November 29 - Arcadia, Florida

Today was a tour of hurricane damage. Three different hurricanes hit this part of Florida this fall. The road signs are few and far between. Most houses have blue plastic tarps on the roof. Most places of business have no signs, or broken signs.

This is an agricultural area. It's about 50% orange groves, and 50% ranches. There are a lot of semi trucks carrying oranges. None of the orange groves appear to have been damaged by the hurricanes, and all the cows look fine, too. Here is what it looked like all day.

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We did a little over 70 miles today, and finished in the town of Arcadia, the only town for about 20 miles in any direction. Arcadia is a really nice small town, what's left of it. I stopped in the Chamber of Commerce downtown to see which of the motels listed on the Adventure Cycling map were near a place to eat. The three hotels were on opposite ends of town, so I figured it was easier than riding around.

The lady at the C of C said "Those hotels were all destroyed by the hurricane. The only hotel with rooms is the Best Western, and they only have a couple because they are full of people whose homes were destroyed by the hurricanes."

I asked her if there was a restaraunt (with beer) by the Best Western. "JP Slims. It was destroyed by the hurricanes. Sorry. There's a McDonalds and some other restaraunts left are three miles out of town by Wal-Mart."

We eventually figured out that The De Soto Motel, where we are now, was also open, they had one room left. We got one of the only three rooms in town. And we got to ride our bikes to dinner way out by Wal-Mart and come home in the dark. We did find a good place to eat, with beer, though. Here is where we could have eaten next door. Note the lack of roof and windows.

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Here is the route for today. It was very scenic. There were also lots of good birds, including Wood Storks and Anhingas.

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