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I announced a goal in 2010 to visit every county seat in Florida. This was a cheaper short-term goal to compliment my lifetime goal of driving all fifty states. This goal kicked off with Blacktop Classic 2010, during which I visited every county in our western panhandle (the farthest ones from Fort Myers). Although I intended to work on this goal while I was still paying off the student loans, only six more counties have been clinched since then (with a seventh planned but cancelled). I've now visited 31 of Florida's 67 county seats, and 13 counties remain which I've never been to at all.
Two new states were added to the "visited" list last month. Though I didn't drive in either of them the trip did whet my whistle for my second, in-state, goal. As I happen to be approaching the ten year mark since my move to Florida, and my first driving season without student loans sucking my money away, I've decided to finish clinching Florida's counties by next spring. Five road trips are planned between late September and March. To hold me over I made a short trip this weekend to La Belle, which I'd driven through a few times but never quite stopped in.
Here's a rundown of Florida's county seats, in order of visits:
Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Fort Myers (this one's free), Sebring, Sanford, Naples, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Miami, La Belle
Blacktop Classic 2009 :
Arcadia, Wauchula, Orlando, Jacksonville
Blacktop Classic 2010 , when the goal was set:
Marianna, Chipley, Bonifay, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola, Milton, Crestview, Panama City, Port St. Joe, Blountstown
The last four years:
Okeechobee, Brooksville, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, St. Augustine, Moore Haven
And here are the planned road trips...
Bradenton (the closest remaining county seat)
Bushnell, Inverness, Cross City, Mayo, Perry, Monticello, Crawfordville, Apalachicola, Bristol, Quincy, Madison, Key West, Fort Lauderdale
Clearwater, Dade City
Bartow, Tavares, DeLand, Titusville, Kissimmee (haven't decided on the order)
Late February, finish line:
Bunnell, Palatka, Green Cove Springs, Macclenny, Fernandina Beach, Jasper, Live Oak, Lake City, Lake Butler, Starke, Bronson, Trenton
The highlight will be Key West, which I'll be rolling into on Asphalt Day . I've chosen Trenton as the last county seat I'll visit simply because of it's name. While I'm running up the odometer I'll also be recording more bandscan videos for YouTube .
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