The road to Treasure Island!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
1
76
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Trip End May 16, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, January 11, 2008

I figured it was time to see the west coast of Florida before moving on. The drive to Tampa & St. Petersburg normally doesn't take more than a couple of hours. That is, unless they've closed the Interstate and they divert all the traffic through the various towns that don't have the transportation network to handle all this extra traffic. Then it takes 3 hours.
 
Yesterday there was a 100 car pile-up on the Interstate due to smoke and fog and the stupidity of the drivers. Most mornings there's quite a bit of fog due to the high humidity levels. This day, the forestry services had left a controlled burn continue smouldering, though that's against the law, which added to the greatly reduced visibility. Then add drivers who are always in a rush and have no common sense to slow down and you end up with a disaster. Luckily there were only 3 deaths. They say it could have been a lot worse.
 
So the Interstate was still closed when I decided to take this drive to the west coast. As soon as I saw the detour and that traffic was backing up I thought of turning around. But I didn't. Traffic was extremely slow at one point, but luckily that didn't last long. The thing with Florida is that there are a lot of lakes and swamp, so detours are quite long. As I was driving I came across a caravan of 6 motor homes and 5th wheel RVs. They all had Quebec license plates.
 
I drove through Tampa and stopped in St. Petersburg. There I visited the Pier, had lunch, then continued on towards the coast. I stopped at St. Pete Beach to check out the beach and take a few pictures. I should have brought a lawn chair, it was so nice. Then I continued up the coast to Treasure Island. Made a stop there. It was mid-afternoon and I wanted to make it to Clearwater Beach for supper. I found this region very interesting. There are tiny parcels of land everywhere with houses build on them and surrounded by water. It looked like everybody had a dock and boat. There are also a lot of drawbridges to let the numerous sailboats and other tail ships pass. I was stopped twice during my brief drive. The beaches on Florida's west coast have the most awesome sand. Definitely the place to go if you want to lay on the beach.
 
I wasn't feeling that great so instead of continuing on towards Clearwater I decided to head back. East of Tampa there's this RV Dealership that sells Airstreams. The Cadillac of RVs. In a field west of the dealership they had these 8  Airstreams sticking out of the ground like some RV Stonehenge. It was quite funny seeing that. I wasn't able to stop and take a picture and my research on the internet only came up with a news clip and a few pictures when they were installing them.
 
I continued on and the Interstate was still closed and traffic was worse than this morning. And that was my drive to Treasure Island.
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