Tim and I finally dragged ourselves away from our home for the last three days and did a little touring in Crystal River before driving north. We searched for manatees in Kings Bay, one of the best places in the world to observe these amazing animals, but we struck out. They must have been hiding today.
We had much better luck at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park. No, we didn’t see manatees, but we were able to explore a pre-Columbian ceremonial Indian-mound complex. Native Americans who lived in this area until about 500 years ago built the mounds along Crystal River. Both temple mounds and burial mounds are found here, representing hierarchical, social and religious activities by the inhabitants. Three cultural periods are represented, and there is evidence of trade relationships from all over eastern North America.
|One of the Burial Mounds|
|First Temple Mound|
|View of Crystal River from First Temple Mound|
|A Vertical Limestone Slab, or Stele, A.D. 440|
|Can You Find the Face|
In the Stele?
|Sketch of the Face|
In the Stele
Tim was intirgued with the Crystal River site and how the State of Florida has interpreted and developed educational opportunities there. It was interesting for me to view the site through Tim’s eyes.
|Can I Dig?|
|Sifting for Technology|
We drove north through a forgotten part of Florida and turned westward into the Florida panhandle. We’re spending the night at Ochlockonee River State Park, just south of Sopchoppy, Florida (what a great name!). Tim and I are loving Florida’s state park system, particularly the campgrounds. We stayed at Hillsborough River State Park near Tampa last week and were surprised to find many of the amenities of a private campground (electric and water hookups) with the lovely natural setting of a park.
The campground at Ochlockonee River State Park, which is situated among the beautiful pine flatwoods of north Florida, is even nicer than Hillsborough River, since it’s much smaller. The facilities at both parks are amazingly clean. Kitty loves the parks since there are so many squirrels to chase. Here, there are even white squirrels, which we managed to catch a glimpse of.
at Ochlockonee Stae Park
|Light Through the Pines|
|Kitty Likes the Park|