|From Ortona Lock COE Campground in LaBelle, FL …
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Although still having some pain in his back, Charlie was definitely feeling better than yesterday. We sat outside in the sun in our chairs this morning while sipping coffee and enjoying some grapefruit. Charlie even felt like taking a short walk along the water.
The morning was so spectacular we could hardly tear ourselves away long enough to ride out and do a couple things today. But we eventually pulled out of the park around noon and drove into La Belle.
On our way here on Saturday, we were driving on Route 29 when we both spotted a creek filled with birds. We even spotted a couple of Wood Storks along the road. We haven’t been able to get a close up view of Wood Storks yet, so we were intrigued. At the time, I noted that we were 8 miles outside of LaBelle, so today we decided to drive back there.
We drove north on 29 until we reached a short bridge that crosses a creek. We pulled off the highway, parked and got out. Sure enough, this creek filled with lily pads was loaded with several kinds of water birds just having a big party.
We stayed here for about 15 minutes as we had a great time watching and photographing the birds. There were LOTS of wood storks, great egrets, herons, alligators, and some large birds which we think may have been vultures, but we weren’t sure. It was a birder’s dream! What a gorgeous setting. The creek was filled with huge cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss. As we peered over the railings of the bridge, we saw two decent size alligators just below us in the water. Later that night when I downloaded my photos to my laptop, I saw that this creek was full of alligators that we couldn’t even see when we were there.
After leaving there, we continued to drive north on 29 because Charlie thought he had spotted some more wood storks in another area. After a few miles, we spotted this area again and pulled off the road. We found more wood storks, egrets, and a couple ibis. What a great birding day we had!
As we drove back into LaBelle, we decided to have some lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, The Log Cabin BBQ. Still decorated for Christmas, the Log Cabin even had Santa and his sleigh on their roof being pulled by pink pigs. As some of you may recall, we discovered this place last winter and ate here a couple of times. To see more photos, click here to read last year’s blog about the Log Cabin BBQ.
This place is now serving breakfast, so we may have to return to give that a try one day. In general, it appears that the economy has picked up in LaBelle, and there are several new restaurants around, including a Subway and a Little Caesars.
Anyway, I had my favorite dish on the menu, the “Fish and Grits.” They have the best cheese grits here, and I love the fish as well. I always have plenty to bring back home for fish sandwiches another day. Charlie had the BBQ Chicken and Ribs combo. This included a side (he chose the Baked Sweet Potato) and Texas Toast, all for $9.95. My Fish and Grits was only $7.50. Good food for a good value.
Our next stop was the LaBelle post office. We are having our mail forwarded here for the next couple of months. We checked inside and already had a few pieces of mail waiting for us. The best part is that they don’t forward all the junk mail which is especially nice since we don’t have our shredder with us. That’s where most of it ends up anyway.
Before going back home, we checked out a nearby RV park. We need a place to stay for one night when we leave Ortona South on the 15th. Every time we go somewhere else, we are so thrilled to be staying right where we are.
This afternoon the winds picked up as a front is moving in tonight. We may have some rain by morning. But for today, we enjoyed more sunny skies and highs in the low 80s. The breezes were so nice, we never had to turn on the AC all day.