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2017 Southeast Trip Part 15; The road back to the Tampa area and epilogue

After departing FL 997 on northbound US 27 there wasn't much left to do other than get back to the Tampa Area.  I'm not a big fan of taking I-75 or Florida's Turnpike due to the traffic and often found that US 27 through the center of the state is much viable for a quiet/somewhat scenic drive.












Immediately after I took this FL 822 picture on northbound US 27 the truck on the left blew out a tire and the trailer caught on fire.  The driver kept rolling on a flat for about a mile before noticing his trailer was falling apart and combusting.



Northbound on US 27 it wasn't too long until the Andytown Interchange with I-75 came into view.  Andytown was a small community on FL 84 that was demolished in the late 1970s when Alligator Alley was expanded to make way for I-75.




There isn't much in the Everglades along US 27.  US 27 passes through dredge cut canals through Miami-Dade and Broward Counties before entering Palm Beach County.  The shield for CR 827 caught my eye with it's almost black coloring.






US 27 picks up FL 80 and multiplexes it on the south shore of Lake Okeechobee before it splits away again west of Clewiston.






In Moore Haven US 27 rises high above the waters of the Caloosahatchee Canal.







I stayed on US 27 north until the junction with FL 66 in Highlands County where I decided to try a route I had never been on before.  FL 66 is only 25 miles long and doesn't really pass through much westward to US 17.  There was some significant truck traffic but nothing that I couldn't get past on the two-lane FL 66.






I followed US 17 north from FL 66 to Bartow.  I followed US 98 north to the FL 570 tollroad get past Lake Land.






I followed FL 570 northwest to the terminus at I-4.  Despite my reservations about I-4 I took it briefly west to FL 39 in Plant City.  I believe FL 39 has been realigned fairly recently and the current route was possibly FL 39a if memory serves correct?






I didn't want to take a primary road to Brooksville so I stayed on FL 39 and merged onto US 301.





I pulled off of US 301 and followed CR 54 west.





Essentially I zig-zagged northward to Hernando County along the back roads.  I used CR 579 north, CR 577 north, CR 578a west, CR 581 north, and CR 576 to reach US 41 south of Brooksville.







At the time I did take a full tally on my trip mileage and it was just over 3,000 miles.  As nice as it was to be back in the Southeast I was really left with the feeling I made the correction decision moving back to the western states.  Florida in particular is a state that I really seemed to got the most out of it (hence the endless well of Florida Friday's to come) and I really can't think of what else there is to do other than visit family or on occasion revisit something interesting.  I did manage to get a huge amount of shield pictures and way better highway photo albums on the big stuff.  But with all that in mind, Florida essentially is a state of straight lines and it was a good decision to flesh out the trip with a northward jaunt through the Carolinas.  I had one more day in the Southeast Region but it was mainly used resting up for a visit to Washington State the day after I returned to California. 



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