Monday, November 18, 2013


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The Legend of TATE'S HELL...

A tale that has been told for many years recounts how Tate's Hell Swamp got its name. Local legend has it that a farmer by the name of Cebe Tate, armed with only a shotgun and accompanied by his hunting dogs, journeyed into the swamp in search of a panther that was killing his livestock. Although there are several versions of this story, the most common describes Tate as being lost in the swamp for seven days and nights, bitten by a snake, and drinking from the murky waters to curb his thirst. Finally he came to a clearing near Carrabelle, living only long enough to murmur the words, "My name is Cebe Tate, and I just came from Hell!" Cebe Tate's adventure took place in 1875 and ever since, the area has been known as Tate's Hell, the legendary and forbidden swamp.

Chuck and I decided to take a drive last week. Most of Franklin County is swamp or state forest. The majority of the population here, is along the beautiful coastline.  I have been putting this post  off because we wanted to visit the dwarf cypress forest in Tate’s Hell. It has rained 4 days now so I will just do a blog of the dwarf cypress later. But we did go to Cash Creek, one of my favorite places in Tate’s Hell, just off of Highway 65.
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Right on Cash Creek is this great pavilion with picnic tables and BBQ!
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The sky was an impossible blue, reflected in the creek. Who would have thought that night would bring rain and drizzle that last 4 days so far? We still have big, fat raindrops landing on the roof, falling from the extremely tall pine trees in this RV park!

I have always loved this little park, Cash Creek, I love the tall grasses in the creek, the tall pines all around us carpeting the grass with rusty colors.
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There is a boat launch here, seems like this area would be popular with canoes and kayaks.  I have never seen another car here, let alone a boat here, in all the times I have visited this park. Tire tracks in the dirt show there have been visitors, we are blessed to have it to ourselves!
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Because there are alligators in this creek, we keep the dogs leashed! Radar and DoogieBowser are used to the leashes so no problem.
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It is so peaceful here.
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My turn to hold the dogs while Chuck take a photo from the dock.  This is a little too close to the water for the doggies, they want to swim but I don’t want them to be gator bait. I pull them back!
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Wonderful reflections!

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We decided to leave Cash Creek and take another nearby road that I had never explored. 

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Heavily wooded. If you read the link at the top, it tells all about how this forest came to be!
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After about 3 miles of nothing but thick, piney forest we decided to turn around.
The next day, Friday, was drizzly rain all day. We had to go to Tallahassee for Chuck to apply for a new social security card. On the way, we stopped in Crawfordville so I could get my Florida Drivers license. 15 minutes and I was done and out the door.  Chuck had filled out all his paperwork online for the SS card, but we had to go to Tallahassee SS Office to personally drop it off. This became an opportunity to meet my longtime friend Paula Nichols at Olive Garden!
Geri and Paula        Chuck and Geri Tally
It was good to see her! These photos were taken with her cell phone! Heck she gets more pixels with her cell phone than I get with my Nikon!  LOL!
We got back Friday evening to the news that this RV Park had been sold! The owner is giving everyone 30 days to find a new spot.  For some of these folks, that is not going to be easy!  Chuck and I have been planning on leaving Dec 1st anyway to go south to Bradenton (south of Tampa) to help daughter Glorianne and her family paint rooms and move into their new home. We also have a boondocking rally to go to in mid-February in central Florida.

We have to be back here by the end of Feb. to get new car tags for my car. But we have been fortunate, thanks to good friends Gayle and Jack, we have secured a good camping spot when we return!

Today is Monday, November 18, 2013. We left Truth or Consequences NM a month ago yesterday! Seems like such a long time ago! Yet in so many ways, I feel like I have never left here, Franklin County Florida, it feels like home to me and Chuck likes it too! Feels good being back and seeing old friends and trying new restaurants! However, our favorite buffalo shrimp still comes from AJ’s in Apalachicola!  If you were at our wedding, AJ’s catered it and the buffalo shrimp was a hit with everybody!

Hope you enjoyed the visit to Tate’s Hell.
We will be signing off  from the MotherShip now! Geri, Chuck, Radar and DoogieBowser.

We want to leave you the words of Thomas Jefferson, consider them please.
2nd amendment


  1. Glad to read you have found a place when you come back. Whew.

    1. The sale of this park had us scrambling for sure. The other one we liked, SeaAire, filled up quick, the 3rd choice charges over $1,000 a month for the priviledge of parking there! No thanks. We will be in Carrabelle, east of here, but still in Franklin County!

    2. Will you be changing your mailing address? Remember Carrabelle.

    3. I am sure we will when we get back from Bradenton, but for the time being. it will be the Eastpoint POBox.

  2. Hi, Geri,

    I enjoyed this post for many reasons, but, most of all, the happiness shining through your text and photos. Your zest for life is one of the many things I love about you.

    You're wise to keep your canine crew away from the water's edge. Those gators move fast.

    I don't know why, but I missed your last post, so today I got to look at two!

    In that previous post Chuck looks like he's lost weight. Maybe it's the hair being gone... Anyway, you both look great!


    1. Chuck says "thank you Sue, I lost about 4lbs when my ponytail came off!" hahahaha!

  3. such a nice forest wanna visit also where is it ???

    1. Franklin County, Florida. The link at the very top of the blog will tell you more! It is a nice forest! The rare Florida Panther makes his home there, as well as black bears and mean wild hogs!

  4. Beautiful pictures. And as Sue said, 'You both shine with happiness'. Hope we make it out that way next year.

  5. 'Alligators in this creek....' Um yeah, that would keep me out of the water for sure, boat or no boat!

  6. Cash Creek certainly does look peaceful.

    1. It really is peaceful !!! Wish they could use a workamper there!

  7. Your post ignited some good memories. we visited Tate's Hell and the dwarf cypress forest a couple of years ago. Saw a bald eagle on the ground with some kind of critter as we entered the roadway for the dwarf forest. It took off with its prize as we got out of the truck. Some pretty country, in its own way. We didn't expect such wild looking areas just a few miles from the Gulf.

    1. Jerry, we have seen more bald eagles here than we ever saw out west! I think they like fresh seafood as well. Two years ago, a hunter had set up a critter cam in Tate's Hell, to see if deer were in the area. He captured a very rare black panther on his camera. Most thought they were extinct in these parts. I believe the video is on utube somewhere! I know it made National news, we were in Utah at the time we heard about it and saw it on the news!

  8. May be Tate's Hell but sure looks like a beautiful place not to get lost in.

  9. Just wait until I take photos of the dwarf cypress forest! Many of the trees are well over 100 years old, yet they never grow over 18' tall! Very rare! I just wish I had gotten here when they were dressed in Autumn colors! With 4 days of rain, foliage wll ne gone, but still beautiful!

    Many of you probably know that Eglin Air Force Base is trying to gain control of both the Blackwater River State Forest AND Tate's Hell State Forest. They want to use these forests, both of which were purchased by the State FOR CONSERVATION PURPOSES (both forests include large numbers of endangered and/or threatened plants, birds and wildlife), for "robust military training" -- the phrase originally used by Eglin. From August 12 through September 12, they accepted public comment about this, and there were a couple of meetings held in Apalachicola and Milton; the public was invited to these meetings, but no questions were allowed. Questions that were asked were not answered. So, we rallied and we wrote letters...and letters...and letters. I wrote to all my representatives as well as numerous environmental groups expressing my opposition to this and my deep concern for the harm that would be done to these forests, the native plants and wildlife, the wetlands, the people who live nearby and use these lands to provide food for the families with hunting and fishing, and ultimately our Bay which is where this water ends up (and our bay, of course, is already in dire straits).
    Now the Air Force has announced additional "townhall" meetings for questions and answers. WE NEED EVERY WARM BODY WHO CAN POSSIBLY ATTEND THIS MEETING TO BE THERE! This could be our last chance to show our opposition so LET'S MAKE SOME NOISE!

    The Air Force is in full propaganda mode on this, trying to convince us that "robust training" in these forests will be silent, safe, chemical-free, pollution-free, and we won't even know they are there. I and many others call BS. Their sneaky tactics never end. The original forms sent out by the Air Force on this back in August and September referred to "robust training exercises" (both ground and air). The new and improved version has now replaced the word "robust" with the term "low-impact". I can virtually guarantee you that NO plans have changed, only the terminology in the propaganda. And I will be asking that question, and many others, at the meeting in Apalachicola.

    It is NOT possible for Eglin to guarantee that the state forests will be protected from accidental damage since the GRASI proposal includes the use of airplanes, helicopters and humvees. In 2004, a USAF plane crashed into a marsh on St. George Island not far from Tate's Hell State Forest. Franklin County does not need any more accidental damage to fragile wetlands or other irreplaceable habitat.

    SO -- PLEASE ATTEND THIS MEETING IN APALACHICOLA ON DECEMBER 12TH from 6:pm to 8:pm at 1 Bay Ave. LET'S MAKE A HUGE SHOW OF OPPOSITION ON THIS. Please share widely and let's stop this from happening. These forests were purchased FOR CONSERVATION to prevent things exactly like this and protect them for future generations. The Air Force believes they are immune to all of that, regardless of what the "little people" want. Let's show them they are NOT. I'll be there -- will you?


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