Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 - The unexpected tour -2/17

*Note: If you are new to my blog may I suggest you read "the back story on the Frozen Canuck" first - Also you might want to start from the bottom up in the blog archives list located to the right of the page* 

Finally the weather has warmed up to what I call ‘sandy warm’. The sun is shining and it is 25 C (77 F), not quite shorts weather for me, but it is getting there J

The plan today was to take a little tour with the bikes to the Immokalee State Farmer’s Market with a side trip to Lake Trafford. Not a long ride, but after being cooped up for the last few days (it was just too cold for me J ) it will be nice to have the wind in my hair again. Even though we have been to Lake Trafford before, also in Immokalee, it has a beautiful little park there and makes for a nice ‘pit stop’. 

Lake Trafford is just a short drive off the main road (Route 29) that leads into Immokalee. Turn down Lake Trafford Road and head all the way down to the end; the road ends in the park so you can't miss it J Situated right along Lake Trafford is the quaint little Ann Olesky Park. You can fish in the lake from the covered dock or in the canal that runs along the side of the parking lot. You can also launch a boat there or take an Airboat ride or just enjoy the view of the serene lake at one of the covered picnic tables.  For the most part it is quite peaceful, except for the occasional Airboat that you will hear.

Patiently waiting to catch dinner…

The Immokalee State Farmer’s Market is a must see! It is a huge market, at least the largest I have ever been to. It has all kinds of fruits and vegetables and best of all it has great prices! There is no designated parking lot, you just make your way through the winding road with stalls on either side and just stop in front of the one you want. It is more like driving through a little village than a market. – A farmer’s version of a drive through J

As I was snapping a few pictures this guy wondered into the frame,

looks more like I am “holding him up” LOL 

Freeze! Hands in the air mister!
 I found this short (very short) video of the Immokalee Farmer's Market on youTube if anyone is interested

424 New Market Rd E, Immokalee, FL

After we bought some fresh fruit and vegetables we headed home, our route takes us along route 82 (Meadow Rd) a single lane highway that is a direct route to Immokalee. As I have said before, I love driving my bike in Florida, (mostly because it is warm - well most of the time..) and except for getting used to larger amounts of traffic I feel quite comfortable on the roads, except for one… 

We have logged quite a few miles on the bikes through parts of southwest Florida; places like Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel Island (if you check out Sanibel don't be in a hurry, you are in traffic that is backed up for miles), but nothing can quite prepare you for travelling along this stretch of route 82. The best way to describe this road: Use At Own Risk! This has to be the worst road to drive in southwest Florida and the large amount of Roadside Memorial Arrangements that stretch the length of this road seem to attest to that fact.

It is not the condition of the road that is the problem; the problem is the people who drive on it. The posted speed limit is 60 mph, (96 km) but some drivers think it is the Indy 500! You would be safer to drive on it when there is bumper to bumper traffic because then no one can pass you. 

[Once when driving our bikes, My honey was in front and there was maybe just about a cars length between us, (I like following when we ride, don’t ask me why, I just do) Anyway, we were driving along 82 and a car started to pass me, I am assuming he was trying to get past us both but suddenly there was an on coming car that was coming at a pretty good clip and he quickly cut in front of me – lucky I was paying attention and if I hadn’t slowed down he probably would of took out both of us trying to squeeze in between our bikes – that one took a few years off my life!]

As we headed home along 82 just as we past a side road called Corkscrew Road we came to a complete stop. The cars were backed up as far as you could see and there were absolutely no cars coming in the other direction. Obviously something had happened, no surprise. So instead of sitting on our idling bikes and sweating profusely (we always drive in full bike gear – safety first J) we decided to go down Corkscrew Road. This road really lives up to it’s name!
There is one curve that is a 90 degree turn, gear down before you get to it! The road winds through farms and panther territory, yes I said panthers! I have yet to see a panther cross any road that I was on… 

After we turned down Corkscrew road we knew that we would end up having to drive past the SW Florida Airport by turning onto Alico Road which then takes you to Ben Hill Griffin Parkway / Treeline Ave which then passes the airport. Quite the little unexpected bike tour to get home… although a very nice one J

So our so-called ‘little tour’ that was to be a couple of hours turned out to be an entire afternoon ride, but who cares when you are riding a Harley!

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