Day 14: January 4, 2015
Highlands in Florida

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It's hard to leave good company and conversation but I finally did it and, after rejoining the Dixie Highway Mainline where I had left it, followed it to the north edge of Haines City then turned onto the Scenic Highlands Connector. I believe that this Connector includes the entire Ridge Scenic Highway. It turned out to be good luck that I had not driven this northbound as originally planned since construction had a fair amount of it down to one lane and that lane was southbound. Though "high" (as in Highland) is a relative thing, the road does seem to climb and dip more here than in most of Florida.

Not only did Roadside America alert me to the nearby Spook Hill, official county or city road signs pointed to it as well. I parked on the line and put the car in neutral. It started rolling backward as soon as I took my foot off of the brake. Because a car was approaching, I stopped the roll at ten feet or so and drove forward to turn around. I though I might ge a video of someone else mysteriously rolling off into the distance but it was not to be. I snapped the picture of the stationary car as soon as I stopped at the top of the hill but before I good get switched to video mode, it had rolled backward about the same distance I had and then it, too, braked and drove away. Spook Hill is just over a block off the Dixie Highway.

Both of these pictures were taken approaching Moody Lake and show that there is some rolling, and maybe even "high", country in Florida.

The Dixie Highway goes right up to Sebring International Raceway but I did have to leave it just a bit to get the picture of the gate.

The road reverts to the standard straight and flat Florida model beyond Sebring. The Dixie Ranch is near the end of the Connector. I don't know whether or not the highway was the inspiration for the name but I'm going to pretend it was.

From the Connector's end near Okeechobee, I took a slightly quicker course to its other end and rejoined the DH West Mainline. I've driven this before so I took a few less pictures this time but enjoyed it all the same. I especially like this marker on an old brick section of DH (now called Old Tampa Highway) near Loughman. Two similar markers are known but I believe this is the only one that scored just 2 of 3 in "citrus" spelling. Roadside America has entries for all three.

In Kissimmee, I grabbed a casual through-the-windshield shot of the bricks on Penfield Street and a little clearer shot of the sign marking the DH's merge with the Osceola Parkway. I stayed with the DH to Orlando then went to roost for the night.

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