Friday, January 6, 2012

Punta Gorda, Matlacha and Pine Island

I spent one night in Punta Gorda and the next morning went looking for a particular historical marker.  Punta Gorda is supposed to be the spot where the first white man was killed in the new world.  The conquistador  was a member of the DeSoto Expedition and was killed by a Caloosa Indian.   I got close but never found the spot.   I continued down along the coast over the next few days and discovered more interesting hidden spots....

There were patches of dense fog that gave the coast an ethereal feel.   I have come to really love the early mornings when the sun first breaks through.    The little coastal town of Matlacha is so congested with traffic during the day I had been unable to find a place to park when I first drove through it but when I went back during the early morning hours I had the town all to myself.

                         This is where I ate my breakfast--just me and the birds....

Was this a council meeting?  
There are many little islands or keys off the west coast--all connected by bridges and surrounded by fishing and pleasure boats.

Matlacha is one of the funkier little towns.

Every building is painted in the brightest of colors.....

I'd love to read their zoning laws.  (Fines will be imposed for any building that fails to display at least three colors plus pink)

It's a far cry from the strip centers and malls I'd been seeing in the larger towns.

Another bridge brought me to Pine Island and I drove to the very end.  The above picture is for my kids--I am sure it will bring back a few memories.

Pine Island is full of little surprises--like the hitchhiker on the bike above.  I followed him a long way and that little guy had no trouble holding his footing.

I began to see these everywhere--about every third or fourth telephone pole is painted!   I slowed way down to take these pictures but the road is only two lanes and too much traffic to get as many pictures of telephone poles as I would have liked.

What a great way to decorate the poles--with frogs or flowers or stars and planets.  It beats election posters, ads for pizza and garage sales.



  1. Hey Toni!! I just saw OUR friends here in Monterey, (Sharleen, Sharon, Tina, and Randy) and heard about your fabulous adventure!! I'm so jealous...but one thing for sure my cat would never make a trip like that...I can't even get her to the vet or groomer without her getting sick. I would love to see you if you come up through Virginia, I'm on the east coast near Norfolk, so let me know what your plans are...maybe we can hook up somewhere! Or if you need a nice comfy bed you can always stay with me! I'm so glad you had a chance to see Jane...I sure miss her. I hope she is doing well. Have fun and stay safe...I will definitely keep up with your blog...I did a similar trip but it was only for 32 days. I'll tell you about it sometime! Your ol friend, Patty.

  2. Patty....Wow! What a surprise! Of course I would like to see you. I plan to go up the east coast starting in late March and should be in Va. sometime in late April. My Email address is Let me know how to find you. Toni