Monday, August 25, 2014

Ortona South COE, Lake Okeechobee Waterway, Florida

Our plan was to visit the Keys after Orlando. To do so, we didn't want to go there directly. That said, we stopped for a week in St. Lucie then headed west towards Fort Myers for a week before heading back towards the Keys. The Corps of Engineers has a park on the west side of Lake Okeechobee so that's where we headed. Rumor had it that this particular park was in the middle of nowhere but we thought that might be fun. Here are the pics....

Leaving St. Lucie, we headed west on Hwy 76, south on 98 and west on Hwy 80. We thought we would be able to see the Lake and anticipated driving around the perimeter of the lake later in the week. Unfortunately, there is a dirt berm that surrounds the Lake so it's not visible from the roadway.

There are very few cities along this route and I developed a small glitch with the coach. My warning light came on indicating water in the fuel. Water in a diesel is not a good thing. I had to stop twice to purge the system before I was able to extinguish it. We completed the trip with no further issues.

We passed many fields of sugar cane. I thought this sign was really appropriate.

Finally on Hwy 80, the road opened up and traffic moved well. You can see the dirt berm on the right of this picture. This berm surrounds the entire lake. Because the lake is very shallow, it's prone to major fluctuations during a hurricane. The City of Lake Okeechobee on the north shore has suffered major damage and loss of life, so they constructed the berm as a life saving measure.

Once we turned off Hwy 80 our road became somewhat narrower. I was glad there was no other traffic. Two 15 mph turns later, we were almost to the campground.

Ortona Lock Campground is on the Okeechobee waterway and is part of the same water system as the St. Lucie Lock and Dam. As such, one may only stay a total of 14 days total and any of the three campgrounds on the waterway. The front campground was open but the back one was closed for the season.

Checking in and getting our site assigned. All the sites on this end of the campground are on the waterway. Large spacious sites with ample room and lots of tropical vegetation.

This is a picture of the rear campground. The locks are on the left and a river runs on the right. Each site has 50amp service and water. There's a dump station as you exit. Each site is a waterfront site.

Shortly after setting up the coach, we had a rain shower come through. Originally this was a double rainbow but then it simply grew and became a complete arch. My camera's lens could not capture the entire arch but it went from ground to ground.

Taken at sunset from our site as the sun set in the west over the river canal. The fencing you see in the foreground is a fishing pier.

Another day, another sunset. I had to put down my fishing pole to take this picture. Just outside out coach.

Ahhh! Life is good!

While looking for a good place to fish I spotted this tortoise trying to get some sun. He stayed there for over an hour.

A Florida egret paid us a visit. I think he thought I was going to get all the fish. Ha Ha....silly bird....I got skunked!
We went out to dinner for our anniversary.  Perfect and Delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment