HA! You’re laughing! Casselberry? Fern Park? Isn’t that all about 436 and 17-92, you’re asking? Well yes, in a way; 436 slices through the heart of the old farming communities east of old Winter Park, and 17-92 bisects the old fern nurseries of Fern Park. There IS old to be seen here.
Casselberry only became a city in 1965. It has a very picturesque “old” section centered around the Triplet lakes, and its old unincorporated Fern Park section features a lot of old motels and pre-Disney relics strung along 17-92. Casselberry stretches down to Howell Branch Road, and parts of it are still wild, mere seconds from crazy 436. (Remember that you can click on any picture to make it larger and more complete.)
Here’s Lake Howell as seen from one of the condominiums that line the lake’s west edge. If I don’t see a guard house, I venture in; I’m fourteen years old and invisible, which is how I get many of these shots. While moseying along today, I got caught in a giant cloud of dryer exhaust coming from the condo’s laundry facility, and smelled nothing but fabric softener for a few minutes. Ecch!
This next shot is up near Semoran Skateway, where I and my little spent many evenings in the past rolling round and round and ROUND at Gay Skate. What exactly is Gay Skate? It’s cruising on little rubber wheels, trying to glide with aplomb without looking too ridiculous. For me, that was mostly impossible because I would go into these spastic convolutions rather than just crash merrily into a rail or onto the floor. And you just don’t do something like that in front of a group of gay people, because you will be socially ostracized for life.
Just past the Skateway is the southern entrance to the Kewanee trail, another rails-to-trails path that threads through Casselberry and into Fern Park. I never knew it was there until I looked at Google Maps one day, and there it was.
Kewanee Park is in here, situated deep inside the suburban spread. Who knew that this place existed so close to 436? Shirley Jackson would have a field day with this isolated little wetland: “and no one can hear you scream, in the night, in the dark… “
Back to Lake Howell Lane, which branches off east and west from Lake Ann Lane, is this imposing set of gates; I think I know of the people who live here. No bikes allowed! Do you think I need to fill my white basket with yellow jonquils?
The eastern end of Lake Howell Lane borders on the western edge of the San Pedro Retreat Center. This is a grazing area for local cows, who tend to move to this part of the property at night. I’m told by a San Pedro employee that it’s creepy hearing the cows lowing in the dark late at night…