as at this location, you can’t see the other side.
At Okeechobee we started to head north and west along US 98 and US 27. Central Florida is surprising because of all the open space. I’ve spent most of my time over along the east coast and it’s pretty crowded and built-up. The route that we’re taking is through cattle and orange country. Until you get up to the I4 corridor between Orlando and Tampa. One thing is clear is that Florida is still hurting. There were lots of empty houses and abandoned housing developments partly completed or just started along with empty shopping center and empty stores. It appears that the housing recession is still alive in much of the state. One of the signs was what looked like a construction equipment sales or rental business right next to I4. It looks like a sea of Caterpillar yellow surrounded by a forest of construction cranes. If there was any construction going on this equipment wouldn’t be sitting idle.
We arrived at Camp Walmart this afternoon just past Inverness, FL. We’ll be heading north in the morning toward Tallahassee. I’m going to try to stop at a gas station museum in Quincy, FL. I’ll let you know if it’s worth it.