Sunday, February 5, 2023

"Energy and persistance conquer all things". -- Benjamin Franklin

"Mayor" Boll Weevil" in Enterprise, AL.

Torreya State Park near Bristol, FL was a good hour drive away. We were looking for a hiking trail with a few ups and downs and it did not disappoint. At least I was good and tired last night. We took a trail to the Gregory house and a different one back from there for a nearly 5 mile hike. It was uphill the entire way back! Obviously I need to do more hiking before we backpack in August!

The park is named for the rare Torreya traxifolia tree. Rattlesnakes and black bears make it their home, but we saw neither. This site was selected for the park primarily because it was the location of 6 Confederate gun pits used to hold back the Union army warships on the Apalachicola River.

The Gregory house, built in 1849, was a plantation house originally located across from the State Park on the Apalachicola River. The house was moved to it's current location when it was donated to the state with the condition that it be relocated. In the 1930's the CCC (Civil Conservation Corp) began the 7 year process of moving it by removing one board at a time. 
CCC built bridge

Mike, or maybe a leprechaun?, showing off the archway under the bridge.


At one point it felt like more like a jungle. 

The Gregory house kitchen (on the right) would have originally been on the backside connected to the dining room. At some point, before it was relocated, the kitchen building had burned down. 

Beautiful views from the house. 

They had several stations in the back showing candlemaking, how they would have made wood shingles, and other things from the 1800's.

The chaperones couch in the courting room. The furnishings in the house were not original but were from the period of the home.

This is a courting candle. I had not seen one before. The father would judge the suitor when he called and determine how long he could stay by the candle length. When the candle went out, so did the suitor!

There is a mirror at the bottom of this table in the entryway so as the ladies walked past they could check their skirt length. 

Jason Gregory

Early automated cradle.

The floor on the first floor had to be replaced. This flooring from the second floor was original with the wood plugs.

Wooden checkers and Confederate cards.

In my quest to hike-to-see-something we took a half mile walk on the Bellamy Bridge Trail. The bridge itself wasn't exciting because it didn't even have a floor anymore, however, it was supposedly haunted. A story for another time. We didn't make it to the bridge due to water and another bridge that was washed out. We found another trail to try and get to the bridge only to discover it didn't go to the bridge. Aaah, but not to be deterred we took something that might have been a path at one time. Still no luck but by this time we did get close to a 5 mile hike. The guys have a plan so check back. 

The logs weren't long enough, what was left of the boardwalk was on it's side, and the creek was a bit deeper than we cared to walk in. 

Pat tried!

This might have been a path at one time?

We think we did reach the river. 

More boll weevils from Enterprise, AL.

Pat's traditional groundhog chili on Groundhog Day.

A little blurry (or a dirty windshield) but Pat saw a red-headed woodpecker out the front window one morning.
Where are the Piepers now? Bonifay, FL

Monday, January 30, 2023

The beach is calling and I must go!

White sand and a beautiful water color = a great mood booster!

Saturday Pat, Mike, Sally and myself set off for a hike. Now we've been hiking (I said it was more like walking) on several trails in forested areas, trees, but flat. Sally likes to hike/walk to get steps in and I like to get somewhere, treats and such, or to see unique or at least different things. We hiked 3 miles in and then back out on the 18.4 mile Econfina section of the Florida Trail. The trail had a few ups and downs (nothing major, but a change of pace from flat Florida), tree roots, low tree limbs--watch out Sally, and something to hike to. 

Scott Road Trailhead on the Florida Trail.

Someone left a cute little scene on a piece of wood.  

We appreciated the 10 or so volunteers working on the trail clearing brush, rebuilding bridges, and other maintenance.

Maybe a yellow moss or lichen??

The trail followed Econfina Creek. It was flowing pretty good. It is fed mostly by springs and had several smaller branches flowing into it. This section is prone to flooding and was greatly impacted by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Pat remarked it would be good canoeing if not for all of the downed trees. 

Some treasures were left near the Two Penny Bridge sign.

Most of the bridges we encountered up to Two Penney Bridge had been boards, and in some cases just one board.

It was pretty stable for being a swinging bridge. 

Maybe a quarter of a mile after crossing the bridge we came to the Econfina Waterfall, our turnaround point. Once again, it didn't seem impressive compared to other waterfalls we've seen, but considering how flat Florida is...

Interesting lichen.

Sunday night we shared with Pat's sister and brother-in-law another free cooking class from Gia's Italian Kitchen. Today's lesson: Ratatouille with Pork Chops and Fennel. 4 of us working in a small RV kitchen! Everyone got put to work and we kept up with Kelley.  

We were so busy I didn't get a picture of the finished product. These containers held what we had left, plus just a part of the dirty dishes. 

Dinner eaten and kitchen back to normal.

We have had some cooler, cold, and rainy weather. We were all feeling a little closed in. Sally had a hankerin' for some seafood. Monday seemed to hold the least chance of rain, at least for the first part of the week, so we headed to Panama City Beach for some seafood and beach time.

Beautiful view as we ate.

Our fish siting for the day. 

Where are the Pieper's now? Bonifay, FL