Saturday, February 24, 2024

Three Lakes WMA MotoCamp: February 2024

I’d been planning to MotoCamp locally with a few friends for the past three years but we were never able to come together on a location or time.  

That changed when a buddy on his new Gen 3 KLR 650 invited me to join a group planning to camp out near Melbourne in a State of Florida Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  Though I couldn’t join them on that weekend, I did look into WMAs in my area.  

Two riding friends and I researched the Three Lakes WMA near Kissimmee (south of Orlando, west of  Melbourne) and decided to give it a try.  We had a planning meet-up the week prior that was really just an excuse to try out a local pho house.  Then our 2-night campout devolved into a 1-night ride.  Logistics…

Lee left a day early and planned to meet us there.  Beau and I met up on Thursday morning and took a route comprised of some nice Florida backroads.  We went through the small towns of Hopewell, Keysville, Fort Meade, Homeland, Frostproof and Kenansville before meeting up with Lee.  

Since the site we were considering was packed with hunters when we arrived, we went two miles back to Lake Jackson and found a beautiful tree-covered spot on a little creek. We set up camp, gathered (way too much) wood, got a nice campfire going and broke out the food and drink.  

Over a crackling fire, we all agreed we’d found a near perfect camp site.  Though we heard owls hooting, coyotes howling and evidence of wild hogs rooting, we only saw one animal—a lonely alligator— in the area.  

We sat around the fire talking until 1am then turned in.  It had been in the high 60’s to mid 70’s during the day but dropped into the low 50’s at night.  Perfect camping weather.  

The next morning we made breakfast and coffee on our camp stoves as we planned our return route.  We would ride together to St. Cloud to the northwest, then split up and go our own ways home.  Strong winds had been predicted and sure enough, we encountered them! Our loaded down lightweight adventure bikes were pushed all over the roads as we made our way back.  

While riding through the town of Winter Haven, I heard a loud POP! and found that my rear tire had picked up a large bolt.  I pulled into a church parking lot and broke out the tools to change the flat.  Though it had been a while since I’d changed a flat tire on the road, I made fairly quick work of it and was on the road less than an hour and a half later.  

The winds had really picked up and the last 60 miles were interesting to say the least.  🫢

I arrived home before 5pm on Friday afternoon after 275 miles of riding.  I’d enjoyed a most excellent moto camp experience with two really good guys.  

The three of us are already planning our next camp ride.  But knowing us, it might not happen for a year or two! 

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