Friday, March 18, 2011

A Morning at the Creek

View of the home, reconstructed barn, and part of the grove

I am a little ashamed that I have driven by the brown sign on 301 so many times and not investigated Cross Creek and the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park.  Today, I took the time to drive down that county road.

I turned into the park around 9:45am and the parking lot was nearly empty.  Three older couples had just arrived, but were down the trail ahead of me.  We seemed to be the first guests in the park today.

Park guests are greeted by one of my favorite quotes
The park is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm, although tours of the house are only given on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, so plan accordingly.  Beginning at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00, the tours take guests around to the front of the house and through all of the rooms and porches.

Nancy, a self-described snowbird, was the guide this morning.  She was a wonderful story teller and was open to chatting about Marjorie and the history of Florida in the 1930s and 1940s.  The interior of Marjorie's home was just as I expected it to be: charmingly decorated, flooded with warm Florida light, and engulfed in the sweet, familiar scent of orange blossoms.  It was perfect.  My $3 detour was excellent; I highly recommend visiting the MKR Historic State Park.

I thought that I would be able to take photos of the interior, but cameras are not allowed. 

These are the pictures that I took before I was told of the rule.

Because I am currently unable to run on trails, I did not pack my running shoes.  I am sure that I will revisit to the park when I am healthy so that I can explore the paths on the property.  Nancy believes that there are about two miles of trails.  The surrounding area is just as beautiful as Marjorie described, so you could easily get in a scenic long run while visiting Cross Creek. 
I still had a few hours of driving ahead of me, so I decided to save the visit to Marjorie’s gravesite for another trip.  I look forward to returning to this little piece of old Florida. 

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