We headed out shortly after 11 am on what I considered too windy of a day. I admit that I am kind of a fair weather rider and I am not ashamed to say it either! (It doesn’t make me any less of a biker :P) I just don’t particularly enjoy being blown around on my bike like a rag doll that’s all. But lately Florida just hasn’t had the most pristine conditions so if I was going to ride at all this year I would have to set aside my numerous 'fair weather' riding rules and suck it up by adding a heavier hoodie under my jacket and just brave the wind.
We were heading off to check out a ‘Party Under The Bridge’ in Moore Haven today. I knew that the route we were about to travel wasn’t going to be the nicest to ride on with the exception of the scenic River Road. Not to say that the road condition isn’t good, it is just that these secondary highways are flat, open and mostly straight with speeds in excess of 60 miles an hour -which by the way is the posted speed limit that no one adheres to - then add a strong crosswind and you get the picture.
This ‘Party Under The Bridge’ is in it’s 7th year as an annual fund raiser and is put on by the local legion in Moore Haven to benefit the veterans. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised to see the huge turn out that was there considering that this town has had it’s share of misfortune and despite it being humbled by two Hurricanes. The first hit in 1926 and the other in 1928, the latter eventually destroyed what was left of this once boom town which was known as ‘Little Chicago’ at the time. Seeing it now, it was hard to image it as a rapidly growing and prosperous community... but I got the feeling that there is still a lot of pride with the people who still reside here.
There is also one other draw that might interest some to take a ride out into the middle of nowhere. On the first Saturday in March there is a festival called the ‘Chalo Nitka Festival and Frontier Days’ [Chalo Nitka means “Big Bass” in the Seminole Indian language] . The festival and rodeo dates back to 1948 when it first originated to commemorate the paving of Main street in Moore Haven. (Anything for a party) It has now become one of the longest running festivals in Florida. I suppose it may warrant another trip out that way to check it out.
We checked out the various booths containing the usual ‘biker’ festival fare. The festival is held directly under the bridge that crosses the Caloosahatchee River and spills out into the street along Avenue J. The road was blocked off so you can wander in the middle of the street, however be aware of the bikes.
I snapped this picture of an interesting feathered hat (or should I say ‘head dress’) from one of the vendors. His partner leaned over and shouted above the roar of the band playing to tell me that if he had $10 for all the people who have took a picture of his buddy he would have $100 by now. (Maybe that was a hint - I didn’t pay him any money for taking the picture)
|Sea of Bikes|
Then we seen what I suppose was considered the ‘oldies car show’ however there wasn’t too many entries, maybe we were just early... although that jalopy looked like it has seen better days.
Next we headed over to the Lawn Tractor Pull, I have never seen one before. Interesting to say the least. This is exactly how I pictured it would be... even women get in on the act.
Afterwards we walked back to the main area under the bridge where the band Desperado was blasting out country tunes. Even though I am not a country music fan, I have to admit the band was good, but a little too loud for my liking.
We decided that we were ready to head back and took off towards 78 but decided to turn off onto Ortona Rd to check out the Ortona Locks. It was a nice little side trip to see this part of the Caloosahatchee Canal. There was not another soul around and the quiet of the area was a peaceful interlude before we headed back out on the highway.
Enjoy the tranquil picture show...
Time to plan our next adventure...
Cruising through life and enjoying the ride...