Saturday, February 18, 2017

December 24, 2016 - Okeechobee, FL to Lake Wales, FL

The morning sky was void of clouds when we got up. The sun was beaming down brightly.  Winds have died down. Things were so quiet all around.

Erwin's cousin, Tommy and his wife, Sheri, asked us to spend Christmas Eve and Day with them and Tommy's parents at their vacation property near Lake Wales, FL.  Tommy said we could park our Lil' Home on his property and that we could use his truck or Sheri's car to go shopping, if necessary.  We decided to leave the Jeep at the campsite, informed next door campers that we were going to be out of town for a couple days. 

Before leaving the state park Erwin spotted an alligator resting on the bank by the pond where herons and egrets like to hang around.  If the water was like glass it would have made a great reflection, but this picture is still great.
We got on Route 441 North, then turned left to get on Route 60.  At the intersection of 441 and 60 there is an old trading post.  We pulled over and Edith walked over to take pictures of Desert Inn Motel/Restaurant.
The Desert Inn was founded as a trading post in the late 1880s.  The present building dates before 1923 and served as a supply and recreational center for cattle drovers lumber men and tourists.  The construction of roads in the 1930s brought tourists to the area.  Overnight cabins were added in the back of the original building.  Today the Desert Inn continues to be a popular destination. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cabins are now closed, but the restaurant is still open for business.

The drive along Route 60 was very pleasant. Not much to see, but lots of trees. Of course, there were no mountains! The clouds started to build up more.

From Route 60 we turned left to get on County Road 630 from Route 60. It is a very rural area, is well known for hunting grounds as well as mud bogging.  

It was good to see Tommy and Sheri again, as well as Ramona and Curt, Tommy's parents. Erwin's mom and Ramona's mom were sisters.  Ramona and Curt used to live in Maryland when we lived up there, also. 
First cousins!
Curt & Erwin
Tommy was busy getting the Swamp Buggy ready for the night ride through the forest.  
Tommy getting the Swamp Buggy ready for tonight's ride
We parked our Lil' Home in the back of the property where there is a covered pavillon.  We did not need electricity or water because we were going to spend most of our waking hours with the family.
Sheri had most meats already cooked at home and she simply warmed them up in slow cookers.  Casseroles were being baked in the oven while we all were outside enjoying the beautiful day.  

After Christmas Eve dinner we went for a night ride on the Swamp Buggy with Tommy as the pilot.  It was surreal going through the forest at night.  We did not see much except for few places.  Tommy and Sheri wanted to take us all to the "Playpen" at Indian Lake Estates.  This is where ATVers, mudboggers, and others gather to share fun, to race, to play, etc. 
Tommy's son, Tomy riding his ATV out in the front
Edith, Erwin, Ramona & Curt
Appropriately named for these bras!
Edith, Erwin, Ramona & Sheri
SJ, Tommy and Sheri's good friend, came by 
Ramona, Erwin & Edith
Tommy driving through the mud
Sheri & Tommy
Great picture of us taken by Sheri
When we got to the "Playpen" Tommy and Sheri were surprised it was almost empty. They thought because it was Christmas Eve the area will be filled with partygoers, but no it was quiet.  As soon we got an idea of what the place was like we returned back home.

The ride was fun, so different, but it might have been better if we also went out in the daytime, so we can see what is really out there in the forest.  The night riding was spooky and eerie because you could only see where the lights shows you the way.


  1. Wonderful story!!! We enjoyed having you both ! Look forward to get together next time! Have a safe travel!! Hugs from Sheri and Tommy

  2. Boobies Blvd? Ha-ha-ha! I loved it!