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.
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.
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
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
My Facebook page Pet Turkeys You can always check in and say hello!
For the video versions of information, please check out my YouTube Channel (Turkeys, 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