Saturday, February 13, 2010

Battle of Olustee Part I

Today was a very long day, but a fun one.  It started out bright and early when I woke up at 5:30.  I had to open the park and make sure that the road was clear of water before I headed to Ichetucknee to meet my boss at 7:30 am.  Together, we went to San Felasco State Park and loaded up the horses.  We were running a little late and the horses loaded for us in seconds.  It went so smoothly, we almost didn't believe it.  Then, we headed to Lake City where we unloaded and tacked up in a parking lot to prepare for the parade.  The ponies all did a fantastic job at the parade.  They all did what they were supposed to and only spooked once when a girl in a big fluffy dress ran towards them (I don't blame them, it was a little scary).  They did just fine with soldiers banging their drums and firing their rifles.  They are in their element in the parades.  I think that they love the attention.  This is Amigo, the horse that I ride.  He was all ready for the parade and we had time for a quick photo.

After the parade, we went to the battlefield.  We were there before the reenactment happened, so we took our time getting ready.  We let a lot of people pet the horses and we answered their questions.  We patrolled around the battlefield a bit to make sure that visitors didn't wander off behind the battlefield.  I even had time for another photo op.  This is me and Amigo.  This is also the first time that I have worn the silly ranger hat.  This is called our Campaign Hat and it is only worn for very special occasions.  It is not very comfortable, but very park rangery.

We started on one side of the battlefield and watched the Confederate soldiers march in.

When it was almost time for everything to begin, two of us went to the other side of the battlefield.  There was an announcement about this year being the Florida Park Service's 75th Anniversary.  We marched the horses in front of the audience to represent the early mounted patrol.  It was fun.  Then we headed back to our side of the battlefield and the battle began.  I was stationed on the Union troop side of the field.  Its fitting, as some may call me a Yankee because of my northern heritage (I was BORN in the south though, for the record).  We were a big hit with the younger Union soldiers.

So, that is where I spent the majority of my day and where I will be tomorrow.  At the edge of the battlefield with a great view of an amazing show, through the ears of a horse.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Amy, I'm glad Amigo was good to you this time. We loved the photo - you look great! What a pleasant way to celebrate the 75th Park Ranger Anniversary. And...ahem... it was NORTH Carolina. ;-)