Monday, November 15, 2010

This Year's One-Day Lake Okeechobee Journey

If the Clewiston Inn is the backdrop for the photo, then it could only be the annual one-day, 120-mile Lake Okeechobee ride I do every November.

The weather and schedule meshed today, so I left Tampa at 4 am today so that I could be on the Lake Okeechobee route by 7 am.

At the Clewiston, I was interviewed by Nina Wills, a young woman who calls herself the "Muck Girl" for the muck and rich soil of Pahokee and Belle Glade. Nina was born and raised in Pahokee in west Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee and is a double journalism and political science major at Florida Atlantic University.

I reached Clewiston at 11 am at Mile 54. I met Nina at the Clewiston Inn, a must-see hotel attraction if you're touring Lake O on US 27. I'm sure Nina will be landing a newspaper job somewhere once she finishes her double-major.

In Clewiston, I biked over to the Lake Okeechobee Trail -- the trail atop the earthern berm that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. There are two paved sections of the trail -- including one stretch that goes through Clewiston.

One of the best things about cycling atop the levee -- besides offering a perch to wonderful lake and landscape vistas -- is pedaling with the birds. They're at eye-level -- egrets and great blue herons and birds of prey of all types such as eagles.

This is the coolest bridge along the Lake O Trail when the trail has to span the lake outlets that feed water to South Fla.

When you think Lake O, it's fishing and beautiful bird life.

Another 120-mile Lake O is in the books -- back to where I started on the Lake O Trail.

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