Sunday, March 31, 2013

Apalachicola, At LAST (Pay attention Hernando)

.... ... (click HERE for the full series, read bottom post first)
The very next day, we drove over to Apalachicola where the bay of wonder oysters are soaking up the
somewhat massive flow of  fresh water out of Georgia and Alabama. The Flint and Chattahoochee rivers join up nearBainbridge Georgia and form the Apalachicola. DeSoto found this path and followed it as far as reasonable up North. As it turns out – to this very day, the Indians of that area, who were called the Apalachee and the Apalachicola, live on as the name for the whole water basin and mountain chain that knifes its way all the way to Maine. DeSoto sent his Captain of Infantry, Maldonado, by ship to the bay of Achusi (Pensacola - probably on Mulat Bayou) to meet him with a resupply of provisions at some later date. He came close - but after a battle with the Tuscaluza  at  Movila (Mobile) he turned his party North (again)  toward Tennessee and West to the Mississippi River.So, DeSoto totally missed Maldonado's camp by only a few days march, and later ran into mortal disaster further West. The Indian deaths in this and the prior Naravez expedition were horrific but inconsequential when you consider the likely millions in the Americas who died over the next 50 years from contagious pathogens unwittingly spread among a population with zero resistance.

 DeSoto never got much further North than the base of the Appalachian foothills before he headed West but the name stuck. A lot of people walk the trail every year and have no clue that way down South where the streams flow into the Gulf, is a town and a bay anchoring their Appalachian path.
mentioned earlier (in this blog)  about the Chattahoochee River, bordering Georgia and Alabama. The idyllic Town of Eufala, Alabama is bordered by those waters that flow to an oyster paradise. 
The headwaters of the Chattahoochee begin North of Gainesville, Georgia and form Lake Lanier. When a drought condition exists, Lake Lanier has to dump all its water out to help feed the oysters in Florida. Sometimes the cotton 
and cattle in Georgia take priority and the oysters get only a half glass, which is probably seen as half full by the Cattlemen in Georgia (and Alabama).
I can see a time coming when the Oyster Wars break out along the Tri-State borders for Florida, Alabama and Georgia. It will be like the old wild west Sheep wars of the 19th century, with a battle of Oyster-men vs Cotton Farmers vs Cattlemen – and maybe sail boat enthusiasts from Lake Lanier and Bass fishermen from Lake Walter George. Bring your own oyster knife.
This is only the start of THE OLD FLORIDA tour and I will cover more of Apalachicola in the next post. Be sure to follow the links in the blog - it may become habitually entertaining. Scroll down the blog for earlier posts.