Monday, January 18, 2016

Another Fun Day with Ernie and Noela!

It was a relaxing morning getting ready for the day.  We worked together packing our lunches and prepping breakfast.  Then Ken cooked it while I finished getting ready.

I talked with Josh at Thousand Trails to tentatively make some reservations for this fall and in Florida in 2017.  Who knows exactly what our schedule will be, but we are going to take a chance and make a few reservations.  We did discovery that 3 of our favorite CG's here in Florida will not be available in February and March of next year - Rambler's Rest, Harbor Lakes, and Royal Coachman.  They reserve all of their sites for seasonal campers.  So, not sure what we will do during those months.  We may consider becoming seasonal folks at Harbor Lakes in 2017.  We will be checking out the rates and cancellation policy when the rates for 2017 are revealed in the middle of February.  

Ernie and Noela picked us up at 10:30 and we drove about 1 hour to Koreshan State Park to walk the trail along the Estero River and tour the Koreshan Unity Settlement.  When we arrived, we decided to walk the river talk (about 3/4 mile) and then go back to the truck and eat our picnic lunch on a table along the river.  It was a little cool, about 63 for a high with a breeze, so we were dressed more like fall weather than January in Florida!  

Beautiful ferns growing from the tree branch!

Lots of  Spanish  moss!

Standing in front of one small "patch" of bamboo!
It may be cool, but not nearly as cold as PA!
I love the color of the bamboo and it is so smooth and feels
and sound like metal!

Ernie pulled out a small dead stump and there were ants
everywhere!  I said, "Oh no!  You destroyed their home".  Ken's
optimistic response was, "You set them free"!

More gorgeous bamboo!

Prickly cactus like plant growing on the trunk!

Can you guess the name of this tree????

Here is a better picture of it!

Did you get it right?  I tried to give you a clue!

What a "cool" bridge!

It really was a lovely trail!

What can I say?????

After lunch, we walked to the Koreshan settlement area to tour the buildings that are still standing and we were fortunate to hear 2 different park ranger talk about these interesting people and their lifestyle.  In 1894 Dr. Cyrus Teed brought his followers from Chicago to Florida.  The Koreshan Unity was founded upon the ideas of communal living and property, the belief in Dr. Teed's religious and scientific theories, and the communistic goal of everyone working for the good of all.  It was to be Utopia, the "New Jerusalem". They could live outside the settlement and maintain their family unit.  Those who joined the Religious Order were celibate, required to live in the Unity Settlement, give their property to the Unity and work for the building of the New Jerusalem.  It was about 3/4 women, who were drawn to this Unity because of equal rights for men and women and the women were the leaders of the Unity. 

These 8 women were the governing body.  The gentleman lived
in the very upper part of this property and he spoke for them
when they needed to give their "opinions" to local governing
bodies.  Only in the Unity were the women considered equal
and having opinions that counted!!!

All the women of the council had a private room in this property.

Working was required in their many businesses - bakery, printing shop, machine shop, boat works, agriculture, sewing shop construction, concrete works, saw mill, post office and general store.  They felt strongly about education and the musical arts.  There were lots of gorgeous landscaping including sunken and Victorian gardens.  The last 4 residents left in the 1960's and donated much of the land to the State of Florida.  It really was a very interesting place.

Some of the building still remaining on the property!

The large machine and woodworking shop!

Demonstrations are held here one day a week to talk about the
foods and the bread that was baked here.  They were
very famous for their special bread.

They had a huge generator that produced their own

One of the small cottages!

This was one of the more elaborate homes!

This is the residence (a large room) of the founder of the Unity!

The original music theater where people came from all around
to see their plays and musicals!

The inside of the theater is original too!  Very beautiful!

The Koreshans took this display to the World's Fair.  They
believed the Earth was hollow and they lived inside it!

What a pretty tree!

The flowers are gorgeous!

It is the African Tulip Tree!

We left there at 4 and had a light dinner.  Jamie texted us around 5:30 saying the Dane's grandmother Weidman had died at Hershey Medical Center.  She had been ill for the past week, but her death was unexpected.  

Ken went to a meeting at a Church here in Port Charlotte and Ernie drove Noela and I to Hobby Lobby and Beall's Outlet to go shopping.  We were there from 7:15 to 9:15.  Ken arrived back at Waldo at the same time.  Ken and I were tired from a busy day and were in bed by 10.  What a fun day!!!

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