Okeechobee

The biggest lake in Florida is Okeechobee and we are now parked right at the top of it in a very nice RV park.  The park is over 100 acres in size with wonderful facilities and barely anyone here, very nice!

This is the rainy (and hurricane) season, it rains each afternoon so the locals are gone to drier land!

 

The lake is a natural shallow dish with a clay bottom, whereas the surrounding land is sand and limestone.  The water levels can get high in the rainy season and water has to be released through the canals and eventually into the everglades.  We drove along the lake edge for a short time today and it is water to the horizon.  The lakes here and so big!

We are going to rest up here for a couple of nights and cycle along part of the rim of the lake tomorrow-yes, I went for my first cycle ride this evening.  Progress!

We got going in the morning knowing it would rain after lunch.  The top of the lake was only 5 mins away.  With my seat high and no shoe I can pedal with my dodgy knee just fine. Up on the levee we had the lake on one side and a canal on the other.

 

 

We kept our eyes out for wildlife and before long saw some gators and surprisingly saw a couple of manatees frolicking in the water.

 

6000 years ago this land was dry but as sea levels and rain levels rose the shallow dish of land 1200 sq km in size filled with water.  Most of Florida is swamp to the top of this lake so one assumes the manatee took a channel from the sea drenched swamp to the lake, I’m not so sure its easy for them to get back out which is a shame because the lake is very polluted with chemical run off and general man made pollution.  The lake has been so toxic that the arsenic filled bottom has had to be removed in parts. Despite this the wildlife was rich. We saw many wading birds and birds of prey, dragon flies, butterflies, and lots of movement in the water suggesting lots of fish life.

 

 

We cycled until the sky in the distance darkened and headed for home and a swim in the pool before the storm came.

 

It was my first day of exploration and I really enjoyed it!  We stayed for 2 nights at this lovely RV park. There are gators right in the park and even in the large pond outside the supetmarket, yes they are everywhere and no-body cares!

We had a good drive back up to Kissimmee today and will now stay here until I see the surgeon on Friday, then we are heading off to St Augustine.