October 15, 2016
We spotted a cluster of state park’s ahead to meander around; they were about 30 minutes from where we were. According to the state park map Yulee Sugar Mill was the next park we were going to run into. On our way, however, we passed right on by Homosassa Springs and drove right on by. About a mile down the road there was the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins, just sitting there. It was pretty impressive how much it was still intact. We were not exactly sure what we were looking at because the plaques were removed so I just made a few things up and recreated history for our entertainment.
We walked around the ruins and then headed back down to Homosassa. It seemed to be like a refuge for injured animals but Casey wasn’t allowed in. The ranger told me there was a kennel at the Visitor’s Center but we decided to just head out to the next park on our list and come back another day without Casey.
Our next stop was Crystal River Preserve. The preserve was nice but it seemed like it was a park tailored to boaters or people who enjoyed fishing. There were trails marked on a booklet but we could not find our way to any of them. The visitor’s center was closed so we decided this was a park to be revisited when we are on a boat and maybe with someone that can navigate nature better than we can!
The Crystal River Archaeological Park was both amazing and creepy! It was a burial ground for Native Americans and there were six different mounds. The first mound was the tallest, with a long staircase. Climbing up the stairs and then standing on top of a burial mound was just crazy but the view was gorgeous! They give full moon tours at the parks, which happen to be that night but we were just not ready to experience something like that.
We walked around the mound and noticed there was seating at the bottom of the first mound, a show I am not sure I want to see. I was still more creeped out than amazed at this point. Ghost are one thing but Native American spirits are just something else all together!
On our walk around the park we spotted a casualty of Hurricane Matthew. A vast tree had met it’s end as Matthew seemed to have just blown it over. The mosquito attack we were under while taking pictures was our queue to move on and head to the car. It was time to make a decision, do we head home or find one more park to explore?