We left Lake Talquin and headed in to Tallahassee to go to the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) where they have the Black Archives Research Center and Museum with 5000 items and 500,000 documents (one of the most extensive collections of African-American artifacts in the US). The collection was depressing in some ways to think of how the people were treated but in turn it’s very important to show these things so history will not be repeated. In front of the museum there was an 800 year old oak tree with lots of the lichen hanging from it. The museum was setup with various galleries depicting different topics. The FAMU football team and marching band are well known across the entire US and use the “Rattlers” mascot. The band is called The Marching 100, when the band started the director hoped at some point they’d have 100 members. Today there are over 300 members of the band and they preform around the world. One of the galleries had famous Black sports people and Andre Dawson from the Expo’s was included.
Another room had artifacts that were from the racist time period pre World War II and described the “Jim Crow” time period where segregation was being followed.
There was also a gallery on musicians and musical instruments and how drums were outlawed. They had a variety of drum types used and an interesting 21 string instrument called the Kora. The curator spoke to us after and was very impressed that we spent so much time reading all the displays and learning about this time period in history.
Next stop was Wakulla Springs State Park where we took the boat tour and hiked part of the trail system. This spring was famous for the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies filmed here as well as the movie called “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. The two main springs are Wakulla (one of the last pristine rivers in Florida) and Sally Ward. This area was spectacular because Edward Ball purchased it in 1934 to preserve the wildlife and habitat. The boat captain had incredible knowledge of the birds, plants, turtles and alligators. The only disappointment was that we didn’t see any manatees on our tour (they did earlier in the day). I’ve tried the captioning function so you’ll know which shots were from the movies.
Next stop was the Ochlockonee State Park where we stayed for two nights so we could walk the nature trails and do some Mountain Biking. This park is famous for white squirrels but we also saw a white deer which we’d never seen before. The rivers were good for fishing and they were tidal as we saw the floating dock rise up several feet during the day. They also had lots of trees with the lichen (ZZ-Top hair style;-)) and a cool use of a shower made from a cut up canoe. Along the Pine Flatwoods Trail while biking we saw some regular white tailed deer and lots of the Saw Palmetto shrubs. They also had info about how the sap from the trees was used to make Turpentine back in the ship building days. The last shot shows one of the many white squirrels we saw and they are not actually albinos. They are a variant that is unique to this area. We figured we could call them cousins of Wiarton Willie;-)
While travelling to our next stop we went to see Alligator point and we saw that the road had been washed out in a Hurricane a few months ago. We also saw a scallop or oyster boat named Gump that had been washed up on shore and had a weird configuration with the motor in the center of the boat.
Next we went to Carrabelle where we saw the world’s smallest police station and then checked in to the Carrabelle Beach RV park and the temp was 24 C. The fine white sand beach was spectacular and almost completely empty! There were petrified tree stumps in the sand just like in Colpoys Bay and if you look very closely in the last shot you’ll see two dolphin fins (we think mom and baby), there were several swimming in the bay.