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Browns Magazine Cover

Yes it is true. The train ride from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Jacksonville, Florida was rather boring; especially the last hundred miles. It was either swamp in Georgia or pine flats in Florida.

Browns Train by swamp

But then we got to Jacksonville. By ‘we’ I mean all three of us – – – Jimmy McFee from Tennessee, Bogdan Yelcovich from eastern Europe and me.

I would have told you which country Bogdan is from but with all the wars and border changes over there I am not too sure he knows where he is from himself. Sometimes he says Ukraine then other times he says Austria and still other times he says Russia.

Anyway, we ended up in Jacksonville with plans to get on to Palatka via the St. John’s River and Rice Creek. Our final destination would be “Brown’s Landing.” Someone had told Bogdan that Browns Landing was going to be the next big city in Florida. He had heard it was an interesting area with great bargains in land purchases. I can now see why there are bargains; there is nothing here.

Browns Man in Batak

The people there are dirt poor; for the most part. Sometimes there are tourists and land buyers – – – like Bogdan, Jim and I – – – that show up from time to time.

And then there were the sports that had already left way too many footprints in the Pocono and Adirondack Mountains.

Browns ladies and man with gator

Nice ‘gator there! I bet the guy holding it is the guide.

I think that the lady in the boat must have gotten the vapors – – – probably because it was her husband who shot the poor little thing.

Browns Steamboat
Bogdan, Jim and I decided that hacking a clearing out of this wilderness – – – especially with all the mosquitoes, snakes and monster spiders – – – was not something that was in our best interest. So we took this steamer back to Jacksonville and a train back to Scranton.

On the way we met a very interesting gentleman.

Browns man by log cabin

The boatman said the cabin owner would make us a great lunch from greens he finds in the wilderness. It was a delicious meal and none of us got sick.

Take a look at the clever dog house he made. Mostly small branches. Keeps the panthers away but not the insects.

Poor dog!


As I Wander Introduction 2

©W. Tomosky