One Trip EVERY Month: Burnt Store Road

 “The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see One Tripwhat’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
  ~ Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Prodded by Marianne’s monthly challenge, One Trip EVERY Month, we headed up Burnt Store Road, which runs along the Charlotte Harbor Shoreline between Punta Gorda and Cape Coral, Florida.  This is about a 20 mile rural stretch of road that takes us from Pine Island, north  to I-75. We hardly ever take the time to explore what’s along Burnt Store Road, so we planned a day trip with friends and did a three in one.

First stop: Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. It is comprised of over 43,000 acres in Lee and Charlotte counties which were acquired to provide a natural buffer from urban areas and agricultural lands to help protect the largest and most productive estuary in Florida. More than 80 miles of shoreline is protected.

Burnt Store Day Trip Photos

It was a crisp, cool morning, suitable for hiking the 1.75 mile Old Datsun Trail. It winds through oak and sabal palm hammocks, pine flatwoods and isolated wetlands. We also walked the short, mile long Eagle Point Trail at Alligator Creek Preserve which included an alligator pond, marsh and mangrove habitat. These communities are home to red-shouldered hawks, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, bobcats, wading birds, otters, alligators and migratory birds. One hawk was our total wildlife count, but that didn’t matter. It was just great to be outdoors.

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This was an old Florida experience, the one of my childhood, before development took much of the native habitat. I look forward to sharing these many trails in this preserve with my grandchildren when they visit, and include a trip to the Environmental Center. After a picnic lunch, we headed for our next stop.

Pottery Express and Bamboo Farm. This is a destination in itself. A thriving business that imports pottery, statuary and garden accessories from Mexico and Asia, it is a riot of colors, textures and shapes set among a vast bamboo garden. Because it covers five acres, visitors can use a golf cart to drive around with a salesman who will answer their questions concerning pottery use and price. I just wanted to walk and take in the lush grounds.  I could have picked out dozens of pots and statuary which reminded me of previous trips to far off places:  Talavira from Mexico and the glazed pots from Vietnam. I wouldn’t have to go far to find what I want.

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Being SW Florida, fancy outdoor lighting is taking hold. Artistic and functional.

Burnt Store Day Trip Photos

Our third stop was Sandman Book Store which I covered in my previous blog. Another delightful stop. Thanks to all of you who visited the blog and who took time to go to the Face book page explaining how the bridge of knowledge was built.

Burnt Store Day Trip Photos-12

Wanting to know the origin of the naming of Burnt Store Road, I discovered that the widely accepted story took place in the mid 1800’s when a trading post for settlers was in this region. Seminole Indians, who were peaceful and kept to themselves, sometimes used this trading post, too. A surveyor showed up and acted like he owned the place, including the area the Seminoles lived in, causing a stir. Legend has it that Billy Bowlegs led the raid to burn down the trading post. Settlers and Seminoles were killed and the store was never rebuilt. Old Salty, a settler, who had befriended Billy Bowlegs, hid him until he could get him out of the area.

Whether it’s true or not, I’d like to believe that part of that hike was in Seminole territory.

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About travelerlynne

Traveler. Writer. Retired Educator.Traveling on and off the beaten path with my photographer husband. Volunteering locally as well as in Haiti and Tanzania, an enriching and humbling experience. A sun lover! Shelling, boating, fishing and watching sunsets. Growing mango, banana, key lime,and pineapple.Making smoothies and chutneys. Enjoying family and friends! Savoring each new day!
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26 Responses to One Trip EVERY Month: Burnt Store Road

  1. Marianne says:

    I wonder what those lovely pink flowers are, Lynne?

    I was just about to say that you would have had difficulty dragging me from Pottery Express, when I saw that it was a bookstore that was your final stop. WooHoo!

    What an EXCELLENT day – and thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    • Hello Marianne. The plant expert friend with us didn’t know what they were when we asked him the same question. Like you, I could have spent hours at the pottery place and intend to go back. The book store was a great find and lovely way to end the day. The only thing missing was a Starbucks. 🙂

  2. Love the quote Lynne. What a great and varied trip you had. I love those Florida boardwalks, and sometimes one doesn’t see much wildlife, but as you say, it’s just great to be out in the fresh air. The colourful ceramics and outdoor lamps are really gorgeous. The fabulous bookstore must have been the cherry on the top. 🙂

  3. Hi Sylvia. We’re always in a hurry to get to I-75 to heard towards Tampa, etc. and never have time to stop at these places. Am glad we designated a “Burnt Store Road” day and did it. You’re right about the book store. Great place. I have to go back and visit Kitty-Wan Kenobi. 🙂

  4. Billy Bowlegs? Oh, I love it. You always have great details and anecdotes and vivid pictures, Lynne. Thanks for guiding me along on this trip with you!

  5. Thanks, Marilyn for your kind words. Both our lives and locales are filled with stories and legends. It’s just getting them down on paper, that’s important. Glad you enjoyed our day trip. 🙂

  6. Wow!! I would be in HEAVEN in the midst of all of the beautiful pottery. I’m a landscape designer by trade, and one of my favorite things to do is picking out pottery for clients. So much fun!!

  7. I can see why the pottery would be a great choice for you to spend your time. I love all the colors, shapes and textures. Thanks, Desiree for your comment.

  8. Madhu says:

    Truly, what a fantastic day Lynne!! Thanks for sharing the photos and the stories. I am coveting those colourful Mexican pots 🙂

  9. It takes much restraint to not come home with every one of them. I don’t even have to have a use…just love the colors and shapes. 🙂

  10. Dianne King says:

    Wonderful blog!!!

  11. I just knew if I kept reading, eventually you would tell us the significance of the name Burnt Store Road. Thanks for taking me on your journey. I especially like the Pottery Express and Bamboo Farm. Boy, would I like to explore that place!!!

  12. The pottery place seems to be the # 1choice for my readers. I’ve always been curious about the origin of the name, Burnt Store. Thanks for hanging into the very end to find out. 🙂

  13. Letizia says:

    I’m so glad you told us the story of Burnt Store Road – I was immediately intrigued by the name!

  14. Sorry you had to get to the end to find out. As many times as I’ve driven that road, I never researched its name. Obviously a store that burned down, but where, why? History fascinates me. I just have to slow down long enough to dig. Thanks for your comment, Letizia. 🙂

  15. restlessjo says:

    That’s a lot of variety in a day, Lynne. 🙂 Those pretty lamps kind of call to me.

  16. They had so many kinds of lamps, Jo. Beautiful. Liking glass the way you do, you would appreciate them. 🙂

  17. I’m loving the sound of that challenge. And the story of the origin of that road was a treat – I enjoy making those kinds of discoveries 🙂

  18. Since I haven’t been globe trotting lately, local discoveries are working out fine for this challenge. Thanks for commenting, Alarna. 🙂

  19. Gigi Galore says:

    Wow! What a day! Educational and fun! With beautiful pictures! 🙂

  20. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to go far for new discoveries. 🙂

  21. vbholmes says:

    Gorgeous colors, Lynne, and such an interesting post. After I read of all the wildlife roaming the Alligator Creek Preserve, I was relieved to read that you were only confronted by a hawk. Lovely day trip–glad you shared it.

  22. cindy knoke says:

    Love the photos, the post and the talavera! I have it all over my garden and in my house~

  23. It’s what I call “happy pottery”. Am pleased you liked the post,Cindy. A fun day.

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