Cutting of the Union Cypress Rail
erosion caused by rain, wind, flood and people has made
many changes to the old levy over the years. We've
seen timbers from the old railway exposed, and we've
seen the water over top of the levy (see Changes
over Time) high enough to float my boat (I mean the
Gheenoe - don't get silly!).
day Judy and I pulled into Mosquito Island, but instead
of sliding smoothly onto the bank there was a THUNK as
the front of the boat came to a sudden stop. Imagine our
surprise when we pulled back the grass to find a length
notified Ed Vosatka, historian and expert on the Union
Cypress Railway, of our find and he didn't waste much time riding out
with me to inspect the rail.
The area where the
rail was found is accessible only by airboat and small
motor boats like mine. The trail that connects it to Little
Lake Sawgrass isn't long, but it is very, very mucky, so
I had been intrigued by Ed's initial ideas for the removal
of the rail. They involved airboats and inner tubes,
and I really wanted to see that.
it turned out, Ed had a Plan B, and we
met "The Alligator Princess of the
day I received two emails - one from Ed saying he wanted
to go out again and get a piece of the rail. He had explored
ideas of portable welders to cut a section off, but decided
that he would do it with a hacksaw.
I'm just the driver.
second email was from a woman named Michelle who was planning
on making a solo
kayak trip the entire length of the St. Johns river.
In searching the internet for information on my part of
the river she kept coming up with the MarshBunny Notes.
She contacted me to see if I could advise her on the trail
and landmarks, and we agreed to meet on the same day that
Ed and I went out.
a great day we had! I met Michelle and took
her for a ride in my boat to show her the landmarks
to navigate her way, then Ed and I headed out in my
boat while she paddled her kayak, and we all met at
and Ed both had some funny and interesting stories
to share. Michelle is making a documentary of her trip,
and took advantage of the opportunity to learn more
about the river and local history from an expert.