Florida History
World building Florida's past for the book Freedoms Quest

I used "research" for my book Freedoms Quest ,as a great excuse to travel, camp, kayak and explore Florida. My goal was to experience what I could of the lost of Florida as a world building exercise. Or just experience a new river to cast my fishing line.

My admiration of the early native Americans, explorers and pioneers goes up with every trip. Every swamp I wade, every mosquito and chigger bite, and I never ceased to be awed of the raw power of Florida's forest fires, the fierce lightning storms and destructive hurricanes.

This page is a collection of my experiences. Feel free to depart, even FLEE or stay and see some areas of Florida.

Perhaps try to fit yourself mentally into the past, the hardships and dangers.

A sign at the stunningly beautiful Ichetucknee Springs, suggesting something evil may have happened. 

In the school books, the De Soto expedition was put in the category of "Brave Explorers."

However upon reading the eye witness accounts of the expedition, and the brutal chaining of 500 native Americans to carry the expeditions baggage, it can only be defined as evil.

East coast sugar plantation destroyed at the outbreak of the Second Seminole war

Dawn on the fast flowing Suwannee River

Three Sisters Spring on Crystal River.

Then we paddled to the amazing Indian mound.

Tomoka River. One of the largest remaining Indian mounds on the Florida East coast.

Amazing park.

Kennedy Space Center where I work.

Stories of French Shipwrecks, Grounded treasure fleets, ice-age fossils and German submarines predate the space center.

Black water cypress swamp near Lake Poinsett

The space center NO MOTOR ZONE of the north Banana River.

The quiet is stunning!


Blue Springs on the St. Johns River

Hillsborough River State Park.

Florida Combat.

Florida Combat?

Participated in paintball games around the state, to get a feel for the obstacles that Native Americans, Soldiers and Conquistadors would have faced trying to defend or conquer Florida. The heat, chiggers, mosquitoes, ticks, the heat. The terrain of wetlands, palms trees, majestic fern covered oaks as well as thick brush was, and still is a challenge to any outside activity.

Not trying to say I experienced anything as difficult or terrifying like those brave souls in the past. I was able to go home and take a shower. Was able to say, "That was fun."

However it was interesting to live through similar if safer events.

More ruins, stories lost?

Beautiful Ichetucknee Springs

Banana River dawn at KARS park

Odd tool found on the beach during sand dune replenishment. (not the scissors)

French or Spanish?

Dawn at the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee River

Foggy Dawn on the Banana River, Kennedy Space Center "No Motor Zone"

This painting is on a museum wall in Jacksonville. Artist/credit is unknown to me.

The massacre of prisoners at Matanzas Inlet. 

September 29, 1565, Menéndez orders the execution of the Huguenots. 

Turkey Creek, Brevard County

Ruins on a shell midden, Mosquito Lagoon.

The native Americans were moved west and then in the 60's the land was taken by the US government to create Kennedy Space Center

Peace River

Was camping out on cold (Florida version of cold) night on the Peace River and trying the visualize the remoteness of the area and fear of the night during the Seminoles wars. Would you wake up in the morning?

Foggy morning at the launch pad camera site. Pad 39B is in the distance.

This pad, 39A was given to SpaceX

Space Shuttle Launch Pad Fixed Service Structure.

(Astronaut escape carts to the right.) The FSS and RSS shuttle structures have been torn down since 2012

My co-explorer on the Suwanee River

Forgive me if I have used some photos from my other pages. I have around 10,000 pictures and lost another 4,000 when my hard drive crashed a few years back. For ease at the moment, I am recycling some of the pictures.

Return Home from Florida history world building page

Do you need the perfect gift?

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Available on Amazon: 

Kim Ryba

It's a Matter of Luck: Inspirational, Heartfelt Stories of Horses Given a Second Chance.

by Kim Ryba & Lina T. Lindgren

Warning: This book may cause your eyes to water -in a good way. (speaking from experience after reading it)

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Author Bruce Ryba

Author Bruce Ryba at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39B & Artemis 1. "We are going to the Moon!"

Author's discussion (that's me) on You Tube of a book review on Amazon

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For the video versions of information, please check out my YouTube Channel (Turkeys, KSC, Flintknapping, dive stories etc.)

Book One of Florida History:

Freedoms Quest Struggle for the Northern Frontier and lost tales of old Florida

Fiction & language warning.

Available on Amazon

End of Empire

Desperate times call for bold action.
In a desperate move to retain Florida and protect the treasure-laden galleons on their dangerous return journey to Europe, the King of Spain issues a royal decree offering refuge to all English slaves who escape Florida and pick up a musket to defend the coquina walls of Saint Augustine.
In another bold gamble, the King offers refuge to the dissatisfied Indian nations of the southeast who will take up arms against the English.
Clans, traumatized by war and disease, cross the Spanish Frontier to settle the cattle-rich land and burned missions of Florida.

Follow the descendants of the conquistador Louis Castillo in remote Spanish Florida, a wildland swept by diseases, hurricanes, and northern invasions.

 Book Two: Available on Amazon