|The first pics are not exactly North Florida but I promised some from Shell Island. First the shuttle boat
then the beach
Here's a view looking out from the beach
and one from the rocks which I climbed on a bit. There are actually dolphins swimming right there, but the camera didn't quite pick them up.
Here's a cool shot of a jellyfish swimming, see how clear the water is
And of course, you may recognize this tourist.
Yes, the water really IS that color. Reluctantly, I headed north to spend the night at Suwanee River State Park, where I got the very last camp site open(only 30 of them). Here's the sign explaining its historical significance
and a couple good shots of the river itself
It looks quite calm and is very wide, at least here. Also very popular with canoers and kayakers, the reason the campground and all the cabins were full according to the nice lady ranger. Of course, I wanted to see something along the way, so what else, I googled Tallahassee and narrowed it down to 2 places I thought would be interesting and also have RV parking. This one seemed good and also had the advantage of being more on the way. It is called San Luis mission and I misread their web site and thought it was an original mission from the 17th century. Imagine my surprise when I pulled in and saw this as my first sight.
I went inside to learn that it actually has been built in the last decade or so on the site of the original mission which was burned down in 1704 to save it from the approaching British army. Once I got over the shock of seeing all the new looking buildings trying to look old, I enjoyed the hour or so and $5 spent. This is called the council house and it was huge.
I believe they said it could seat 1000 people.
Inside they had these platforms
around the central fire which was kept going at all times, winter and summer, day and night. The platforms had a variety of items displayed that would have been commonly used such as furs, pottery, gourds, and a particular type of holly plant that they used to brew a special highly caffeinated drink.They also had a variety of young people in era costumes like this young lady
to explain and answer questions. There were also work areas like this one
and a garden was planted behind the cottage to show how things were done in those days. The time period they are attempting to create predates the American Revolution. This cottage was furnished typically, down to the chamber pot at the foot of the bed
Next i found the fort and spoke to this fine young soldier also.
Of course, the center of any mission was the church.
This building is the only one on site that is not in the same spot as its earlier counterpart. The reason is because the original church also held the remains of many faithful parishioners. I thought this little room where the brothers would have worked to copy the Holy Scriptures had a reverent feeling to it.
This little cell was a typical room for one of the Franciscan friars who toiled here.
One thing they did quite well was the costuming, look at this guy's gray hair and beard.
In real life, he was about the age of my kids. As i finished my tour, I shot this view of downtown Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, for those of you who didn't know that.
Next report, the historic city of Savannah.