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Sunday, June 26, 2011

DAY 161: us 90 - de funiak springs - ponce de leon, florida

This photograph was taken early this morning, with SPIA at the camera's back. The small farm is one of a few on this dirt road leading North from US 90. About 3 out of 4 side roads are similar dirt.

A ranch house along US 90...unusual in that it has a terraced lake with Blue Herons, and Egret-type birds. Most homes are without any frills.


Two exceptions are these sleek homes next to US 90.

A Veterans Hall looking for a Bar Maid...click click the sign.

DE FUNIAK SPRINGS has a modern airport next to US 90.

This is a T-33, built during World War II. It was the basic Jet Trainer for the US Air Force until into the 1950's. A single seat F-80 Shooting Star similar to this pic has the distinction of being the victor in the world's first jet to jet combat with a Russian MIG-15 during the Korean War. The F-80 was quickly replaced with the F-86 which recorded 15 Korean War Victories over the MIG-15 for each F-86 downed by North Korea (probably flown by Chinese or Russian pilots).

A Roadside Bloom.

and the Bushes that produced the bloom.

Here comes a Union Pacific Freight Train...exactly like the many trains I met walking last Summer to Oklahoma City. I received a wave from the Engineer as it passed under the bridge I was standing on.

For those who followed last Summer's Blogs, you will recognize this train as one of the "LAND BRIDGE" trains that run from coast to coast ferrying Containers across the USA.

45 years ago, I had a small part in putting together this "Land Bridge" system.

US 90 near PONCE DE LEON, FLORIDA.

PONCE DE LEON, FLORIDA water tower.

Advertisement on US 90 for Scuba Diving in Artisan Springs.

A stream near PONCE DE LEON. This water is about 6 inches deep. The water is CRYSTAL CLEAR.

This water is also Crystal Clear.

I asked some locals about the clarity of local waters when everywhere else in the near-by South the waters are nearly Black. They pointed to four or five locations within 500 feet of where we stood...there are Artisan Springs all around us here in PONCE DE LEON. A few years ago the State of Florida put "caps" on them to stop them flowing...no one seems to know why.

Apparently they missed a couple, because the photographs of the streams above are quite obviously from Artisan Springs.

It also help explain why this town is named PONCE DE LEON. Ponce de Leon was the Spanish Conquistador who spent his life looking throughout Florida for the Fountain of Youth. With so many Artisan Springs nearby, he very likely was brought here by local Indians, fulfilling his quest for the Fountains of Youth.

Some years ago I owned a 10-acre farm with a Artisan-fed stream. It flowed year-round and in spawning season, 50 pound King Salmon spawned - and died - in my stream.

DAILY REPORT: Walked three legs today totaling 28 miles..

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 28 miles @ $0.02 = $0.56 for the day.

Today again was clear early with towering thunderheads by noon. It has thundered all afternoon, but as of yet, no rain. SPIA is parked on private property with the owner, Gary's permission, next to US 90. He says the Police N E V E R come on his property...I started to ask why, received a stern look, and a repeat...N E V E R do they come on my property.

I left it at that.

Will walk East on US 90 in the morning. Florida Panhandle is semi-mountainous (just "hilly" really), which keeps my leg muscles loose. Am still feeling the effect of the high moisture, keeping my walks short to about 12 miles or less.

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