We left Okeechobee Lake and headed across miles of farmland to the Gulf Coast. We like traveling through smaller towns that gave us a different flavor of Florida.
The smaller highways go through the little towns so you get taste of the areas as you pass. We didn't Pig Out, however.
You can read more about Cyrus Reed Teed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Teed
The nature walk along the Estero River has to be one of my favorite places to walk that I have ever experienced. There were palms, pines and bamboo. It was a lush combination that transported us as we walked. I wanted to capture the walk so I filmed the return walk to our camper with my GoPro. I and still learning Final Cut Pro and haven't figure out how to include it yet.
Fort Myers was one of the first forts built along the Caloosahatchee as a base to fight against the Seminole Indians. It was later abandoned and stood empty until during the Civil War when the Union Army troops occupied it. Ft Myers was established as a town in 1886 and in 1898 Fort Myers first became a nationally known winter resort with the building of the Royal Palm Hotel.
Edison received 1,093 patents and is the fouth most prolific inventor in history. In the museum they also had a old model T that was a gift from Ford to Edison alons with a number of his other inventions. Apparently Ford used to keep his autos in Edison’s garage since it was larger.
Edison planted this rubber tree thinking he would create something similar to rubber, but instead in the process he discovered latex from another tree on the property.
Ft DeSoto County Park, our home for five days, is another wonderful Florida park. The park is a chain of five interconnected islands below St Petersburg. It is both a park and a beach where one an swim, picnic, bike, fish, birdwatch, and boat.
I am greatly impressed with each one of the parks. They all have electricity and water in each site, laundry rooms, showers and most have other things such as canoe or kayak rentals and a store. This park claims to be “Home to America’s #1 Beach”. We had a sight on the water that was pet friendly. The best waterfront sites do not allow pets, but this was still wonderful. Our little beach was secluded and just for our campsite since the bushed kept the neighbors in their sites.
They have a small collection, but it is quite good and includes work by Cezanne, Renoir, Monet, Robert Henri, along with primitive art and a wonderful temporary photography exhibit of old photos of American cities. We both love seeing old photos that capture street scenes with people in action so this was appreciated by us.
The menu was an assortment mostly of fried foods. I must say that they did the southern fried food rather well for a chain. I wanted to check out lots of things (check those off my life list) so we got an assortment and the food sat with us for hours.
We had the fried green tomatoes (quite good) as an appetizer with a tangy tarter sauce and then for the main course we had fried shrimp, fried okra (loved it), fried hush puppies (great), black beans & rice, coleslaw, corn bread (soft and cake like), and over cooked green beans. Since my father grew up in the south we had hush puppies and okra once in a while and I acquired the taste for them. The next time that our tomatoes don't rippen I may be thinking of something new to try with them.
We are moving our campsite a short distance to across the Tampa Bay to Hillsborough State Park. Yesterday we visited Ybor City in Tamp and enjoyed seeing what was once the cigar capital of the world. It is a wonderful fun historical area and the photos will come with next posting.
Health update - Tom is recovering still and at headache stage, but doing much better. He seems to be a week behind me in my slow recovery. Don't know what we caught, but he's going down that same road with the exact same symtoms. One of us has been sick since we arrived in Florida and now we hope to be well by the time we leave... six weeks later. Despite being sick we have had a great time and enjoyed Florida. We've spent a lot of time in camps relaxing and some days we don't leave the campground. We love the RT and it's not too small even when we are ill. We have never wanted to be in a hotel room and this feels like our little home.
We are still hoping for a kayak trip but it's been cold lately from the east coast blizzard that has moved south. People are wearing parkas, hat and gloves and it was 36 degrees at 11pm last night!!