Monday, October 16, 2006
On Saturday, I spent most the day as part of a volunteer trash cleanup turned impromptu hiking caravan at the Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area in Hernando County. Had to get up astonishingly early but it was worth it to see a patch of land I otherwise wouldn't have seen. They're open from 8am to 2pm Fridays and Saturdays, which insures only retired people will tramp through your woods. Chinsegut (chin-SEE-gut) was named by the former property owner, Colonel Raymond Robins, for an Inuit word which supposedly means "a place to rediscover lost treasures". I had no idea the Inuit had settled so far south. The part we hiked through included what was left of the old 1850s Bishop homestead: some of a chimney, two brick cisterns, and a pit which I guess was his cess pool. Col. Robins' manor house is still standing on the other side of Route 481 and is the University of South Florida's Chinsegut Hill Conference Center. I didn't get to see that since they weren't about to let a mere student into their mansion on the hill. I didn't bring my camera because, well, when you've seen one tree in Florida, you've pretty much seen them all, and I've found I take terrible pictures. So I'm neither Thoreau nor Ansel Adams, apparently.