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  1. #1
    Webb Benninghoven
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    North Fort Myers, Florida

    A Great Idea

    Hello Everyone,

    I suppose that the majority of people are getting ready for Sedalia, and that there will be some great trips in the days ahead, as people head to Missouri.

    I have been reading through lots of the trip threads, and have gotten a great deal of enjoyment out of them. I have read trips from all over the planet, and they're just aren't enough of them. It was fun to take our last trip & write about it as well. I thought that while each of us enjoys going on epic journey's that we love to read about, each of us lives somewhere that is likely someone else's destination.

    I was thinking on my ride with my wife yesterday that I would take a ride to some of the cool places where I live, and give a ride report about it. It follows this posting. I'd like to see a bunch of the fellow members post in a similar manner. We could call the thread "Everyday Escapes," or "Tales from the Hood," or any one of a number of clever titles.

    Please enjoy my posting, and I will look forward to reading yours...

  2. #2
    Webb Benninghoven
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    North Fort Myers, Florida

    Everyday Escapes

    Hello again,

    Greetings from Southwest Florida! Welcome to this thread. I am going to post some pictures and write about places in the thread that are not quite in my neighborhood, but are day or weekend trips that can be done without a tremendous amount of effort, planning, or time spent. What is put into this is a good deal of thought. I wanted this to be as entertaining and fun as most of the other awesome posts that I have read.

    Today, I hopped on the RT, and took a quick trip, there's a lot of cool stuff to see, so let's get started.

    I live 4 houses from here:

    Rosen Park

    Rosen Park, the newest addition to the Cape Coral Park Systems boat launch & marina facilities. It is right on the Caloosahatchee River that runs entirely across the lower half of the State. It flows through Lake Okeechobee and down to Ft. Lauderdale on the other coast. This is a big boating community, with lots of canals, for boaters to enjoy. Us bikers get to drive around & see the amazing sights.

    Here's Paradise Marina, just a few blocks away:

    Paradise Marina

    Part of the preserve between our place and the Marina:

    Paradise Preserve

    And one more...

    Paradise Preserve

    This trip is going to take us out Pine Island Road, to none other than Pine Island.

    Some of you may remember Pine Island, the Lee and Charlotte Island Coast from August of 2004. Hurricane Charlie decimated a lot of this area, and then right on the heels of that, the economy slowed down dramatically. There was a while when we led the nation with the dubious distinction of having the highest foreclosure rate in the USA. Like riding out of a rainstorm, things look better with every revolution of the wheels.

    On my ride out Pine Island Road, I felt a dramatic tug on the handlebars, and I made a right turn into the German American Social Club.

    German American Social Club

    The RT was completely at home here out front. Around the back, you'll find the Bavarian Bier Garden, which hosts the third largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany.

    Just down the road, past a few mild twists, is the the town of Matlacha.

    The view from Matlacha

    In the distance you can see Matlacha Bridge. Called the fishingest bridge in America, they're taking the old drawbridge away, and turning it into a reef.

    Matlacha Bridge

    Once through the traffic cones, on the other side of the bridge, lies a different & unique Island World, and we're going to go drive around & see the sights.

    It's like our own little slice of the Keys.

    Downtown Matlacha

    Through the downtown area, and a few more twists, there you will find a 4 way stop.

    Pine Island Center

    Stringfellow is one main North-South road on Pine Island, end to end it's 15 miles of complete enjoyment. Bokeelia is at the northernmost tip, & St. James City at the South. Pineland is right in the middle. It's been said that there is a million dollar view from lodge there.

    Pine Island Sound from Pineland

    The Tarpon Lodge has been here since 1926 and is actually where my wife & I got married. There's even a New York Times best selling author that lives nearby...

    Tarpon Lodge

    There is a marina and large boatyard next to the Lodge that was completely destroyed in Hurricane Charley, and the Lodge lost some of their buildings. The history of this area is amazing and the houses are built on shell mounds left by the Caloosa Indians.

    Pineland Road

    Heading north on Stringfellow Road brings you to a left hand bend that opens up to a vista of Charlotte Harbor.

    Off towards Cape Haze

    Charlotte Harbor from Bokeelia

    Stringfellow in Bokeelia


    Heading South towards the other end is about a 35 minute ride past the Purple Octopus.

    The Purple Octopus of Pine Island

    The Ragged Ass Saloon is always full of motorcycles, and another great place to stop on the way.

    On the south side is the quiet drinking town with a fishing problem...St. James City.

    Stringfellow Drive

    There's a tremendous amount of diversity between the two ends of the Island that you can discover for yourself should you decide to make the trip.

    Here are some views of one of the other area's we'll explore in another adventure.

    In the distance, across the sound is the Sanibel Island Lighthouse...

    Sanibel Lighthouse from St. James City

    Sanibel Island, and the Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve

    Sanibel Island Causeway

    All of this cool stuff is easy to find and a great way to spend a few hours riding around, and as you'll see in some of the other installments I'll post, close to a lot of other cool stuff here in SWFL, only a bike ride away.

    Have fun, and we'll see you on the next trip.

  3. #3
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Oklahoma City

    My own back yard...

    So jealous of you folks who live by the ocean...

    I had the idea of traveling to every county in my state of Oklahoma, just to see what was around in my backyard... and actually i was impressed... we may not have the scenic beauty of some of the other states but we have soul...

    I made a youtube video about the many, many trips.. CLICK HERE

    Recently... i have been trying to explore the back roads of the areas close to Oklahoma City... to keep in practice for riding on the rougher roads of life...

    Not as bad as the sign says...

    Lots of these types of roads... felt away from the city... it was good...

    Went through about 14 miles of this sandy stuff... was going faster than i should have around a corner and hit some deep stuff.... it is part of the game...
    Was pulled over on the side of the road about 3 to 4 miles out side of and west of Gracemont Oklahoma, fiddling with the GPS trying to find my way back to my route after a road closing... and this little old man come pulling up to me on his electric scooter...! We talked for about 15 minutes... nice guy long time and old time motorcycle guy... has about a 15 mile range on his scooter and from the stories he was telling, he still has traveling spirit as he likes to push the scooter to the max and isn't afraid to push it to the max just to get drink at the small town country store... even if his battery only does 20 miles....

    Next person....
    Ich Fahre Nicht Zu Schnell, Ich Fliege Nur Niedrig
    Oklahoma Adventure Trail

  4. #4
    Webb Benninghoven
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    North Fort Myers, Florida
    Thanks!! That was really cool! I have some friends from highschool that used to live in Edmond, now they have moved to a farm on the northside of OKC. Have wanted to visit for a long time.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Piedmont area of NC.
    We lived in Ft. Meyers for a few years when we had a business in N. Ft Meyers. Poked around in all the places you showed us pictures of.

    Matlache, home of the square grouper fishermen

    IMHO the area is nice to visit in the winter, but not so great to live in year around unless you happen to live in say Sanibel

    The charm of the places is still there I see, and the fishing is great !!

  6. #6
    Webb Benninghoven
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    North Fort Myers, Florida
    The economic down turn has brought the square grouper fishermen indoors. Quite a few of the vacant houses here have been turned into grow houses.

    We're on the Cape, and it is nice, and I have friends on Sanibel when the mood strikes, which isn't all that often. I work in Naples, and at least have the bike ride every day to look forward to. If I want to fish, well, it's a couple doors down, and I fish occasionally when I take the dogs for a walk.

    I am going to do a couple of the ghost towns here, as well as the Islands as time goes by.

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