Panhandle Research Paper

652 Words3 Pages
Leaving Orlando the drive will take me six hours. In my rear view mirror is a city with one asphalt artery running into another. Faceless subdivisions and strip malls paint the landscape in a sea of sameness. Leaving an impression of having been someplace, but not really sure where. The sun bleeds into dusk preparing for its replacement. I press down on the accelerator, seventy, eighty, ninety miles an hour, racing to leave behind the buzz and glare of overpowered highway lights popping on in single file behind me. The Florida panhandle awaits. Attached to Florida at Tallahassee running west to Pensacola this sliver of land holds my destination, Santa Rosa beach. The chorus of rubber pounding concrete is replaced by the hum of a single car traveling a narrow rural road. State Road 19 takes me west and than north through Citrus, Levy, Dixie, and Taylor Counties. Hugging the coast a pastoral landscape glows in the last moments of daylight as the first stars in the sky accounance night. Here, in the rural heart of the State, the barbs on the wire fences outnumber the cars,…show more content…
Here the panhandle begins. My headlights guide me through the towns of Apalachicola, Wakulla, and Ochlochunee, a reminder of a native people that once called the area home. Next comes the slash pine plantations and paper mill towns created by the lumber barons that once ruled the land. A few more miles I hit Panama City. With its roadside trash, cocoa butter scent, and brunt flesh tourist Panama City defines the term tourist trap. The new towns of Rosemary Beach, Water Color and Seaside are next. Playing upon the American memory of small towns and main streets these new developments are replacing the old economy of paper mills and tourist traps with a new economy of half-million dollar vacation homes and five-hundred dollar a night hotel rooms. The “red-neck rivera” will soon be replaced by some more upscale
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