Wingzofsteel Adventures and Reviews

Epic Motorcycle Camping Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘backroads

Washington Oaks; In Search for Timucua

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Last June I took a trip to Cresant Beach, Fl. While traveling south on A1A I came upon an area that spoke to my curiosity. A little garden maintained by the State of Florida called Washington Oaks. How odd and seemingly misplaced was this strip of land between the Atlantic and the inter-coastal waterway approximately 3 miles south of Marineland.


After entering the obscure entrance and a small parking fee later ($4.00) I was standing in the midst of an enchanted forest wondering if I had somehow gone back in time to when the Timucuans inhabited these lands.


As I meandered through paths and natural trails of garden, Palm and Palmetto, I was occasionally surprised by local wildlife in their natural habitat doing the things they do in the privacy of their beautiful surroundings. I am unclear of the species of predatory birds of that area of Florida, but either an Eagle or Owl was not overly happy of my presence. It swooshed past me and quickly disappeared into the thick and abundant boughs of stately oaks trees and Spanish moss. Although I travel as stealthily as possible, trying not to disrupt and place undue stress on the wild creatures, just perhaps I err on the side of being too quiet. The ones not so bothered by my curiosity were the Tortoise and Armadillo. They were scurrying about going from one place to another and would look up once in awhile then carry on.


The park is meticulously maintained and cared for with what can be only described as passion. In speaking with a Park employee, it became evident that they share a true love for their work at Washington Oaks. I found it both honorable and refreshing.

Throughout the gardens you find plants indigenous to the State of Florida. To take all the guess work away, the Park has provided each species of plant with signage identifying them by their scientific name as well as their more common name.


One the east side of AIA, Washington Oaks extends to the Atlantic Ocean. The curvy road to the boardwalk is cascaded on each side with sand dunes and protected grasses and vegetation; a safe house for wild life.  Standing on the board walk overlooks a vast open area protected in perpetuity from development. I might mention here that the entrance fee for the garden side of the road also covers the beach area. Just be sure to have the receipt on your dashboard.


The boardwalk extends out to the beach and is a nice private area to sunbath or swim in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic. For the swimmers a word of caution; the Cochina rock is ever present so one must be careful when swimming at high tide or risk injury from the hidden rock formations. Fishermen may also wish to scout out the area at low tide or risk parting with expensive lures.

As I wander around places like Washington Oaks, tripod and camera in tow, I imagine each scene the way I would like for it to be shared with you. Sometimes I get lucky and other times not so much. However, the balance of light and shadow with subtle details of the natural world illustrated in only black white and grays is what I strive to show. As I develop new ideas and techniques, just maybe my vision will begin to reflect in how you see the world as well. Hopefully you will see through my lens how much beauty is all around us only if we take the time to explore it.

As for Washington Oaks, what a treasure found with one of Florida’s best kept secrets. I will be coming back again to pick up where I left off. Oh, there is so much more to explore.


Written by wingzofsteel

August 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm

A Simple Christmas Story (intro)

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Sometimes there is a special story wrapped tightly (and sometimes well hidden) around the core layers of your remembered experiences. Just recently I discovered something new in a common house hold staple of my growing up years in Blackshear, GA.

You may read the story here.

Written by wingzofsteel

December 21, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Once Upon a Morning Chilly, Part One

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Often in the lives of young boys and girls,  a healthy imagination is often much broader, more interesting and more far reaching than the calming voices of reason. In this account I have tried to address them all in this simple story that takes place in Blackshear, Ga. The year was 1958. Or, if you are following my outline, winter count 9.

Click here  to read “Once Upon a Morning Chilly, Part One”.

Written by wingzofsteel

December 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

A Hitchhike Across the Extragalatic Nebula

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Picture 18For those of us who live in a metropolitan environment, our access to the natural world is somewhat limited and detached. It is when we face our furry brethren in close proximity is when our aire of sophistication leaves us stranded and looking, well … foolish.

Check out my  story here!

I hope you enjoy it.


Written by wingzofsteel

November 5, 2009 at 10:39 am

Old Rivers

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Picture 18When I listen to this song, it takes me back to a time standing in the kitchen in front of the old wood heater getting  warm. The smell of sausage and eggs and Mama’s sweet voice calling us to breakfast. Daddy would have the radio playing; filling the small farmhouse with sounds to suggest another day has started; another adventure was there before us to share.

There is something haunting in Walter Brennan’s voice that will forever remind me of those days so long ago.

Written by wingzofsteel

August 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Coming Soon!

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th_avatar-014Hello Adventure Seekers,


Traveling from West Georgia to the East coast and points in between, Georgia’s Fort McAllister Park will be my next destination.  Come with me and visit One of Georgia’s Civil War fortress sites.  And, meet my brother Mitch and my son Adam, who will have a thing or two to say.  We will have a good time setting around the campfire talking of old times, watching the billows of smoke disappear into the canopy of starlight.

I will be testing:

I hope you can join us!



Written by wingzofsteel

June 16, 2009 at 2:10 am