Atop one of the highest points on the Florida peninsula, along the Lake Wales Ridge in Lake Wales, stands a monument to an immigrant who lived the American Dream.
He decided that his legacy would be to preserve this high point and make it a sanctuary for all to enjoy: Bok Tower Gardens.
Most folks come here to stroll the formal gardens, losing themselves in mazes of shrubbery only to pop out at the top of the hill and marvel at how far they can see across the Polk County landscape.
This Saturday, though, I was picnicking with my sister and her children when a group of people approached us as they completed the Pine Ridge Trail, a 3/4-mile nature trail traversing the natural habitats of the ridge.
“Mom! Hunters are coming,” Logan said, and pointed across the blooming prickly pear cacti to the distant line of people, each with a long rod slung over their shoulder.
As they drew closer, it was obvious they carried tripods…and cameras. We had a good laugh.
I visited last spring and hiked the Pine Ridge Trail, but there was no time for it again today. Perhaps next visit.
Meanwhile, you can see my photos of the trail. Yes, those are ridge lines in the distance, parts of the Lake Wales Ridge, in fact.