Trekking in the Sun–a Winter in Florida

As I write this my coal/wood stove is keeping me warm because I am back here in chilly NJ at my little Swamp Maple Farm.   I drove home last week after deciding that I had done and seen what I could on the budget that I had and it was time to go back North to work on the content that I recorded, and to work on Earth Cruising this summer.  Summer in Florida is not a place for a native of Ocean City NJ.  I will never forget the time a few years ago, I went to the beach in Florida on a July day near Saint Augustine—I thought I would melt next to that hot ocean.  I longed for the beache in NJ, especially my favorite, Strathmere beach near Ocean City,  where you could experience that cooler ocean breeze —summers up north are just so much more tolerable.  The summers at the Jersey Shore are too beautiful and too exciting to miss.  Not to mention the hiking and kayaking to be had in the Pine Barrens, upstate NY, Vermont, Maine —to name a few places that I hope to get to this summer and fall.

But Winter in Florida?  Just so delightful.  I wanted to share what I was able to do and I really hope many of you can make it down for a couple of weeks next winter to enjoy warmth and sunshine in Florida.  Honestly, I felt I had more energy and felt healthier just being in the sunshine, under the blue skies, and being outside in the many parks, and waterways.  It’s really worth the planning and the travel time.

Here is Part 1 of  my journey through Northern Florida–

Princess Place Preserve, Flagler County, Florida:

1500 pristine acres, it has a rich history of  old Florida.   It was purchased by Henry Cutting in 1886 and passed on to his widow Angela Mills Cutting Worden, who eventually married Boris Scherbatoff, an exiled Russian prince. So what do you do when you marry a Prince?  Assume the title of Princess of course!  Angela took the  title of princess and it was then that the once named “Cherokee Grove” came to be known as “Princess Place.”  The park has so much going on.  The primitive camp sites are lovely, sitting on creeks with plenty of fishing.  There is a kayak launch, many trails for hiking, horse back riding and bird watching.  There is an old lodge you can visit with Florida’s first in-ground swimming pool.  I was always there since my little R.V. was located at a campground 2 min up the road.  I never tired of walking my dog and looking at the big trees and Spanish moss.


Pellicer Creek which flows its way through the Park.


This awesome bridge welcomes you to the main part of the park.



Another view of the wider portion of Pellicer Creek.


Tree frog on the bathroom wall.  He is so adorable isn’t he?



An Armadillo minding his own business eating bugs and the lovely tree lined roads of the park.

Coming up in Part 2 will be the lovely city of Saint Augustine.  Stay tuned !


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