I have arrived in warm weather! Enjoyed an authentic Mexican dinner with pals Michelle and Duane who arrived in from Stuart last night. Clewiston, FL is on the south-east shore of Lake Okeechobee and the home of the US Sugar Corporation, according to Wikipedia. Now the purveyor of pollution into the lake and when the Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake, the beaches of east FL are closed due to toxic algae
Florida politicians have been bought and paid for, and seem unwilling to stop sugar subsidies and the pollution caused by sugar agribusiness. When I was in Stuart the summer of 2016, Stuart was voted the best coastal community in FL, and they closed the beaches that same week because of algae. Sugar apparently trumps tourism.
In Clewiston, there are no chain grocery stores, other than Wal-Mart. (No matter how desperate – I won’t shop Wal-Mart.) The closest movie theater is 30 miles away. Clewiston, is a very sad wide spot in the road. Once sugar cane was harvested here by slaves, later Haitians, and now Latinos. The Roland Martin Marina is a stopping place for Bass fisherman, duck hunters and boaters taking the inter-land waterway from the east coast of FL to the Gulf of Mexico, avoiding miles of travel around the tip of Florida. AKA, my pals Duane and Michelle.
My delayed travel caused me to stay in campsites for one night, and drive more miles each day than I prefer. But I made my rendezvous with Michelle and Duane, and we will travel for the holidays. They are on their 50′ boat and I am in my 20′ Airstream. In FL, campgrounds and marinas are often joined.
I spent one night at Wekiwa Springs Campground as an over-night stop in North Orlando. Surrounded by multi-million dollar homes, Wekiwa Springs is a wilderness area, beautiful and well maintained campground. I was told to be careful of FL Brown Bears.
Now that I am here in Florida, and looking forward to a slower pace, I hope to stay at least 5 days in any one spot and explore local beaches, golf courses, etc.
I spent my first day in Clewiston, changing out my winter to summer clothes. No more blankets on the bed, no need for the heater at night – it’s shorts and flip-flops from now on. I Love WARM weather, especially in December and January! 28 years of Alaskan winters cured me of cold weather and lily-white skin. In the morning I enjoy listening to WAMU my Washington, DC public radio station, to hear the weather forecast each morning, before I put on my shorts to go for a walk with Maggie.
Some minor issues with Scout II. The bottom of a kitchen cabinet fell out, giving me an opportunity to visit Clewiston’s local hardware stores. And, you know how I love hardware stores! Thankfully, there are both an ACE and True Value, strangely next door to each other on main street. The CVS and Walgreen are a block away.
Tomorrow, I will drive an hour east to Ft Myers, again meeting Michelle and Duane for holidays on the Gulf of Mexico.
Thanks for staying with me, and more to come.