Sunday, May 11, 2008

FInal Travel Day to Home

First off I like to say "Happy Birthday" to my mom. Yesterday was her day and I intended to extend our wishes in yesterdays entry, but my grey matter must be gettin' slow.

Well we got our usual early 9:30AM start and headed south. Took some country roads to hook up with US 301 south for about 100 miles. When we came into Callahan, FL we stopped for lunch. We have passed the Cedar River Seafood Company restaurant for years going to and from the mountains and it has always been packed with customers. Today it was 11:35 and not to crowded so we decided to try it. We both order a 'triple special', mine was shrimp, scallops & crab cake, Linda had shrimp, scallops & clam strips. When our order came our food was just barely warm, so we summoned our waitress and she reordered everything. All in all the food was delicious and hot the second time around. The restaurant is a small chain located in FL & GA. If your lookin' for seafood we would recommend Cedar River Seafood.

We ventured south and eventually picked up I95, 'yech', I dislike traveling I-95 & I-75 in the sunshine state, just too many people going somewhere too fast. Since we're not on a schedule and I'm trying to keep mileage up we travel 55mph, 60 tops. Pokin' along like that on the interstate I'm always afraid someone's gonna run right over us, so it's best to stay off the big blue roads.

Stopped to get some liquid gold at a Flying J and then headed for Fort Mantanzas National Monument. Another of those sites in our own state that we have never visited before. It's amazing how one ignores the sites around them, but will travel 500 miles to see some mundane attraction. Example - No secret that many, many residents of Florida came from up north somewhere where the season change in the fall just meant the drudgery of raking mountains of leaves. Now when October rolls round, we rush up the road 700 mile to "See the pretty leaves". Maybe the appreciation of the beauty of our surroundings comes with age, then again maybe the appreciation comes in the fact that we don't have to rake!

Fort Mantanzas was built in 1740 to reinforce Spain’s hold on Florida and ward off British encroachment on the military town of St. Augustine. St Augustine founded 1565, lies 14 miles north up the Manatnzas River and was protected by the heavy fortification of Castillo de San Marcos from the sea. Mantanzas was built to prevent British ships from sailing up the Mantanzas River and attacking St. Augustine from a position her forts cannon could not defend. Even though the fort was engaged several times, it is the only fort to claim nary a solder ever lost his life at Mantanzas. Though the fort was small at 50' x 50' and manned by only six or seven men, the 5 cannon were able to turn around any ships trying to enter Manatnzas Inlet. The fort lies on a island and the park service has a free ferry over and free tour once reaching the fort. Costumed interpreters staff the fort and were extremely knowledgeable about period history. An excellent stop if your near St. Augustine and have a few hours.

Here's the fort from the north

And from the south

Kevin, Infantryman for her Majesty the Queen, for today anyway

Soldiers Quarters

After we left Mantanzas we settled in at Faver Dykes State Park for the night. The park has been left almost completely natural and claims "The way Florida used to be", complete with undeveloped roads throughout. The park sports 30 campsites with W&E and a dump station. All in all for $14 a night not bad at all, nice and rustic. The only problem here is the temp is 100 degrees today, unusually hot, and not at all like the cool mountains. Oh well we'll go back as soon as we can, right now it's time to see the grandbaby's here.Well that's it for now.

See ya down the road as were Dancin' on the Wind

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