A lake you say??!! - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

February 16, 2022

A lake you say??!!

Moore Haven bike ride #2

For today's ride, Don decided to empty out the bed of the truck so we could drive to a start since we've exhausted any rides we could do right out of the campground. While Highway 27 has a wide shoulder, it's also 4 lanes with lots of traffic, and to get to Moore Haven we would have to ride on it for 10 miles one way. These highways in Florida are adequate for touring, but less than ideal for day rides. 

We got an earlier start today and by 10, were heading to Moore Haven. Don wanted to ride the Lake Okeechobee trail that follows the dike around the lake. Parts of the trail are paved and it looked like there was a one section in Moore Haven. 

After parking near one of the locks, Don got out to walk up to the top of the dike to scope it out since it looked like they were doing construction up there. There was a woman walking by and he stopped to ask her about biking the trail. She told him that the trail was closed here but that if we drove further north on Highway 78, we could access a paved trail section from a small park.

So we got back on the road and headed for this park. 

We found the turnoff, parked and got the bike ready for our ride. The park itself had a paved trail but it only went about 2 miles as it looped around the grounds. Very nice, but not nearly long enough for us!

As we had noticed a paved trail that ran along the highway, we next went to check that out. Although noisy from traffic next to us, it was better than being on the highway. Plus it was also windy again and as we were right next to stands of trees, they helped to block the gusts.

Don suggested we first ride south which actually took us to part of the dike trail which was paved. Up on top of the dike we were totally unprotected from the strong wind. While it was very nice with wide views of the surrounding area, we couldn't see signs of a lake. Just some canals and wetlands. Hmmmm....I wondered where this mysterious lake was?!

This trail lasted for a few miles before we came to a fence at another construction site. Bummer, as it looked like the trail continued further south. Well, there wasn't much we could do about it.

So we turned around and retraced our route back to the park. We could see that the trail continued along the highway and was paved, so Don suggested we go further to see what we could find.

The trail was fine but they were doing road construction and when we crossed a couple of canals, we had to get onto the highway itself. But that wasn't a problem as the traffic had been narrowed to one lane and was stopped at times. 

We continued along, enjoying the ride. There were large osprey nests on many of the tops of the phone poles and even one inside of a boat that was raised up on top of one business's sign. 

When we reached the outskirts of Lakeport, we decided to ride into town and explore further. Boy, this ride was sure turning out to be a piecemeal one! But I was happy to be out as it was sunny today and warm, and actually hot as it was in the 80's. 

There wasn't much to the town but we did find a side road that took us further north and east of the highway. This was interesting as we now rode past lots of small waterfront homes that backed up to the canals. Many had their own boat docks. Fishing is big here.

When this road curved back to Highway 78, we turned around and went back to the truck. One more swing around the park and we were done for the day. 

On our way back home, Don wanted to drive north of Lakeport to a road that took us through a section of the Seminole Indian Reservation and looped around to Highway 27. It was an interesting but long drive, especially when the speed limit was slowed to 40 mph all the way through the reservation - for many miles. Strange!

Along Highway 27, we went past lots of orange trees which was sure different from the sugar cane fields near Moore Haven.

Back at the campground, the trailer was so hot inside that we had to turn on the air conditioners! A first on this trip! 

Dinner cooked on the grill (pork loin with sweet potatoes - yum!) and some Olympics took us to the end of another day in Florida. 

A Florida cactus!
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It was in full bloom.
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Bill ShaneyfeltYummy fruits in a few weeks!
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3 months ago
The lock on the lake that releases water into the Caloosahatchee River in Moore Haven.
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The first part of our ride was on this nice, but short trail in a park north of Moore Haven.
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We finally found the trail that runs along the dike around the lake. It was paved at this point but we came to a construction area where it was closed. You can see the plume of smoke in the distance that was from the burning of a cane field. Every day that we've been here we've seen several of these fires. The plants are burned in order to remove the tops and leaves leaving only the stalks to harvest. Growers insist that the burning also improves the soil, reduces pests and the occurrence of wildfires. Opponents say that it causes air quality issues and want growers to switch to harvesting using machinery to do the same task. Other countries have moved to this method and banned the burning.
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It was nice along the trail but we were fully exposed to the wind.
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We spotted several osprey nesting on top of phone poles.
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And there's junior!
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This sign caught our eye and we wondered just what in the heck was a sour orange? Researching this online, I found that these oranges are also called a bitter orange or Seville orange. They are a hybrid of a mandarin orange and a pomelo or grapefruit. The flesh is extremely sour and bitter, and not usually eaten raw. However, the juice , rind and zest is used in various dishes from marmalade, dressings, marinades and desserts.
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Because of construction, we were forced onto the highway for a bit and pulled up next to this cane truck as we waited for the other lane to clear. We could really smell the burned stalks!
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Today's ride: 25 miles (40 km)
Total: 665 miles (1,070 km)

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