-E.B. White

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CROSSING THE OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY TO STUART - leaving from Fort Myers is about a 135 mile trip and should take us a couple of days.  I am including a map of the route because it's hard to believe, but, some people have no clue where the Okeechobee Waterway is  - Gail this is for you:

The first lock traveling east is the W.P. Franklin Lock - the lockmasters here are helpful and very talkative. 

This lock has about a two foot lift

The waterway which opened in 1937 offers a chance to see rural florida, with small towns much as they were in the early days.  Along this section ranches and big commercial farms alternate with moss-hung wilderness.  The Caloosahatchee River makes up 77 miles or so of the waterway and is still considered to be the most scenic part of the waterway.   

Lots of orange groves

Moss covered trees

"I could live here"

and lots of cattle relaxing on the river banks - hey wait a minute?

The second lock is Ortona Lock just past the town of LaBelle which dates back to the 1800's and is famous for it's Swamp Cabbage Festival.  The lock here raises you about 8 feet.

Just a few miles past the Ortona Lock we decided to tuck into River Forest Yachting Center - we were in for another blow and this is where will be leaving our boat this summer in storage and thought it would be a good chance to get aquanited with the staff.  Turns out they have 30 acres most of it fenced in for Izzy to run, playball and just get wild. 

For you non-boaty people - the bottom sign means they can pump out your potty.

This is the storage facility Broulee will be in for hurricane season 2010.  "They" claim it is able to sustain a category 5 hurricane - we hope it will not be tested. Check it out at http://www.riverforestyc.com/  we will be at the LaBelle location.

Couldn't believe it, but, we had the whole marina to ourselves - which mean't Izzy could run free without a leash.  We went in to pay and they informed us NO CHARGE.  Pinch me - this is too good to be true!

The marina staff asked Izzy if she has a ball - of course, she said no - so they gave her one.  We now have to carry a sign with us that says "Beware of the con artist dog".    She also found a stick and she got the "wild eye" her butt goes down, her eyes roll back and she runs out of control knocking down anything in her path - nice dog.

Dog Tired - priceless

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