I love place names with Z’s in them- Zimbabwae, Zepherhills, Mozambique, Zoober (that really is a place name, but rumor has it if you drive too fast and blink, you’ll miss it), and, of course, Zanzibar (two z’s add extra excitement). Well, we found ourselves on the long and winding road off of highway 19 on the Gulf Coast somewhere between Crystal River and Homosassa, in Ozello.
It’s not much of a road (county road 494) from the main highway. You would drive past the sign without a second thought, but we were visiting an old acquaintance who had just bought a bar…you know how the story goes. After a quick chat, we continued on the winding snake curves to see where the road ended (I ended up in Key West with some friends once doing that).
Just keep driving. Fish from a bar with beer in hand at Cosmos Corner (we drank cokes, or further out, dine on crabs at the restaurant by the bridge. There are a few spots along the way that are designated for foot traffic only, vehicles prohibited, but as they were knee deep under water (must have been high tide) I seriously doubted I would be tempted to take my heavy German-tank of a vehicle into the muck. Park on the side and walk- or wade, as the case may be.
We stopped to walk on the bridge. Locals hanging out, fishing the channel. The water was clear enough to spot the fish. A clear view of the Gulf of Mexico, stretched out before us. This was the real reason everybody came to Florida, wasn’t it? Then we headed on to the boat ramp on the end (turn right on the other side of the beach). I was just informed by a friend that your car/truck will definitely end up under water there during high tide, so park on higher ground if you plan of leaving on a boat trip. To me it was perfect canoeing area- but my husband said- canoes are too low, you need a higher boat to find your way through the labyrinth of marsh grasses and islands (GPS would work too if you are a good navigator).
If the thought of all those snake curves gets your belly rolling, there’s a small fishing pier on John Brown Road off of the main Ozello trail, closer to HWY 19. Oh yeah, and bring a fishing pole- next time we definitely will.