Yesterday we took a 7mile drive on a sand road to see the Fort Gates Ferry. I had run across it when looking at the Atlas...This road is part of the Black Bear Scenic Highway and we never even knew it existed. Turns out that road runs right behind our park. This is a one car ferry, opened to the public in 1914. It takes 10 minutes to cross and costs $10 a car. At the end of the road we found the ferry launch, but the ferry must have been across the river.
Above is our drive on the sand road to get to the ferry launch..When they say sand, they aren’t kidding…
It consists of a barge pushed by a tugboat converted from a 1910 Sharpie sailboat. It has a weight limit of 15 tonnes (15 long tons; 17 short tons). The tugboat, named Too Wendy, is 18 feet long and is powered by a 65 horsepower diesel engine. It was operated as a military ferry by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. This is the oldest operating ferry in the state of Florida.
Here are some of the pictures I took.
Above, left…I guess the ferry keeper lives here…Sign in the middle says “Pull up on wooden ramp. Leave headlights on. Cars $10.00 Fee. And that last photo is the ramp you pull up on. However, the ferry must have been on the other side of St. Johns River when we got there.
That wheel I’m standing by is what raises and lowers the ramp for the car to pull up on…Right photo..”Gilligan!! I found the Minnow!!”
Make sure you click on the pic to read this …In case you don’t, that sign on the right of the Fort Gates Ferry Facts says “Blow Your Horn To Cross”..God I love this kind of stuff!!
I took a couple photos and zooming in on the homes across the river…
Have you ever seen so much Spanish Moss in one photo???? I would love to have one of these homes!!!
This morning Den and I took our walk through the Primitive Campground here at Salt Springs..We came upon a boat launch we never knew existed!!
There was a boat launch exactly where I took this photo from. People say that there are Manatees here during the day, but this morning the sun so bright on the bay that we didn’t see any…
However, when we walked near the Springs, we saw signs of Manatee around the area we had just come from..They make a large wake and you could see them splashing and coming up for air in the distance. You can be sure that we will walk that way again once the sun is higher in the sky. In the meantime, I just couldn’t resist taking the above photo of some fishermen very near the Springs…It reminded me of a cover photo of “Field and Stream”..
Well, this is a record for me! Blogging 3 times in one week ….I guess we have seen so many neat things lately, that I just felt the need to share. Also, I am a frustrated History teacher, so you all get the brunt of my very lax teaching skills. I do my best blogging when I am excited about stuff ..especially nature and old stuff..That’s why I love MacGyver..He is part of the “old stuff” I get excited about..OK, I know.TMI…OOPS! Time for Happy Hour!! I do have a funny post about getting lost around Bear Swamp Trail a few days ago…No worries, we saw no bears, but I DID conjure up the thought.