Friday, July 17, 2009

Introduction to Ghost Hunting - August 1

What: Introduction to Ghost Hunting
When: Saturday, August 1, 10 AM - NOON
Where: Offices of the Tampa Marketing Company
1906 N. Armenia Ave. #306, Tampa, FL
How much: FREE Event
Who can attend: Open to the public


Call Bill Sharpe at 813-283-0760 for more information
or email
There is no cost to attend this two hour discussion designed to answer questions and to provide an introduction to paranormal investigations and more.

Topics to be discussed will include:
1. what to know before you go
2. what questions to ask
3. equipment you may require
4. what to do when you find something
5. this is very interesting, now what do I do ?

What do you need to bring for the seminar ? An open mind and a lot of curiosity.

Tampa Ghost Watchers, with over 200 members, is the Largest Paranormal Investigation group in Florida.

Ocala National Forest 2009

HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS. If you have not signed up, please let me know ASAP ! So we can be ready for you. $25 per person to attend. Bill's cell phone number is 813-770-3902. BUT NO GUARANTEE THEY WILL WORK IN THE FOREST. OCALA NATIONAL FOREST - Register here

Saturday/Sunday - August 8 & 9.
The plan is to meet at SILVER GLEN SPRINGS at 2 PM in the Ocala National Forest. This is a beautiful swimming/picnicing location. It is also easy to find. It takes about 3 hours from our office. Directions are as follows: Take I-75 North to Ocala, In Ocala, take the Hwy 40 exit EAST, go approximately one hour to the middle of the Ocala National Forest, you will pass an area called Four Corners (there is a grocery store there) and continue on Hwy 40 past Juniper Springs to Hwy 19 (just a couple miles past Juniper Springs) turn NORTH on Hwy 19, several miles north you will find SILVER GLEN SPRINGS. We are to meet there by 2 PM on Saturday. And will depart from there at 4 PM. Get there early, or visit Juniper Springs if you are early. These are beautiful Florida treasures. Look for my yellow Smart Car in the parking lot.
Our camping site is about 30 minutes away from the Springs, in the middle of the forest. Remember this is primitive camping. You will be very close to your car, and a 45 minute hike or so to the former settlement. We will get situated and then hike in to the settlement before dark to get a real look at the area. Then we will return around 9 PM and again in the very early morning as the sun rises. We are ready to provide you with hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner, so not to worry. Bring your own drinks, and remember water. Remember this is primitive camping. Bring toilet paper, flashlights, tent, and whatever you may require. AND A CHAIR TO SIT IN. I expect us to be leaving the campsite by noon on Sunday. BUT stay to enjoy this spectacular forest. Map to Silver Glen Springs here Details of the Settlement here : The Yearling Trail Pats Island is one of the most popular historic attractions on the Ocala National Forest. The area was named after it's first postmaster Patrick Smith who settled there in the 1840's and the unique relationship of two ecosystems, long leaf pine and sand pine scrub. Much of the land bounded by the St. Johns and Ocklawaha rivers consists of the largest concentration of sand pine scrub in the world. Within this vast area there are oases of fertile soils and moisture that support growth of longleaf pine, wiregrass, turkey oak and other trees and plants not found in the surrounding arid scrub. Pioneers who settled in these areas called them islands because a sea of scrub surrounded them. The Reuben Long family came to the area around 1872 and individual family members applied for and were granted homestead acres that they worked and lived on for many years. Human habitation on the island peaked before the turn of the 20th century when about a dozen families sought to eke out a living on the 1400-acre island. A living was made from farming, running woods cattle and hogs, hunting, fishing, making moonshine whisky, and trading with boat travel on the St. Johns River. There is an ecological uniqueness of this of a longleaf pine island surrounded by scrub pine, which creates a single community isolated from the mainstream of central Florida life. The imposed remoteness contributed to a community essentially untouched by outside forces. The community had its own church, school, post office and self-appointed lay ministers. Life was hard on the island and after the big back-to-back freezes of 1894 and 1895 the population began to decline. Most of the settlers had sold or leased their homesteads before the Ocala National Forest was formed in 1908. Outside forces were slowly bringing life as it had been on the island to an end. In 1935 the island was abandoned by man and surrendered back to the elements after less than 100 years of human occupation. The natural beauty of the area and the colorful life style of these rugged people fascinated the author, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. She stayed with the last two inhabitants of the island, Calvin and Mary Long in October 1933. During this and other visits she recorded many stories told by the Longs. Calvin's childhood story of nursing a deer from a fawn gave her the idea for the Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Yearling". The book was made into a movie starring Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman, Jr. and was filmed on location in the early 1940's. Today you too can visit Pat's Island via the Yearling Trail. The trailhead is located on SR 19 across from the Silver Glen Springs entrance. From there you can hike up to 6 miles visiting various sites of historical significance and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. Pats Island is located in Juniper Prairie Wilderness where natural processes are the primary influences and human activity is limited. Forest Service management of Pat's Island preserves and protects its physical and biological characteristics and allows us to experience this treasure without intention to disturb or destroy natural processes. As wilderness, the island is closed to motorized equipment and bicycles. As you circle the island, stop and notice the sites where the residents once lived. When you once again see the sand pine scrub, you will be arriving back at the trailhead. Perhaps you may want to complete your trip with a visit to Silver Glen Springs. Snacking at a shaded picnic table or swimming in crystal clear 72 degrees year around water is a great way to top off the day. You may want to visit the Boils Trail at the glen where Jody (of The Yearling) built a "flutter mill" with palmetto leaf and sticks. It was here that he nodded off to sleep when he was supposed to be home attending his chores. The Lake George Trail from the Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area to Lake George also offers another hiking adventure.