One of my favorite places is Crystal River along the gulf coast. I consider the gulf coast from Crystal River to St. Marks one of the few places in Florida not ruined by over-development. Although it is always changing, like everywhere else in our state.
My Mom was an anthropologist who worked with the Bullen’s on some of the excavation and study of the mounds at Crystal River. So, I get a nice feeling around the mounds, and enjoy quietly sitting in the park and thinking of her.
The park offers tours down the river on a pontoon boat, three days a week. Call ahead to make reservations. While here, I talked to one of the rangers who is related to one of the officers I am very familiar with from the 2SW, Lt Col Alexander Fanning. Fanning established Fort Maitland and has Fort Fanning named after him, among other things. The ranger told me that Fanning had a nasty disposition and nobody liked him!
One of the main attractions in the park is the temple mound. Although only a part of its former self that was carted away as road fill, what is left is still impressive and has a nice high overlook. I think that my Mom may have been part of the salvage archaeology that was trying to save what was left here.
The view of the river is spectacular. It would be better if it didn’t have the annoying jet skis and power boats.
An interesting oddity here is this bent sable palm.
Or here, as the three sisters.
I stayed overnight. The hotels are pricy, but I was too tired and didn’t want to go far away. In the morning I explored more of the Crystal River Preserve, and took some of the county roads to the little communities further west among the salt marshes along the coast. This is where the big Florida atlas comes in handy.
Here is a boat for sale. Any takers?
A coastal hammock.
I see many cedar trees growing wild, here along the roadway.
One of the communities near the end of the road, Ozello. I found this sign in front of the church amusing. I don’t see what is so special about this sign, or the other six that I must have missed.
You can find the most interesting places in the backroads of Florida.