The streets of Tallahassee are tree lined and almost all of the trees are covered in Spanish Moss (sometimes called air plants in Australia and/or Grandfather’s beard). Everywhere you look the Spanish Moss curtains the trees and squirrals are everywhere. We had a bit of fun while wandering around.
We visited the Museum of Florida History which depicted life through the ages of people in Florida. The exhibits included a mastodon skeleton, the bones of which were found in the Wakulla Springs,(see description further down) and a diorama of an Indian Village as it would have looked around 1450. We read about Spanish maritime history, learnt about the establishment of orange groves and Tin Can Tourist camps, so named because of food from tin cans eaten whilst camping. The first “caravan” was built around the early Ford truck, the first motorhome I guess. The exhibits also include a 1900s Florida riverboat and World War 11 history as well as gold treasures found in spanish shipwrecks.
As we wandered around taking it all in we pondered on the fact that this is just the history of Florida and we realised just how big and diverse the United States of America really is. Each State would have its own Museum and history, each unique in its own way. I have always been fascinated by the American Indians having read some of my father’s western books as a kid. To actually be here in this land where they lived, fought, died and have descendants still living is awesome.
The highlight of our trip was a visit to Wakulla Springs about 30 minutes from Tallahassee. This State Park is a wildlife sanctuary in Spanish moss-draped Florida woodlands. Cool water flows from the Springs to create the Wakulla River.
We took a 45 minute cruise along the river where we saw alligators, native birds, turtles, and other flora and fauna native to this beautiful region. It was so special to view through the clear water the Florida Manatee. This is a sea cow similar to our Dugong. It averages 10 feet in length, weighs 1,000 lbs and eats plants. It’s closest relative is the elephant. It is protected and endangered.
In sections the spring is 120 feet deep and there are caverns some of which have been explored but many have not. This is where the bones of the Mastodon in the Museum were found.
We had an exhausting two days and saw a lot but there was still much more to see. We had dinner at Long Horn Steakhouse Restaurant which we thoroughly enjoyed. The service was great, the steak almost as good as Australian beef and we even got a free entree. The waiter told the Manager we were from Australia and she gave us an entree of shrimp (small prawns done in batter with a dipping sauce) on the house. So much food I couldn’t finish mine and couldn’t even manage sweets!The waiter got a good tip.
We saw a Tshirt whilst in one of the Museums which I thought very appropriate. Next stop Orlando so until then, bye from Silver Nomads.