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Heart of Putnam

March 3, 2013

Florida – Thursday, February 21

I had to backtrack just a little to the town of Palatka where I was headed to make my donation. But I didn’t mind because it was dark when I drove this way last night. I’m in agriculture country and there’s lots of fields – some ready to harvest and some not. It is apparently harvest time for cabbage (which seems strange to me because it’s only February!) because not only did I see fields of cabbages that looked huge, I also saw some trucks loaded with cabbage. We made our way back over the St Johns River and found the Heart of Putnam Community Service Center. I had called ahead to see if a food donation or a financial donation would be most beneficial, and they said a financial donation would be most helpful. This agency is a “one-stop service center housing a group of non-profit agencies” so that the different groups can combine efforts and resources so there’s no overlapping of services. That seems to be an efficient way to approach this! There were people in the waiting room, and they were busy, so I gave them my check and left. Then I got out for a quick walk through town, leaving Tula in the car for this short bit. At one end of town I found a park by the river, so I drove back there and got Tula out, and we walked through the park, and along the river on the sidewalk in front of some very nice river-front homes, covering a couple more miles. When we returned to the park, the sheriff department must have been conducting a training exercise in the water because there were about a half dozen sheriffs out on jet-skis – or maybe they were looking for something, or worse yet, someone. They seemed to all be in the same area.

Then I drove out to Ravine Garden State Park, and Tula and I walked nearly 3 1/2 more miles there. They’re getting ready for their Azalea Festival in 10 days or so, and lots of azalea flowers were in bloom, so it made for a pretty walk. There was a scenic drive around the whole park which Tula and I walked, and we went down into the ravine on the trails too. We crossed part of a swinging bridge over the ravine, but Tula was a little hesitant of the unsteady footing!

After that I headed up to Green Cove Springs, and walked a couple more miles through some pretty neighborhoods and into another park. From there I stopped for a bite at a little BBQ joint, and stopped for the night in Orange Park.
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