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Keep the Show on the Road!

041708 Hypotenuse Trail Launched...dixie Highway Bridge

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The saga of the Hypotenuse Trial begins!

 

The official Trail Blazer got hit with food poisoning Wednesday night and was sufficiently indisposed that he did not drive to Key West as hoped. No problem. By afternoon yesterday he was 75% better and ready to roll, so he blazed the trail into The Everglades, and then spent the night in the town of Homestead.

 

Then it was to Miami to pick up the convertible. Contrary to the telephone advice I got a couple of weeks ago from the rental agency in Miami, the coach turns into a dragon on the first minute after 14 days. I got the 14 days on a special for $300! The 15th day will be $1600, but only $160 per day thereafter!

 

I anticipated that the fellow in Miami I talked to on the phone wasn’t in the know, and why should I look a gift horse in the mouth? No matter….but now I will have to be serious about the distances each day. I don’t want to spend $1600 or $1700 for a couple of extra days.

 

Today I followed the Tamiami Trail through the north end of the Everglades and through the National Cypress Preserve, then north along state 29 to La Belle, over to state 31 and US 17, then off 17 to pick up some of the old Dixie Highway, and then via US 98 into Lakeland for the night.

 

The only place I rolled wheels of interstate was in Lakeland to get to the motel, and it would have been better to stay off it.

 

I have hardly had time to review the photos, but here are a few that may be of interest.

 

 

ARHomesteadTheater.jpg

 

ARHomesteadRedland.jpg

 

 

The village of Homestead looked more like 1930’s – 40’s Florida than any other place I saw. Here is the old theater, and the old hotel. The hotel is now 3 star lodging.

 

AREverglades1.jpg

 

The Everglades turned out to be more grasslands than mangrove swamps…at least in the areas I saw.

 

AREvergladesRoots.jpg

 

These tree roots looked more like I had imagined the Everglades.

 

AREvergladesPO.jpg

 

This little post office does a land office business mailing stuff for tourists. It is supposed to be the smallest in America and is along US 41 at the northeast end of the Everglades.

 

I followed the old Dixie Highway alignment not far off US 17 between Wauchula and Ft Meade. It is a beautiful drive, and very reminiscent of the 1920’s. There is an original bridge at N 27.70692, W 81.81699, so I stopped and blazed the Hypotenuse Trail on a telephone post on the southern approach to the bridge.

 

ARHTSign.jpg

 

ARDixie1.jpg

 

ARDixie2.jpg

 

Fences to keep the panthers off the roads, fresh oranges being picked and transported, more of the Dixie Highway, and lots more along the Hypotenuse will have to wait until later.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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We're sure glad you showed up. I was starting to fear that a 'gator had grabbed you or homeland security was still sorting through those digital maps on your hard drive. Food poisoning?! A rental contract with a 4 digit penalty clause !? And a kibosh on the Keys?! Well... at least you're having fun. :D

 

Good photos. The Everglades may look like "grasslands", but they're not something you want to tackle with your Lawn-Boy Walk Behind. The Redland Hotel looks cool and so does the bridge. Those who follow are sure to appreciate the marked poles.

 

Congrats on getting this journey underway.

 

 

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Hooray! The first report from the Trail Blazer! Sorry your car turned out to be a financial time bomb, but at least this means you'll keep to your schedule!

 

Seeing the HT sign on that pole cracked me up. The 1920s bridge is great!

 

I'm sorry you got Montezuma's Revenge but glad it didn't last too long. Looking forward to your next report.

 

jim

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Great pictures. Thanks. Great deal on the rental car, even if you do need to watch your progress.

 

I like the picture of the Post Office. It reminds me of one where I used to live in Vermont. The customer area was about 4 feet by 5 feet, with maybe 40 PO boxes. It was attached to someone's house (I assume the Postmaster's.)

 

I had the same impression of the Everglades at first, a lot more grass than I expected. I did one of the airboat rides, and realized that once you get in there, it all looks the same, and it's really easy to lose your bearings. Kind of scary. Just grass and water as far as you can see. (Not to mention the various "critters".)

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First of all, I'm sorry I haven't made any comments about this fantastic trailblazing before. I just found out about it and I have a bunch of catching up to do.

 

I've heard the Everglades described as a river of grass. The vast majority is grassy wetland, the mangroves being limited to slightly higher patches of ground known as "hammocks".

 

There's one piece of road you missed, and it's probably just as well you did:) There's a loop of dirt road heading off the Tamiami Trail into what had the reputation (At least when I was in Florida in the late 60's) as the most lawless place in the state. The road leads into the extreme northeastern corner of Monroe County. This corner is surrounded by Everglades NP (which has federal jurisdiction), Dade, and Collier Counties. There are vast stretches of everglades and open water between this area and the county seat...in Key West:) I have no idea if the place has been cleaned up since then, but I suspect it's still a good place for dope dealers and fugitives to hang out.

 

Where a man can hide and never be found,

And have no fear of the baying hound.

But he'd better keep moving and don't stand still,

If the skeeters don't get him then the gators will.

 

"The Everglades", sung by the Kingston Trio

 

There! I knew if I waited long enough my University of Miami education would come in handy for something besides discussing football:)

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First of all, I'm sorry I haven't made any comments about this fantastic trailblazing before. I just found out about it and I have a bunch of catching up to do.

 

I've heard the Everglades described as a river of grass. The vast majority is grassy wetland, the mangroves being limited to slightly higher patches of ground known as "hammocks".

 

There's one piece of road you missed, and it's probably just as well you did:) There's a loop of dirt road heading off the Tamiami Trail into what had the reputation (At least when I was in Florida in the late 60's) as the most lawless place in the state. The road leads into the extreme northeastern corner of Monroe County. This corner is surrounded by Everglades NP (which has federal jurisdiction), Dade, and Collier Counties. There are vast stretches of everglades and open water between this area and the county seat...in Key West:) I have no idea if the place has been cleaned up since then, but I suspect it's still a good place for dope dealers and fugitives to hang out.

 

Where a man can hide and never be found,

And have no fear of the baying hound.

But he'd better keep moving and don't stand still,

If the skeeters don't get him then the gators will.

 

"The Everglades", sung by the Kingston Trio

 

There! I knew if I waited long enough my University of Miami education would come in handy for something besides discussing football:)

 

I am going to read and enjoy your comments and insights one at a time.

 

First, thanks for the interest! You know a trip was a good one when you enjoy it as you do it, and it grows in pleasure and satisfaction as you reflect on it. This is one of those. Another good sign is that you want to do it again! Your post contributes to that!

 

When I routed the Hypotenuse, I included a dirt road, perhaps the one you described. I got so involved driving and seeing that I missed the turn off the Tamami Trail. But the advantage is I want to go back.

 

I should have remembered the Kingston Trio song!! They were one of my favorite groups in my college years, and I recall those lines well. Thanks for bringing them back!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

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