Monday, March 26, 2012

The Jewel of Florida

Caloosahatchee River, Florida
26 45.55 N 081 27.56 W

We haven't been *everyplace* on Florida's waterways and rivers yet. For example, much of the Saint John's River we have yet to see. However, among the things we *have* seen, Libby and I agree that this Caloosahatchee River between Fort Myers and Lake Okechobee is the best Florida has to offer.

Florida's coasts are populated by northerners and retirees. There are too many people, too much money, far too many cars, and too little culture. Here, we are in the interior of Florida. It is predominantly agricultural. Lemon trees line the river banks on both sides. The culture here is closer to the traditional Florida Cracker. Even the waterfront homes we see seem to be from another era in the 1950s or older.

The natural scenery and the wildlife along this river are wonderful. My best comparison is Otter Creek in Vermont. Long time readers of this blow know how Otter Creek sends us into wild excursions of euphoria.

We're coming soon to Labelle. On our first visit there, we found the town to be charming a prosperous. It was like a transplanted Mexican city, filled with Mexican farm workers. On our second visit, it was depressed, because the 2008 recession had wiped out the jobs for those workers. We hope that this visit will find Labelle restored. At the very least, I hope to have dinner at Skeet & Sara's Log Cabin BBQ. Years ago we had the best BBQ meat we ever tasted at that place. I still fantasize about that BBQ meal I ate there years ago. I blogged about it here. I'm not online right now so I can't look up the link for you.

By the way, we want to give bad reviews to Fort Myers aa an anchorage. We took a mooring there from the city marina so that we could have shower and WIFI privileges. But the weather turned nasty and the river became unbelievably rough. I can't remember a less comfortable night and day spend on the boat before. We almost needed seasickness remedies. My advice, continue up the Caloosahacthee past the Franklin Lock, and stay at the Franklin campground. That place is well sheltered and tranquil.

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