Monday Laura and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary. We usually like to get out and travel a bit on our anniversary. It was cold and windy, even in Florida, so a paddling trip or boat ride was out of the question. Instead, we decided to head inland to the Kissimmee Prairie, a 54,000 acre nature preserve north of Okeechobee.
Our directions from Amy were to drive down to Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce, then head west until it ended at Highway 441. It was 25 miles of the straightest road I think I’ve ever seen on this side of the Mississippi. It was another 20 miles on 441 through some of the most desolate countryside in the state. There were large ranches and orange groves dotted with small single-wide trailers. I couldn’t imagine living out here, especially in summer.
When we got to the Prairie we found a large flat area that alternated between palmetto scrub, grasslands, and wetlands interspersed with palm tree and live oak hammocks. A couple of dirt roads traversed the area, but for the most part the only way to see the place was on foot.