Travel: More Than Just The Destination

green hay fields with round hay bales beneath a blue sky with red roofed building in the distance.

In the past I’ve had a habit when I travel of making the destination the only part of the trip but this time on my return trip from Port Saint Joe, Florida I made a point of enjoying the journey and not just the destination. There have been a number of places that caught my attention in the past while traveling and this trip I made time to enjoy them.

Jim Woodruff Dam Overlook

Jim Woodruff Dam viewed through the trees.

You cannot miss this dam near US 90 in Chattahoochee, Florida and, crossing the bridge over the Apalachicola River, I have admired it many times on my way to Port Saint Joe, Florida. It spans the Apalachicola about a half mile below where it forms from the waters of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. The dam opened in 1957 and retains the reservoir known as Lake Seminole so popular with area fishermen, campers, boaters and families enjoying the outdoors at the lake on the Georgia – Florida state lines.

Jim Woodruff Dam, Chattahoochee, Florida

Returning from Port Saint Joe, Florida I made a bit of a panic stop when I saw a sign for the Woodruff Dam Overlook. That sounds interesting! I followed the narrow paved road up the hill to the reservoir and the overlook. I do not know why the reservoir size surprised me so but it did and I continued following the road up to the top of the bluff and found a small parking lot that overlooked the reservoir.

Woodruff Dam Overlook, Chattahoochee, Florida

Wow! What a gorgeous day to view it too! Surrounded by the trees, the reservoir and with a beautiful view of tree covered hills across the water, the Woodruff Dam Overlook allows you to let your troubles fade away as you relax and enjoy it all and so I did. Somewhere down below at the fishing deck someone was having some luck and I smiled at their excitement at having made a catch. I will have to return to Woodruff Dam Overlook and investigate some more since the road I followed continued up the hill and I am wondering what I may have missed.

Jim Woodruff Dam Reservoir

Florida State Hospital

This is another of the places along my regular journey to Port Saint Joe, Florida that always caught my attention and this time I stopped in Chattahoochee, Florida to make a picture. Florida State Hospital, once known as Florida State Hospital for the Insane, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Wow! Who would have thought. It has a right interesting history. It has been an armory during the Seminole Wars and the Civil War after which it became Florida’s first prison and became the mental institution in 1876.

Florida State Hospital, Chattahoochee, Florida

It’s a pretty building and looks so grand with the well maintained huge expanse of lawn out front and I’m glad I took the time to photograph it and learn more about it’s history. That’s one of the great things about travel how one can learn so much about places and their history; some of which you never would have imagined could be.

Pastures of South Georgia Farm Country

South Georgia Farm Country hay fields and hay bales

North of Bainbridge, Georgia this scene is another that has always caught my attention and this time instead of simply admiring the view I pulled the car into a driveway and ran, camera in hand, across the road and followed the fence line until I had the best view. The round bales of hay in the freshly mowed field was perfect for this photograph of Georgia farm country and the red roofed building in the distance contrasts nicely with the pasture and beautiful blue sky. I’m glad I took the time to photograph it because scenes like this people so often don’t take the time to notice and we are constantly surrounded by natures beauty. Amazing.

The next time you travel I hope you take the time to enjoy the journey as much as your destination. Have fun with it all and make the most of it. Be sure and check back for the next post or subscribe and receive email notifications when there is a new post! Thanks for reading!

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  1. Nice. There are many other old buildings on the hospital grounds too. I’m not sure what all they were used for in the past. Some of them remind me of old barracks. If they ever close that place down, I would love to go ghost hunting there. With the history and some of the atrocities, I bet there are spirits all over the place in those buildings and on those grounds.

    1. Hey Renda! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the place has always had a government feel to me too and knowing more now I understand why. Since it was once an armory some of those buildings very well could have been barracks. Spirits would not surprise me at all and though I haven’t heard any of the nightmare stories of horrible procedures performed on mentally ill as i have at some other hospital sites they probably happened here too since they were considered standard medical practice and treatment at the time. The presence of spirits would not surprise me at all and to be honest though it is a pretty place it gives me a sense of foreboding every time I see it. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Ren.

      There is other interesting history too. There was one guy who was kept there for twenty years and eventually sued claiming he had been held against his will and the court ruled in his favor. Another time the hospital was accused of wrongfully restraining a patient and that ruling against the hospital apparently led to change in many state laws and the closure of some mental hospitals throughout the country. There is a lot of history there and some of it has had far reaching effects.

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