Sunday, February 24, 2019

Swamp Cabbage Festival – LaBelle Florida

(Sat Feb 23)

We decided to take a ride out to the Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle for something to do over the weekend. We have been to this festival a few times over the years and I have written about it before in 2014 if you care to take a look. 

It was already getting toasty out when we left around 10:30 am. Once we were on the road with the wind flowing around us it made the heat bearable. We took the back way into LaBelle via Immokalee Road then onto 29. The parade had started at 10 am and was just ending when we got into LaBelle. The traffic was at a stand-still while the police were directing traffic. We ended up sitting for what seemed like an eternity in the sweltering heat. When we finally began to move, we were re-routed along E. Cowboy Way. Probably not a good idea to have went on a Saturday, especially when the parade was just letting out. Oh well, there is something to be said about hind sight. 

Of course, we easily found a parking spot. Although we didn’t realize that we were still several blocks from Barron Park where the festival was held.  As we trudged along, (well I trudged) I noticed there were plenty of spots we could have squeezed into with the bikes.

I can’t believe I actually walked that far and in motorcycle boots no less! 

We did see a couple of cool looking Bumper Cars motoring down the road as we made the trek. Believe it or not these “cars” were actually plated, so I assume they are legal to drive on the road. Maybe they were in the parade.

I was already drenched in sweat when we finally got to the park where the festivities were already under way. My new jeans were the only thing that was saving me from a total melt down. My jeans have an open zig zag pattern on the pant legs making them have a built-in air ventilation system of sorts. I had bought them the previous weekend at the Thunder by the Bay festival in Sarasota. 

Our first stop was at the famous Armadillo races, unfortunately there were so many people crowded around that we never got to see the Armadillos race. 
This was the closet I got. At least I seen an Armadillo, sort of.

Entering the park

As we shuffled further into the park the crowds got even thicker. It was a wrong move walking through where all the food vendors were. The masses were lined up like vultures.

This is the famous Swamp Cabbage heart. Which happens to be Florida’s state tree, the Sabal Palm. Only the heart of the palm tree is harvested. It is then made into stews, or mixed with salads, it is even fried up as a Swamp Cabbage fritter. I still have not tried it, and never will, but it does seem quite a popular favorite to the locals.

I love the heat, but I really am not fond of humidity, especially when I am all decked out in my motorcycle gear. I should have at least brought my flip flops.  It has been unseasonably hot this February, even by Florida standards. The mercury was tipping near 34C /93F, then add in the humidity and I swear it was hovering around 100F.  With the heat and the crowds that were crammed into Barron park I felt like I was suffocating. I really don’t like being in large crowds to begin with, especially in smaller spaces. Too many people make me feel like I am being crushed. All I could think of was getting the hell out of there. So, suffix to say we didn’t stick around too long. 

We made the long way back to the bikes and were on the road with a nice breeze cooling my overheated body. We took North River Road on the way back home to extend the ride. 

Loved the ride, walking around the crowded festival, not so much.

The moment we got home I stripped off my clothes and jumped in the pool. Strike that, I poured a glass of wine and set it up poolside before I jumped in.  

Route to the Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle

Until next time keep...

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...

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