A few more pictures before I pull out this morning. These are all at my next stop, the Dupuis Campground near Lake Okeechobee. Dupuis is a free campground, managed by the South FL Water Management District, state owned land. In tying to learn more about them, they have bought up old sugar cane land, sugar cane production is very destructive to the land and water. Since it’s purchased with public money, they provide free public use. They’ve also been returning the Kissimmee River to it’s original crooked path, after it had been straightened out, presumably for ease of irrigation. The visitor center was closed when I was there so wasn’t really able to learn much, I need to research to find out more, what I did learn was from Doreen, my friend who is a FL wetlands biologist, and I may not have remembered what she said correctly. If you know, please comment. I’m sure since it’s a government agency, not all they do is environmentally sound.
The first picture is Lake Okeechobee. The campground is a few miles away. The lake is huge, an ocean, but a natural lake. It has been modified, has levees, I assume for flood control. I was able to drive on and over the levees. There are trails and picnic tables right next to the lake, somewhere beaches, even a dog beach, but we didn’t explore that.
Our campsite at Dupuis was delightful, shady, spacious, facing east and the fenced open area for horses. Oh yes, it’s an equestrian CG but lots of non horsey campers too. Folks could let their dogs out into the fenced area to run free when the horses weren’t there. The 2 pictures of the horse right after a ride – one looks like it doesn’t have a head, but what a happy rider! The other, beautiful sweaty, probably happy also, horse.
It’s a dispersed campground (you can basically pull your camper anywhere), with some picnic tables and fire rings. There are no hookups, (elec. and H2O) but very nice bathhouse and spigots near by. I loved the campers I met. You can read more about them on my earlier post at DuPuis.
The other pictures are walking some of the trails. Sparse vegetation, learning the difference in Palm leaves and Palmettos. Looking for color. Because of heat and sparse vegetation exposing the sandy ground, hike didn’t last very long. Also pretty boring once you’ve been out awhile, all palms, palmettos, scraggly tall pines, a few small live oaks, exposed sand, saw no wildlife or flowers. I loved the campground but not so much the trails. I guess the land is still recovering from industrial agriculture, may have to visit again in a few years to see the progress.
A misty sunrise from our front yard. And saying goodbye to a wonderful young couple with their sweet friendly dogs and old schoolbus they converted, completely solar. They’re trying to figure out how to do this lifestyle fulltime while they’re young – and earn a living. More power to them – if you wait, you might wait too long.
Not us, 10+ yo yellow lab and 72 yo woman are rolling. Thanks for joining us.
Xena and Lynn
ps. you can of course find out more about these places by reading past posts on the blog. I’m just catching up with pictures now because I didn’t know how earlier. 🙂