El Camino Real

Mission way-station along Florida’s El Camino Real.

From the time St. Augustine (capital of Florida at the time) was established in 1565, Spanish military and religious authorities began extending their reach beyond the town limits.  They developed various modes of transportation between widely dispersed settlements which eventually included forts, missions and ranches. 

Map placed at Ichetucknee Springs near Fort White highlighting part of the Camino Real.

During this period, many roads were established in Spain’s New World colonies, often following earlier Indian footpaths and trade routes. In La Florida, the Camino Real helped move people and supplies between St. Augustine and the more than 100 missions located to its west among native populations living on the frontier.

Rontittle.com photo of the drawing by Edward Jonas depicting movement of an oxcart along the Camino Real toward a mission.

In the 1680s, Florida Governor Diego de Quirogay Losado contracted the services of military engineer Enrique Primo de Rivera to build a formal road across north Florida that was suitable for oxcarts. 

Rontittle.com photo of drawing of oxcart by Edward Jonas.

Although there are no standing Spanish missions in Florida today, important clues found in historical documents, archaeological evidence, and the land itself have allowed researchers to reconstruct this royal road’s path.  So, come learn about, explore, and enjoy the places and stories of La Florida and its El Camino Realhttps://dos.myflorida.com/historical/explore/el-camino-real/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ichetucknee 2

Trees and wetlands embrace the nourishment and easy flow of the Ichetucknee River.

Ichetucknee Springs near High Springs and Fort White, Florida provides an abundance of life to the natural habitation in Florida’s northeast region, and is an oasis of sorts year round. 

A boat sit still along with the slow moving water flow from Ichetucknee River.

The Ichetucknee 1 post provides information and images of the head water springs and the north entrance to the Ichetucknee River.  The images in this post reveal the south end of the river where water travelers usually exit from the peaceful ride. 

The flow of the springs creates a beautiful river that was once a secret (somewhat) before 1970.  You wouldn’t know it today as thousands converge on the area.  The river doesn’t mind though.  It just meanders along awaiting new people to jump right in and ride along. 

Smooth water from Ichetucknee River allows reflection of the cypress trees.

Ichetucknee River flows about six miles through the shaded hammocks and wetlands before joining the Santa Fe River.  In 1972 the head spring of the river was declared a national natural landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Crystal-clear Ichetucknee River flows toward the Santa Fe River in Florida.
The shadow from a cypress tree provides a clear look through the pristine water to see the bottom surface.

White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the park.

Woods and swamp area between Ichetucknee River and the south exit to the store, restaurant and eating areas. Doesn’t it look like a Big Foot image in the photo?
Paved walkway between the Ichetucknee River and the concession area.

A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tubes plus snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park. Located four miles northwest of Fort White, off State Roads 47 and 238. https://www.stateparks.com/ichetucknee_springs_state_park_in_florida.html

Ichetucknee General Store and concession area at the south end of the Ichetucknee River

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ichetucknee 1

It’s quiet now, missing the laughter and squealing with the cool spring water. Serene, peaceful, where are the people?

Crystal clear headwaters at Ichetucknee Springs begin at the north entrance and flow southward.
Spring water bubbles up and flows downstream for all to enjoy.

It was a warm pre-spring day with a slight haze from clouds. We ponder, and imagine, that soon the echoes erupt through the oaks; ripples with the splash of the crystal clear flow. It will soon be Ichetucknee’s prime time.

Ichetucknee – Indian word meaning “beaver pond” and is one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs. (Wikipedia) The springs are located close to High Springs, Florida.

To me, prime time is whenever I can be there, taking in the beauty around. I enjoyed the quietness and stillness without all the laughter and splashing – because it was a good picture day – even though vegetation was still dormant.

The soft flow of the springs allows a slight splash now and then but their flow is without effort, abiding within natural barriers. A leaf falls from the tree and you could almost hear it land in the woods, or softly touch the smooth, clear water.

This is a beautiful place. Observe with me the beauty even in the after-affects of winter.

Egrets and turtles continue their daily routine regardless of coolness or warmth.

Soon, the people will arrive, the green abounds and the sun bakes. The springs refresh. Below is a nice video from Trips to Discover.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron


Thursday Doors at High Springs

Wall art on old building in High Springs, Florida

Here is a combination of street art and emphasis on Thursday Doors. Did it catch your attention? Do you notice the door?

High Springs is a town in North Florida with around 4,000 in population. It is not far from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Since we are getting close to spring, here is another take on it – High Springs. Visit Florida provides a little additional insight, stating it’s the casual tempo of High Springs that entices travelers.

High Springs tempts visitors with diverse and unique offerings of art, antiques and outdoor adventures that make it a refreshing getaway.

Surrounded by natural attractions, the town attracts canoeists, cave divers and campers heading to the nearby Santa Fe River. High Springs is a place for snorkeling, diving, tubing or swimming in natural springs that flow at a steady 72 degrees all year long. https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/high-springs.html

If you are in the North Florida area it’s worth a little trip to High Springs and enjoy the small town flavor along with the beautiful springs and oaks.
https://highsprings.us/ More about the springs later.

This is my first post for #ThursdayDoors so I copied the following information from an excellent blogger, Dan, at https://nofacilities.com/2019/02/28/closing-februarys-door-thursdaydoors/. He also links to Norm’s blog and #ThursdayDoors information.

“If you don’t know about the list, it’s worth checking out. It’s even worth the minute or two to sign-in, if you haven’t already. Having your door on the list means that more people will see them. I’ve been on the list and off the list, and I can tell you that being on the list puts more eyeballs on your page. How do you get on the list? I’m glad you asked. Follow this link to Norm’s doors. Check them out and then look for the link to the list. Fill out the form, and your doors are in the gallery of doors for this week. ” Dan Antion

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Where’s your bakery?

Do you have a special bakery nearby? If I could start one I would like to include a good mixture of gluten-free and yeast-free items. Of course that would be difficult since most products have flour and yeast as key ingredients.

Well, while I couldn’t eat the regular bakery items at the Silos Baking Co. (Magnolia Bakery) in Waco, Texas, I sure could enjoy the quaint, hometown, wonderful-looking bakery developed by Chip and Joanna Gaines, former stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper series.

When interviewed in 2016 by Today, Joanna commented: “I’ve dreamed about having a bakery since I opened the Little Shop on Bosque Boulevard in 2003. After our move to the Silos (our market and shops), the little building on the front of the property was the perfect spot to finally open one.” https://www.today.com/home/see-inside-chip-joanna-gaines-bakery-magnolia-silos-t104852.

Guests wait patiently to savor the fresh-baked goodies from the Silos Baking Co. in Waco, Texas.

The line into the bakery was formed beside the building on the day we visited. I’m not the type to wait around but this is a one-time event that we needed to endure with patience.

I did enjoy watching people from practically everywhere enjoying themselves and salivating over the smell and view of the sweet delights.

Here are some views to trigger your saliva glands too.

The family sure enjoyed the cupcakes that ranked probably in the top five ever. Just look at these beauties.

A dozen cupcakes and two gluten-free cookies makes it worth the wait at Silos Baking Co. in Waco, Texas.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

New Mexico back road

U.S. 87 traveling toward Amarillo.

While traveling from Colorado to Amarillo, Texas, we were never short of something interesting along the route.   Interstate 25 was picturesque and intriguing, and then we took U.S. 87.  

I could imagine the area filled with prehistoric creation combined with volcanoes in this area.  

Another thought occurred too.  Is this part of the terrain where monstrous cloud systems form, creating super cells and major tornadoes heading east?  That was certainly on my mind.  It didn’t help that occasional signs with warning lights warned motorists of potential high winds crossing the roads.

As we approached a dark image ahead we first thought it was part of a mountain range – BUT, we soon learned it was a large cloud.  Should we turn around? 

No, we would continue and see what it was about.  

While we didn’t see lightning I was still apprehensive about continuing through this cloud.  

Well, we didn’t even encounter rain until farther along toward Texas – just a lot of gray cloud cover.  

So, when things seem dark and scary as we face them, unless there is real danger we should continue pursuing our destination.  Sometimes the threat is not as ominous as we initially think.  

I thought it was neat to see the long trains on each side of U.S. 87 – sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right.  Here is a little video of the ride at certain segments.  

Traveling along U.S. 87 in New Mexico from Colorado toward Amarillo.  

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Beauty to and from

Traveling south along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado.

The trip to the Colorado Rockies was a very enjoyable one.

I had some thoughts though while looking at the images on our trip toward home.

Does one enjoy the trip to the destination of plans more than the return journey home?

Is the view different when traveling back; do we anticipate the trip, or do we just have a ho-hum attitude – like I’ve seen it before already?

Why not enjoy every bit of the journey – to the destination and beyond? 

The mountains are the same – I mean they didn’t change in just a week.

The sky is still adorned with the majestic blues.

Why, even if gray clouds pop up the sky is still the same above.

One could take a thousand photos of a location and each image is unique.

I think I shall never tire of beholding the beauty surrounding us.

We may have a thousand look-alikes that look and act just like us;

But! We are individually unique and made special for this time.

We too should continue enjoying the beauty within us and the beauty all around.

Quarry along U.S. 50 in Colorado.
Quarry along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado that has its own beauty and purpose.  

Take a breath, pause – behold!  Absorb the scenery. 

Enjoy life!

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron