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Road Trip - Day Two - GA FL

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brianreynolds:
Sunday morning, on the road at sun-up.  US-27 south to Pine Mountain in Harris County.  I had intended to take US-27 all the way south to Bainbridge, but changed my mind.  From Pine Mountain, GA-18 east a few miles, then GA-194 to Warm Springs, GA-41 to Woodland, and GA-36 to Thomason.   Iím not too familiar with the physical geography of Georgia; I donít know where the red clay starts.  Along GA-36 is the first I noticed it, but it was hard to miss.  Logging trucks had tracked it out onto the black pavement, and the color contrast was pretty obvious.

US-19 south to U-84 east to Quitman.  GA-333  to the state line, FL-53 to I-10 south of Madison.  Traffic was moderate on I-10, not heavy, not light.  Maybe it was because it was a Sunday, but there were lots of people in the left lane driving slow.  Nobody really seemed to care, they just passed on the right. 

Off I-10 at Lake City.  US-41 south, then CR-100A around Lake City, then FL-100 to Lake Butler.  I had been warned that Starke might be a speed trap, so I avoided it completely.  FL-121 and FL-16, then CR-225 to Lawtey.  This route goes past a couple of major prison complexes. 

US-301 and FL-228 to I-10 east through a tiny wedge of Nassau County.  I-295 and I-95 to FL-207  to East Palatka.  Then FL-100 to US-1 at Bunnell.  My Florida Official Highway Map gave me no reason to expect this to be FL-100; I was expecting a county numbered highway.  I had to double-check the map with the control city of Bunnell to be sure I was on the right road.

US-1 to I-95 to I-4.  I enjoyed a beautiful sunset directly in front of me on I-4.  Exit at FL-46, west to Mount Plymouth.  The terrain is every bit as mountainous here as it is in Mount Pleasant MI.  I should have taken CR-437, but turned too soon at CR-435.  At Kelly Park Road, I should have turned left, but turned right, and ended up on CR-437 anyway.  South on CR-437 to US-441.

This is fully on the northwest edge of the Orlando metropolitan area.  I needed to be on outbound US-441 southeast of Orlando.   I had been advised that the best way (without toll roads) would be to skirt the west and south edges of the metro area.  But this was Sunday night; how bad could it be?  So, I took US-441 directly through Orlando.  It wasnít bad; it wasnít good.   Traffic moved right along.  The traffic lights are mostly spaced a mile or more apart, and I only got caught by every third light or so.  The downside is that getting caught means a long wait at the light.  The time for a complete cycle of the light seems unbearably long.

Maybe I should have stopped for the night, but I didnít.  I was about three hours behind where I expected to be, and I determined to make that time up, and get back on schedule.  After supper in St. Cloud, US-192 to I-95 at Melbourne, then south to CR-714 near Palm City. 

CR-714 is a desolate road, but paved, flat, and straight as an arrow.  The first one-quarter is posted at 55 MPH.  The rest of it west to FL-710 is a bit narrower, a bit rougher, the foliage is denser.  It is posted for 50 MPH.  I would have liked to travel this in daylight.  It felt like going through the jungle at night.

I had seen some signs warning of wildlife crossings, but didnít really recognize the silhouette.  Later, I learned that these represented the Florida Panther.  About 2/3 of the way through the last segment of CR-714, I saw wildlife in the road, three animals that seemed cat-like, probably bigger than house cats, but smaller than I imagine a panther to be.  I got no closer than about 100 yards when they bolted off the road.  How big are these animals?  Is this an area where they would be found?

Got into Okeechobee after 10:30 PM, checked in at the Budget Motel.  There is no reason to recommend this place.  It provides a place to sleep and shower, and not much else.  I might have woken the desk clerk when I buzzed.  She would not be pleasant or attractive on her finest day, and this certainly wasnít her finest day. 

I'll post more on the trip tomorrow.

NE2:

--- Quote from: brianreynolds on January 05, 2013, 06:24:36 PM ---I had been warned that Starke might be a speed trap, so I avoided it completely.  FL-121 and FL-16, then CR-225 to Lawtey.

--- End quote ---
Lawtey's also a "speed trap" (or at least it was in 2008) :bigass:



--- Quote from: brianreynolds on January 05, 2013, 06:24:36 PM ---Then FL-100 to US-1 at Bunnell.  My Florida Official Highway Map gave me no reason to expect this to be FL-100; I was expecting a county numbered highway.  I had to double-check the map with the control city of Bunnell to be sure I was on the right road.

--- End quote ---
Florida's "official map" is a third-party crapjob. I see what you mean about the lack of SR 100 shield, but (at least on my 2001 copy) there are 100 shields west of Palatka and east of Bunnell.


--- Quote from: brianreynolds on January 05, 2013, 06:24:36 PM ---US-1 to I-95 to I-4.  I enjoyed a beautiful sunset directly in front of me on I-4.  Exit at FL-46, west to Mount Plymouth.  The terrain is every bit as mountainous here as it is in Mount Pleasant MI.  I should have taken CR-437, but turned too soon at CR-435.  At Kelly Park Road, I should have turned left, but turned right, and ended up on CR-437 anyway.  South on CR-437 to US-441.

--- End quote ---
SR 46 runs across preserved black bear territory, having several underpasses with fences funneling crossing bears through. Plans are to replace it with the Wekiva Parkway, a four-lane partly elevated toll road with a two-lane frontage road on new alignment, and abandon much of current SR 46. The Sierra Club supports the road.

CR 435 is definitely a more interesting drive than CR 437 north of Kelly Park Road.


--- Quote from: brianreynolds on January 05, 2013, 06:24:36 PM ---The rest of it west to FL-710 is a bit narrower, a bit rougher, the foliage is denser.  It is posted for 50 MPH.  I would have liked to travel this in daylight.  It felt like going through the jungle at night.

--- End quote ---
http://www.sclands.org/

roadman65:
You were right at taking US 441 right through Orlando.  Going west to skirt around would have been more into Pine Hills and more traffic signals on Kirkman Road and have to deal with Universal and the tourist spots.

Yeah, you really do not need class to sleep in a bed at night.  I have seen many of the small town motels and they are nothing to write home about, but it is a place where you do not have to pay for the name or extra ammenities you will never use.

Hey you went near my house en route.  I live off of US 441.

NE2:

--- Quote from: roadman65 on January 05, 2013, 07:28:35 PM ---You were right at taking US 441 right through Orlando.  Going west to skirt around would have been more into Pine Hills and more traffic signals on Kirkman Road and have to deal with Universal and the tourist spots.

--- End quote ---
No - I recommended 437 to 438 to 535 to 192. 535 past Disney isn't bad, and 192 (east of 535) is certainly better than 441.

roadman65:

--- Quote from: NE2 on January 05, 2013, 08:00:52 PM ---
--- Quote from: roadman65 on January 05, 2013, 07:28:35 PM ---You were right at taking US 441 right through Orlando.  Going west to skirt around would have been more into Pine Hills and more traffic signals on Kirkman Road and have to deal with Universal and the tourist spots.

--- End quote ---
No - I recommended 437 to 438 to 535 to 192. 535 past Disney isn't bad, and 192 (east of 535) is certainly better than 441.

--- End quote ---
I guess you go that way it is not that bad. 535 now finally is four lanes all the way between 429 and LBV.  That just opened as a gift from Winter Garden's Mayor to those south of 429 as an early Christmas present.
However, Ocoee is starting to be an annex of Crime Hills though.

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