This winter we decided to spend most of our time in Florida visiting with family and friends. We will be chris-crossing the state camping in state and regional parks.
After a short stop to visit Andrea & Jeff, we picked up the Tincan from where we had parked it at Mike & Donna’s. We drove to the coast and set up camp at Tomoka State Park. It was a little cold with temperatures dropping into the mid 20s the first two nights but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the sand and the scrub hardwood forest.
Tomoka State Park is located on the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers at the site of an ancient village of the Timucau people. Spanish explorers encountered the village in the 1600’s. At that time it was a thriving town on the peninsula between the two rivers. Today you can still see plenty of shell middens that accumulated from that time. It’s a popular spot for kayaking and fishing.
In spite of the cold weather we did see some blooms.
Inevitably the Timucuan people were driven away or enslaved. An indigo plantation was established by Richard Oswald in 1766. (Coincidentally Oswald was a preliminary signer and British negotiator of the peace agreement with the colonies after the Revolutionary war)
In the 1950s after the park was developed a group of people wanted to pay tribute to the native people. They chose to immortalize a chief named Tomokie from a mythical legend of the Timucua people. It’s a kitschy statue in the old Florida tradition.
We spent an afternoon wandering around downtown Ormond Beach on the banks of the Halifax River at Rockefeller Gardens. Lunch was @ Hull’s Seafood, an old school fish counter–no pictures but definitely worth a stop.
Monday afternoon we moved up the coast for a week at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine Beach.