Winter in Bushnell Florida (Part One)

It has been sometime since I put out a post. It’s not that there’s been anything wrong, but I just been too lazy and enjoying the nice time here in Bushnell, Florida. As most of you know I have been spending the winter, since January 1st at Dade Battlefield State Park in the city of Bushnell. With all the crazy things going on in the world right now and the fact that I am self-isolating myself. I figured it was about time, that I took some time and updated you all. Lately I have been receiving calls and messages from people that I have been out of touch with the last couple months. And I do appreciate it more than you realize. It means a lot to me, to have you all reach out to me. It is a nice feeling to be missed. Maxine and I are healthy and fine enjoying the warm Florida the weather. We are camped out as resident hosts at Dade Battlefield State Park check out their website here and Facebook page here. I am here with my good friends Steve and Patty (we have been friends for over 40+ years). So, I’ve been spending my winter months keeping busy volunteering at the park and spending most of my time just enjoying their wonderful company. I have also made new friends and reunited with other old friends during my time here. That is the main reason I have not been doing much writing, not that things haven’t been busy and fun. I have also been putting a lot more things on my Facebook page but that’s no excuse. Here are a few of the highlights of some of the activities that I have been involved with at the park. This is a day use Park, meaning there is no camping and it is only open for day activities, like picnicking and hiking. But there are many group, scheduled activities throughout the season put on by the park volunteers and rangers. They have several reenactments and educational programs for the public. And lots of educational classes and programs for adults and school age children each and every week. But unfortunately, those programs and classes have been canceled for the foreseeable future. The only campers here are the resident hosts, there are five campsites tucked away in the back part of the park for us volunteers. Dade Battlefield Park, is home to a famous Indian uprising that took place in 1835 here in Florida. It was the start of the Second Seminole War, which went on for over seven years the longest-running Indian War in the nation’s history (read about it here and here). Every year they do a reenactment of the battle that took place here that December in 1835. It is held the first weekend in January and reenactors come in and dress up as Soldiers and Indians. The crowds gather here on a hill overlooking the Palm Meadows, where they do a very realistic reenactment of the battle that took place. 20200104_15060120200105_142510There is a soldier telling the Army’s point of view. 20200104_150813And an Indian narrating Indian’s point of view of what happened here on this day back on the morning of December 28, 1835. 20200104_150511Major Francis L. Dade and 107 soldiers were marching along the Fort King Road on their way from Fort Brooke (present-day Tampa) to Fort King (present-day Ocala), when they were attacked by the Seminole Indians. 20200104_15111820200104_151242The reenactors do a great job shooting their guns and creating a cloud of smoke. 20200104_15325520200104_152226They also cut down trees and gather logs to build a breastwork fortress trying to protect themselves and their wounded. 20200104_15235220200104_152437During the battle the narrators tell the story of the experience, as it is acted out. 20200104_15134520200105_142517The battle raged for six hours and in the end all but three of the soldiers were killed. 20200104_15351320200104_15351620200104_153614Two of the soldier’s privates Joseph Sprague and Ransom Clarke returned to Fort Brooke to tell of the Massacre. Because of this massacre the US government waged the second Seminole war which eventually took the lives or drove the Indians to reservations, the longest running Indian War lasting seven long years. After the reenactment is done, Indians and Soldiers line up to greet the public and answer any questions you may have. 20200105_144251For a couple of other activities, I dressed up as a Seminole Indian but more about that in later posts. But here’s a photo of one of those dress ups days, check out my hair lol. 20200206_080921

Maxine and I have also spent many a day going to the beach her most favorite activity. 20200109_13352520200109_133528(0)

That’s it for this time, hope all of you are healthy and safe and staying sane during these crazy times. Best Wishes and God Bless, Rick

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