The Land that Time Forgot

That’s the unofficial motto of the closest town to us right now, Micanopy, Florida.  It’s the oldest town in non-coastal Florida that’s been continually lived in, and it really feels like it. 

We stopped there to grab a quick lunch on the way to a PT appointment in Gainesville, and we had to watch where we drove because the old streets are cross-crossed above with huge (and low, considering our kayaks up top) live oak branches. 

The only restaurant serves Cuban-style food and coffee, and we sat outside amid the lush decay, watching probably every old lady in existence walk by, each one with a cane. (That’s not gonna be me!)

We’re camping in what’s probably a fabulous state park called Paynes Prairie Preserve. Hard to tell seeing as how I’m still not hiking, but from our campsite it’s splendid.  The forest here is dense, with something like 700 species of flora, and they all seem to be right up next to the tent.  

At night we have a fun routine in the tent with Banjo and a flashlight.  She can hear stuff going on in the woods, and we can hear it vaguely, then all of a sudden it sounds like a herd of large animals is running right at the tent. 

The first night, it sounded at the very least like a mob of raccoons coming to invade. We shine the flashlight out into the dark greenery, and it turns out to be one armadillo, scurrying through the leaves.  One armadillo. 

Next night we adjust expectations again but say, “Okay, this time it’s a family of armadillos, surely.”  Again, one really loud armadillo, hunting in the dirt all around our tent. Those suckers are spooky in the dark. 

Tracy and his sister, Darci, have gone birding while I’ve been at the campsite doing leg exercises and icing, on repeat.  I haven’t been working my quads enough, according to the therapist my friend Lisa got me into (thank you, Lisa!), so I’m doing double-time with new exercises to make up for those lame travel days.  

I did walk for 15 minutes down a paved path and then back, GLORY BE!  Does that count as my first hike in four months?  I am making it so. But I’m also resting the leg a lot after. 

So here Banjo and I sit, in the tent, amid all these singing birds, under a grapefruit tree, taking in the vibe. It’s a passive appreciation, but I’ll take it.   

10 thoughts to “The Land that Time Forgot”

    1. It hasn’t been especially humid, although today we have thunderstorms so everything is indeed wet.

  1. What a great find! So coll to see some different sides of Florida; looks quite relazing. The vision of modern Florida is sprawling developments of retirement communities full of angry old white peopkle… nice to see a pocket of such places as Micanopy.

  2. Looks awesome. Glad to hear the leg is improving. A few more details on what birds they’ve seen would be welcome… how are the mozzies?

    1. Mosquitos are bad but not intolerable. I haven’t made notes on the birds this time, but I just so happened to see a list I made when we were near here several Novembers ago: “sandhill cranes, storks, all manner of herons (my favorite are the small blue ones, although we did see a tri-colored heron for the first time), grebes, ibis, gallinules, cormorants, tons of ducks, a red-shouldered hawk.” Tracy has yet to see the snail kite, but he’s on his way out now for the last time this trip.