Since the late 1800’s Silver Springs, Florida has been a Mecca for those seeking warm climate from the harsh north and those looking for medicinal remedy in the warm Spring waters. From the 1920’s until Walt Disney showed up, it was the biggest tourist attraction in Florida.
We took a tour on a glass bottom boat. The tours in these vessels have been going on for the last 100 years.
The depth was an average of 25 feet. With the deepest part, where the spring actually begins, 85 feet.
We then walked around the springs
and relaxed in the beauty
I sat with Chief Osceola. He did not call himself a Native American. He called himself a Seminole Warrior. He was responsible for defying the Indian Relocation Act (not Native American Relocation Act) and keeping the Seminole’s fighting the US. Osceola led the war of resistance until September 1837 when he went to a US fort for peace talks. While under a flag of truce he was captured. He died a short time later in captivity.
Of course, we had ice cream. I live by two maxims: Chocolate cures everything, and you must have ice cream every day.
After which Barbara slaved over a hot fire making dinner
For desert, we made s’mores
Does life get any better than this?
Bee seeing ya.
History is written by the victors. – Winston Churchill
As we crisscross back and forth through Florida, we have stopped at some of the historical places and battlefields of the Seminole Wars. Although the statistical information varies depending on who’s side you are listening to, the general consensuses is that “white man speak with forked tongue”.
One of the key spots of the war was Fort King, now Ocala, Florida. The only remains of the Fort is this marker:
The Seminoles burned the Fort down, twice. If Major Dade had reached the Fort today (see Day 49) he would be amazed. With modern technology I hold my I-Phone up to any one of 23 markers and I get a narrative of what happened at that site and how the war, over 40 years, was progressing.
The narrator pointed out that after the War of 1812, the United States had defeated England, twice, and was considered to have the best trained military force in the world. However, the Seminoles defeated that army over and over again.
Nevertheless, each of the wars caused large casualties, on both sides. Many Seminoles after the 2nd war were tired and agreed to move of Oklahoma in accordance with the Indian Relocation Act issued by President Andrew Jackson.
Finally, as stated in an earlier blog, the US decided for the few Seminoles left in Florida it was not worth the cost and declared the Wars over. According to the narrator, the US Military was not beaten as badly again until over a 100 years later in Vietnam. He pointed out that both wars were “gorilla wars” in which one side was defending it’s home in the jungle, and the other was not.
The Florida Blueberry Festival is held each year in front of the County Courthouse in Brooksville, Florida.
We had blueberry shortcake for breakfast.
Turkey leg and cheese steak for lunch
And then we had blueberry pie for dinner
It’s a tough life we lead.
We took a boat ride on the Crystal River through the estuary toward the Gulf of Mexico. This area was inhabited by the Indians from about 2500 years ago to 500 years ago. The changing climate, which attracted them in the first place, was also the reason they left.
Left behind were “mounds” of their trash, from which archaeologists have been able to assemble their eating habits, religious habits, and politics. Part of this State Park is dedicated to teaching archaeology. Unfortunately that teaching section was closed today, but you could still walk the area.
The interesting thing about this area is that the water in the Crystal River is fresh, but as you go through the estuary it begins to mix with the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. This allowed the Indians to harvest both fresh and salt water fish. The most abundant sea life was oysters, which made up a majority of the “mounds”.
QUIZ (What, you didn’t study?)
What is the difference between these two birds? (Click picture for enhanced view)
Hint: One is an Osprey and the the other an American Eagle. Can you tell which is which?
Left: Osprey Right: Eagle
and came across interesting wildlife.