Sunday and Monday January 3 & 4, 2015 Most Recent Posts:
Koreshan State Historic Site Tree Snail Hammock Trail on the Loop RoadEstero, Florida Big Cypress V.C. and Boardwalk
Today we move 87 miles north west to Koreshan State Historic Site and Winnona is happily camped in their campround in the Scrub Oak forest. There are 60 sites here with water, 30 amp electric and a dump site. The bathrooms are nice, clean with hot water and good pressure. There are two washers and two dryers. Both are $1.50. The washers are only cold water wash.
Koreshan is located in Estero Florida which is between Fort Myers and Naples. It’s a sweet little park on the Estero River with good kayaking and an interesting historic site.
The fates are kind today and let us get pretty much set up before the rains start pouring down. But they pour for the entire rest of the day so we just chill out and watch it rain. The photo above was taken later, after the rain, as you can see from the location of the kayaks.
Monday is laundry day. While there I meet George and Lisa from Detroit. They are on vacation with their first RV, a nice little Roadtrek. George laughingly says they don’t know what they are doing but they seem to be doing fine to me. He says it took him years to convince Lisa to try RVing. She tells me her comments to his suggestion were “What in the world will I do? Sit around in that thing all day”. Well she has definitely changed her story and now says she loves the slower pace and the quiet. They are only in their 40’s but I encourage them to down size and get out on the road as soon as they can. Here they are with their dog Leo. Lisa says he loves to travel. You do meet the nicest people on the road.
After the laundry we decide to take a walk on the trails here. I love the way the campground is set up. All of the sites have plenty of privacy vegetation between them. The sites in the first loop have neat little paths going out from them to a larger path which leads to the bathhouse/laundry in one direction and the park trails in the other.
This is our campground path.
This one goes to the bathhouse. We’re taking it the opposite way to the trails when we see this long narrow fellow traveler resting at the path’s edge.
I’m very happy to see him since one of his favorite foods is mice and rats. In the Keys we had damage to Ruby’s hood insulation from rodents. The little buggers got up on top of the engine and chewed it up. Hopefully Mr. Rat Snake will take care of anyone who ventures around here.
From this map, you can see the red trail takes off from near the campground. Actually it is much closer than the map makes it look. The red trail is a nature trail with interpretive signs along the way. It leads to the historic area along the edge of the Estero River. Our usual practice is to take either blue or red over and then bring the other back after walking around the historic area.
David is reading the signpost on the slash pine. That seems a rather unpleasant name for such a lovely pine.
It has particularly beautiful bark I think.
All along the red trail we get glimpses of the river.
Kayak the river is definitely something we want to do while we are here this time or when we return for a longer stay in February.
Cirus Teed and his followers came to this area in 1894 to create a Utopia in the wilderness. Over time they imported a wide range of plant species from all over the world. Many of them still grace the grounds of what they called the Koreshan Unity.
As we have been here before, several times, I have written in more detail about Teed who changed his name to Koresh as a result of “divine inspiration” and about his Hollow Earth Theory and the many well educated Victorians who followed him to what was then a jungle. At the end of this post I’ll put the links to those previous posts with that information so those who may not have been following at that time can read them if they like. Or anyone else who wants to know more about this interesting place.
Today on our walk, I just take a few pictures of the things I like most on the grounds including these two beautiful bridges connecting one section to another. The red trail comes onto the grounds just before this one.
Not sure why one bridge was painted and the other was not. A question I’ll ask when we take the tour this time.
Some trees on the property are venerable beauties like this gorgeous live oak covered in resurrection fern and spanish moss which of course isn’t a moss at all but a bromeliad.
One of the first tree species planted in the formal garden were the very tall Washingtonian Palms along the “Grande Promenade”. Only a few of them remain. They are replaced by smaller palms, I’m not sure why since in other areas the park strictly replaces anything that dies with the exact thing the Koreshans planted. The Grand Promenade must have been grand indeed when lined with these tall tall palms.
Originally the Koreshan Community faced the Estero River. The river was the transportation route of the time. The main entrance was here at the Bamboo dock.
We’re very lucky to be here at the right time to see this beautiful African Tulip Tree in bloom. It is also called ‘flame of the forest, fireball and fire tree because it has large orange flower clusters outlined with yellow. In the center of the cluster are multiple buds that look like small bananas. Have you seen these in their native land Gaelyn?
Although Koresh (Cyrus Teed) founded the Unity, its day to day affairs were governed by “The Seven Sisters” who lived in a common house referred to as the Planetary Court. It’s a beautiful Victorian Building with 8 bedrooms and one communal sitting room. They all took their meals in the community dining hall which was across the way.
We return to Winnona via the blue trail which is not along the river but does go beside what was once the fruit orchard. David is always on the look out for the fruit trees in among the jungle. Today he finds some oranges. Normally he eats these mostly wild fruits and I don’t. Too bitter for me. But today he’s found one that is actually pretty good.
The Park has many activities for its daily and camping guests. There are tours of the grounds every day at 10am and 2pm, $2 for adults, $1 for children. You’ll learn a lot about Teed, his beliefs including the Hollow Earth theory, the history of the unity, the buildings and the plantings. Even if you don’t camp here, if you are in the area the tour is worth paying the entrance fee.
From January Through March, they have a music series every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm in the Art Hall as well as special evening programs once a month from November through February.
On Sundays there is Yoga at 7:00 in the Art Building, the local farmer’s market sets up on the grounds from 8am-1pm and a period authentic bread making program from 11-00.
The last week-end in January and the first week-end in February they do their Ghost Walk where volunteers dress as Koreshans and appear throughout the park as tour groups come by to hear their stories.
Here are some links to our previous stays at the Koreshan State Historic site for those who want more information about any of this and of course more pictures of all the things mentioned above. <grin>
February 2 2015
February 6, 2015
February 9, 2015
February 14, 2015