January 23-February 5, 2021 Most Recent Posts:
Koreshan State Historic Site A Week at Myakka – Part 1
Estero, Florida A Week at Myakka – Part 2
At least I got the blog into February before it was gone. Still trying to catch up to real time after my 2 weeks of weak internet.
Well Murphy has struck again. When I left Myakka River, my brake controller would not come on despite having charged it for 2 days. Something is wrong. I drive the 95 miles with no controller – very carefully.
I get to Koreshan safely. I get the car off, drive it to the site and find the neighbor’s guest has their car parked in my site. There are no “extra” parking places near the campground so I don’t know where they go but when I get back with Winnona, they are gone but the site is just simply too narrow for me. This is the major problem with Koreshan. Many sites are plenty long but they are SO narrow. The good side of that is they are cozy and lots of wildness between me and my neighbor.
Back I go to the ranger station to plead for something easier for me alone to get in to and they are able to provide a site just a few up from my original one. An available site in late January in south Florida – amazing – luck is really with me here. Murphy must have taken pity.
I try charging the Patriot over night again but no luck. It doesn’t even come on so the next day I talk to the Patriot folks about the brake controller and they email me a UPS paid label. For $110 they will “service it” and return it to me. Great, I guess. This thing is not small. I have no box. So I take it to a UPS store and pay $18 to have them pack, box and ship it. And I start waiting. Hope it’s back in 2 weeks so I can use it on a longer move to Kissimmee Prairie.
David and I have been to Koreshan several times. It is a unique park in that the land was once owned by The Koreshan Unity. Its leader was Cyrus Teed. I don’t want to go in to all their beliefs and life style here but if you are interested, here is a link to the post I did the first time we came in 2012. Google Cyrus Teed or Koreshan Unity as well. It’s all VERY interesting and amazing what people will believe. But then we all know that from the last few months don’t we.
Usually there are tours of the unity buildings but covid has put an end to that. Usually there is a wonderful farmer’s market on Saturdays inside the park but covid has put an end to that. Usually there are music programs and well just lots of things that aren’t happening here any more.
What’s left are many buildings, a couple of trails between the campground and the settlement as well as the original landing which was the only way to get to the community before US 41 was built. Now there is also a boat launch onto the Estero River. The trails are visible on the map above . This photo is of the start of the trail in the campground.
I walk the trail to and from the settlement every day. It’s a really lovely walk along the river. I’m standing in front of some of the extremely tall bamboo that the members included in their original gardens. You know what happens to bamboo. It’s all over Estero now.
How tall is this bamboo? Take a look here.
There are openings to the river all along the way.
This I thought was hilarious though unkind. A bad example but there is no end of bamboo here.
Did you know bamboo is hollow?
The followers created the Unity beginning in 1894 by back breaking work clearing the south Florida jungle and turning it into a landscaped gardens. With Teed’s death in 1098, things began to change and with a policy of celibacy, the community ultimately withered and died.
By the time the state took it over in the 60’s with the death of its last member, most of the plants were gone and many of the buildings seriously deteriorated. The state took some buildings down, there is great controversy over that now, but has done a nice job of maintaining the buildings that remain. I believe volunteers maintain the plantings that are left but the gardens have not been restored to their original state. The yellow building above is known as the Planetary Court and housed the nine women that over saw the workings of the community with Teed as their head. Interesting huh?
The oldest house on the property is the original dwelling of the man who sold the land to Teed and for a while joined the community.
There are other buildings on the property, I have not pictured them all.
These two are the bakery in the foreground and what is known as the Vesta Newcomb cottage in the background. Vesta’s mother joined the community 1892 in Chicago when Vesta was 14 and in 1894 they moved with them to Estero. She lived her entire life here and died in 1974.
You can see these two buildings in the far distance from the grave of the last remaining Koreshan Hedwig Michel who, at her death in 1982, left the property to the state which lucky for us turned it into a very interesting state park. The graveyard for the other members is not open to the public.
When you enter the community from the campground you are actually at what is now the back near the river. This area was originally the front and entry was from a fairly grand dock and by boat until US 41 was built years later.
The steps above lead to the dock below. Coming to the community you would enter from this dock and walk up what they hoped was a grand entrance way.
Here’s how you would see it from the river.
My first day at the campground this time is a Sunday and when I walk over, I find photo shoots taking place. The first one is a little girl’s first birthday. That’s a real cake and she’s really putting her hands in and eating the icing.
Not too far away on one of the beautiful bridges designed and built by the original settlers is this photo shoot. Not sure what it is but that’s a seriously gold dress she’s wearing.
You never know what you’ll see.
I’ve never been to Koreshan during the summer so I have no idea how many of the plants are blooming but then I have read that the state is unable to care for more than a handful of what was here.
During my stay, these are what I see. No idea what they are just that they were in bloom. If you know, tell me. One claim to horticulture fame is that they have a night blooming cereus that is tended very carefully I understand. It is original to the settlement I am told, blooms only once a year and has an amazing fragrance.
I was surprised to see on this visit that there were so many gopher tortoise holes roped off on the property. Previously there had only been two or three. There are lots of tortoise here and they are easy to see.
This pair was particularly interesting.
I noticed a volunteer standing back from but watching one of the burrows. I trained my camera on it, took the above pictures of this pair and then turned on the video. Here is gopher tortoise courtship.
Coming into the historic area I always come over the natural bridge. And leaving it I always go over the even more ornate white bridge.
All paths lead to the bridge.
I’m not sure what the two mounds were/are for. On previous visits they had tortoise burrows but I didn’t see any there this time. But burrows were everywhere else.
The stunning Live Oak tree that towers over the bridge makes a gorgeous setting for it.
Really love this bridge.
As I said, I did this hike every day, over and back.
One day winding my way back to Winnona I find this huge seed pod on the ground. I have no idea what plant it belongs to. Do you recognize it? Don’t think it’s bamboo but it sure is big. I wear a size 7 1/2 shoe and it was as long as my shoe.
Next post will be the water side of Koreshan. I do love the Florida state parks with docks on a river so I can take my boat down, lock it up and go out every day the weather permits. Also next time, what am I reading and what about all the hydraulic problems. Hope to see you then.
It just keeps coming, doesn’t it! You are handling it so well! Love seeing Koreshan thru your eyes.ReplyDelete
Yes we both have to see things keep coming. You are handling it well too and seem to have found a better RV tech than I did.Delete
Beautiful. This is such an interesting place. Thank you for sharing! Oh, and yes, the videos worked. I had already seen them when you first uploaded them.ReplyDelete
How do you see them before I post them on the blog?yes it is a very interesting place and it's sad that none of the tours are going on that explains all of it.Delete
We're having brake assist issues as well, Jeep brakes keep coming on when we're towing it . Fortunately the red light comes on to tell me so I can pull over - so no flaming tires or anything dramatic. We take it in for that on Tuesday. Hope yours is fixed and back to you in good time! I love your visits to Koreshan, it's such a uniquely wonderful place. Even with COVID there's much to keep you busy. Yes, the bridge is stunning! How nice to see some color in the flowers, we're just brown and dull green this year so far. The tortoises made my day! Happy to see so many have a safe place to live, and court :-))ReplyDelete
Hope your break issues get cleared up Jodee. I think I rather have the thing not work at all than to have the brakes come on while I'm driving.Delete
Glad you were able to get your site moved. I don't understand charging a brake system. I have a simple box with button, used to be tied right into the brake pedal itself. Wonder how the community expected to continue with total celibacy. May be up to Teed and the nine women. Weird. The grounds are lovely and so nice to be close to the water.ReplyDelete
I guess because you are towing your house and I am towing my car, it's a different set up. They thought they would bring in additional people for all time. But once Teed died, things didn't work out that way. It is a very nice relaxing place.Delete
Wow! I didn't know that bamboo grew that tall! The trees and bamboo make a nice canopy over the trail. The tortoise mating ritual? I thought that the poor thing was having a seizure. No wonder the female walked away. THat crazy flower that has long petals pink with red is unusual. Great live oak tree- xxxoooReplyDelete
It's amazing isn't it how tall bamboo is. Your seizure comment makes me laugh. She didn't walk away, she invited him inside. HA!Delete
Very interesting. You're close to Naples which is where Mat (Abby's husband) lives. Wonder if they've ventured up to the park for a visit. Beautiful flowers but I think the most interesting thing was the tortoise courtship.....ReplyDelete
Yes not too far from Naples but Matt is in Texas right? Would have been better to be here this winter it seems. I thought the courtship would be popular.Delete
I am in Ft Myers now and am planning to go to to Koreshan this week. I’m disappointed that so much is closed but it is what it is. I was just up at the Kingsley Plantation up by Jacksonville. Since you couldn’t go into the building, They had a wonderful audio tour which helped.ReplyDelete
I love how much detail you put in your blogs. I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I’ve referred to your blogs when I am going to be at a park.
Cindy I'm sorry I'm not there to see you. At this point I'm in Silver springs. Hope you have a nice time. Thank you so much for the compliment. I have done so many blogs on visits to Koreshan so if you are looking for any Florida State Park go back to Direction of Our Dreams and search for it. Lots of things will come up. So glad I can help and thank you for your comment.ReplyDelete
Very interesting blog. That little one year old birthday...so cute! Lovely pictures as always. So glad you got a site where you could fit. Beautiful flowers.ReplyDelete
Thanks sweetheart for your comment. I'm glad you liked the blog. The little one year old was so cute.Delete
Beautiful Flower pictures. My Florida neighbor told me things were back to pre-Covid days now. I guess it depends on where you are. we are debating a month in Florida or San Diego or Hawaii after my 2nd shot. we like to miss breakup/mud season. Sad for all your mechanical problems but at least none have been travel stop type.ReplyDelete
I don't know about Florida and Covid even though I'm here Tom. I don't go anywhere but the park and the grocery. I do know that people are not wearing masks all the time and even if it says you must have one on the door of the grocery, no one is enforcing it.Delete
Sounds like an interesting place. I know from experience bamboo can get out of hand. How far In advance do you make reservations for winter camping in Fla? The campgrounds you stay at have such lush landscaping, beautiful.ReplyDelete
Doris, camping in the Florida state parks has become increasingly more difficult. I've always booked 11 months in advance. Ridiculous I know. But this year I'm trying to book for next January and am simply not able to get a site.Delete
I had bamboo in a backyard of a house I owned eons ago. What made people plant it I'll never understand. Took us forever to chop it down and get rid of it. Love your flora pics in Koreshan compound.ReplyDelete
Thanks Laurie. I'm amazed at how the bamboo is everywhere in the community.ReplyDelete
I have to research how to perform an exorcism to get Murphy out of your RV. Maybe we can do a two-some exorcism because he inhabits my RV too. ;c)ReplyDelete
Sounds good Paul although I don't think he likes your Adventurer as much as he prefers my BraveDelete
Beautiful shots! And the tortoises look like real characters.ReplyDelete
Thanks William. I guess she found his head bobbing attractive.Delete
Tortoise video was fantastic!!! One of these days we will get to Koreshan...just never think of it until it is too late to book!!! Hope you send Mr. Murphy and all his tricks packing soon....he's been at your place long enough!!ReplyDelete
Boy you are sure right about Mr Murphy. He's been with me way too long.Delete
Great blog, Sherry. I love the bridges, especially the white one. The lines are so pretty against the old oak bark. All about the juxtaposition of new and shiny and very old. Loved it. I did see the tortoise video. I have never figured out how to add a video to my blog, for who knows what reason. Guess I haven't really tried. Nice video and really cute tortoises! Lots of great photos and stories of a wonderful place to be in Florida, especially if you can get into a space where you fit. With our part time rather than full time rig, we can usually manage most tight spots if we need to. But sadly, I won't get Mo to travel to Florida again. You have no idea how I miss Florida, but that 3000 miles is just too much to cover. We have done it three times, and our next cross country will be the northern route on Highway 2 to get to the far northeastern part of the country where 8 states are waiting to get filled in on our map. Late summer 2022 is on the calendar.ReplyDelete
Thanks sue for such a great comment. The videos are easy you just upload them to YouTube and then add them as a link. Hope you have an easy time making reservations for your 20-22 summer.Delete
I've been having computer problems so I'm late commenting. I can finally see your photos again after months of not being able to! I love all of your photos of Koreshan. It's such a sweet park...we really enjoyed our stay there in January of 2020. It seems like a lifetime ago.ReplyDelete
I remember the tortoises there. But I had no idea of tortoise courtship rituals! Thanks for sharing your video. I didn't know tortoises could move their heads and necks like that.
I didn't know you were having computer problems but I'm certainly glad you can finally see my photographs. Yes the tortoise courtship was hilarious. So lucky that I happened to get to see itDelete