Oct 9, 2011

Picking up where Ponce De Leon left off ...

So close yet so far …

Forget about the maps:
All Ponce De Leon needed was
some well marked signs.
I made it as far as the Silver Springs sign,

But that was as far as I got.


Between parking and admission,

It was over $40 to get in.

These movies are ageless
“It’s well worth the money,” I was assured and to which I didn’t for a second doubt:

After all, Johnny Weissmuller starred in 6 Tarzan movies there.


Not having more than an hour or so to spare (I was in transit from Gainesville to Naples), I opted for nearby Silver River State Park instead, to which I had a free pass, and from which I figured I would find an alternative route to the spring:

I didn’t. (What was I thinking?)

This boardwalk looked promising!
Instead I found my way to the banks of the river, upstream from which – perhaps just a twist or three around the bend – lay its source:

Silver Springs, one of Florida’s
biggest ground water gushers …

Bubbling up at 516,000,000 gallons per day.


That’s 798 cubic feet per second if I did my math right.

And judging from what I saw I think I did.

Unfortunately for Juan Ponce De Leon,
he did not have this map.

Silver Spring was among Johnny Weissmuller's favorites. 

As to what I didn’t see:

Besides the spring I also missed the monkeys.

Stragglers or ancestors of stragglers left behind from the Johnny Weismuller days, monkeys are regularly seen climbing in the cypress trees across the river from where I stood.

“We saw them up there yesterday,” a couple assured me.

Monkey's from the Tarzan era are still there:
Presumably beneficiaries of the ageless spring water.
Judging from my luck
I could only figure they were back at the spring.

I’m assuming they get in for free!

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