Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beating The Heat Through The Devils Garden


I hate to say it, but it has been almost too hot to ride this week! (I did say, ‘almost’) Right about now those of you who are still buried under a mountain of snow are probably cursing me. 

It really has been unseasonably hot for this time of year for Southwest Florida.  According to the “weather experts” it is about 10 degrees warmer than it normally is. I can’t remember February being so hot before. Usually I am still freezing my you know what off, and I am certainly not even thinking about shorts let alone wearing them. I will try to keep my complaining to a minimum though, because after all that is why I am here in the first place.

So, with the humidity bordering on tropical rainforest and temperatures soaring into the high 80s (30s in Celsius) I tried to focus on a route where there would be as little traffic congestion as possible. 

This was the perfect day to go through the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest and into the farmlands. Choosing this route, the most there is to see are the herds of cattle that are scattered throughout the countryside. But as I said time and again, any road with twisties is considered a very rare occurrence, maybe even a miracle. The closest I could get with this route was a few sweeping curves, but for the most part it was just straight riding over barren flatlands. The bonus was that there was little to no traffic and not one traffic light until we got back into civilization. Ideal for a day that I am convinced I could have cooked an egg on the pavement. 

Our ride totaled 156 miles (251 km) 
I had originally planned to turn on Hill Grade Rd. but apparently it is now a private road because there was a gate across it and it was closed. Or maybe the road had been washed out. That happens around here. Anyway, it was just as well, as we rode by I noticed that it was nothing more than a dirt road.

By this point we were also looking for a place to stop for a rest, ideally near some shade. Although now that we were in the area referred to as the Devils Garden I wasn’t so sure we would find any. I knew if we stopped without a little protection from the sun on a day like today we would feel exactly like we were sizzling in the fire pit of hell. Okay, maybe I am being a little dramatic, but it would be steamy. 

Finally, we caught a glimpse of some shade trees further down. There was a road but no street sign and the pavement abruptly stopped a few feet in. I later learned the road was called Dooley Grade Rd. and if we were adventurous we could have followed it through to connect to 835.

We were not that adventurous …
Dooley Grade Rd. might actually have been a fully paved road at one time. 
But now it looked more like a trail than a road, but there was shade!

After our break we continued on to find that the 833 did work its way around to the 835 and then we were back on track. It really didn’t matter that we were taken further out of our way, after all that is what riding a motorcycle is all about. As we neared Clewiston we did run into traffic again and a few lights, but before we knew it we were moving at a good speed along 27 and 80 and the heat of the day was just a warm breeze with our knees in the wind. 

At the end of the day, it was just a perfect ride to beat the heat. 

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Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...


  1. A beautiful sunny day to go tootling through the backroads. The weather sounds lovely, even if a tad warm.

    1. Oh yes, it was a perfect day, didn't feel the heat at all. Thanks for reading :)