South Bay RV Park & Campground is a Palm Beach County Park on the very southeast bay of Lake O. As we left the cattle fields near Labelle and Ortona, and headed east, the terrain became more and more divided into neat patches of agriculture – mostly sugar cane and sweet corn, growing in coal black dirt called “muck” and surrounded by miles of irrigation ditches. In the sky, thick clouds of yellow/gray smokefrom the burning sugar cane fields rose to meet the white puffy clouds above. We were nestled down behind the 35 ft tall Herbert Hoover Dike that separates South Bay Campground from the canal and the sawgrass islands that line the lake. Even the setting sun had to fight to shine thru the overpowering mass of smoke to share its last ray with the world. While doing laundry in the little sheltered block building there was the ever-present whiff of burning and the dusting of ash.
H chose a calm morning to launch his drone to capture a few pictures of the park from a different angle than my camera could afford. Look closely – can you find us? Squint and look for the bright blue truck! You can see the tiny drive as it climbs the earthen dike to the top. Even with my bad eye I could still beat H at least half way up the steep path!! We both were huffing and puffing as we pushed our little bikes to the top. Around the lake is a bike trail that would normally stretch around the 700 plus acre lake but in the last several years, reconstruction has chopped up the trail for repairs so we were not able to ride all the way to Belle Glades Torry Island Campground. 6 miles was enough for that day! Just on the other side of the dike is one of the many boat launches and docks available to the public. On the left side of the photo is St Rt 27/80 which goes from Ft Myers, east to Lake O, around the bottom edge and over to the Atlantic side of the state!
One more night was needed to keep us from being homeless before our move to John Prince Park in Lake Worth. The staff in the front office was obviously not attentive to the note on the computer screen saying that H was first in line for the next available site. On Friday afternoon, he walked into the office AGAIN to see if any thing had opened up – just as another gentleman was giving money on a site that had just been canceled and now open. Oh well, we’ll just move up around the lake to Torry Island where we had stayed 2 years ago.
|Torry Island campground|
Torry Island Campground has an area of RV’s that enjoy the full hookups and nicer newer facilities. The outer edges are way more “rustic” and the old block bathhouses are just adequate. But our friends from our last stay were there and still parked in their snug corner of the long fingered peninsula - across from the hectic boat launch for all the early morning fishermen and airboat aficionados. Debi and Jeff are full timers in their turquoise and crème colored fifth wheel and Janie and Bob are in the dark motorhome. Of course you can see H’s bright blue
truck slid in on the opposite
corner! Across the canal from us is one
of the dams that hold back the water from the lake. The large crane is just one of many that is working to fortify
the dike. When at South Bay – we were
able to ride JUST up to that area and had to turn around.
|Torry Island campground|
In the second photo, you can see the airboat that is also in the previous picture. Across the canal is the bike path at the top of the dike. In the distance is South Bay - by bike trail it is 2 miles away – by road, pulling a trailer it is more like 8 to 10 miles!
On Monday morning, the 6 of us went out to breakfast together and the Black & Gold Grill was decided upon. D&J arrived 1st and chose a table for all of us. The place was almost empty and the servers must have gone out also! At first we didn’t notice or didn’t care since we all were chatting away but finally our orders were taken and drinks were delivered. D reminded our server that we needed silverware. And we waited. A very large take-out order was picked up. And we waited. Someone came out from the kitchen to advise us that they had run out of eggs and had sent someone for more. We waited. D went up for coffee refills and reminded the staff that we still needed silverware. Finally 2 orders were brought out and J flipped his stiff omelet over to find the bottom was burnt. Janie’s oatmeal must have been made yesterday out of just water. D went up to get silverware and the server snipped – I WAS going to bring them. My plate was handed to me from across the table. My potatoes were COLD and my eggs were barely luke warm. D couldn’t take it anymore and got up to storm out and we all followed. Janie grabbed some of my cold potatoes and handed them to the woman in charge. McDonald’s was just down the way and H was 1st in line - but still had to wait for it to be brought out! Yeh, but he was NUMBER 1!