Friday, July 8, 2011

Serenova Adventures

Somewhere in the 6,533 acres that comprises the Serenova Tract o f J. B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve is a lake.  Okay, there are many lakes, but I am looking for a specific one.  I had seen pictures of it- sprawling, lily pads covering the periphery, and a pier jutting in on one side.  From aerial maps, I knew that is was on the eastern side of the trail and about two and a half miles out, without any wrong turns.  Today, my goal was to find it during my five mile run.

The morning was foggy.  The usual yellow-green of the summer was heavily clouded in grey.  The fog was so dense that I could not see but a few meters ahead at times, so finding a body of water was going to be difficult.  I kept running southwest, feeling myself going lower and lower.  All of those environmental science classes were going to come in handy.  I know my Florida ecosystems.  It had to be around there somewhere. 

Then, out of nowhere, I found something completely unexpected in a wilderness park.

A chimney.

Surrounded by a wire fence with signs warning park visitors not to trespass, the stone chimney was a marked change against the natural elements of the park.  The preservationist in me had many questions and a few miles to think about them.

How old is the chimney?  When was the structure destroyed?  How was it destroyed?  Who owned the building?  What is currently being done to preserve the chimney?  Are any archaeological digs planned?

As I did my own little survey of the site around the edge of the fence, I caught a glassy reflection through the trees in the distance.  The lake!  My trail sleuthing had paid off.

Sometimes even extensive Google research does not produce answers, and this is one of those cases.  All I know is that this would have been quite a beautiful place to live.

Maybe one day I will find the answers to my questions.  I should contact the West Pasco Historical Society.  Someone has to know something.

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