The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Day V


  1. Gainsville - Devil's Mill Hopper

Afterwards, head back to South Florida for analysis of accumulated data.


Before going to bed, I set up the video camera to record the room in case any manefestations happened. I had three extra tapes, each two hours so we could have a potential of six hours of recorded material but we both neglected to change the tapes after the first one so we only have two hours, between 1:30 and 3:30 am. But I didn't experience any paranormal manefestations. I asked Kurt.

“Sleeplessness. People were banging doors, opening and closing them. I didn't investigate though,” he said. But other than that, he didn't experience any paranormal manefestations either.

We checked out and headed back to Gainsville for our last site.

Cracker's Swamp Dirt Road

From St. Augustine we drove south alone I-95 to State 207 west, a two lane rural highway that lead us through such metropolitan areas like Elkton, Armstrong, Spuds and Palatka. And roads such as Cracker Swamp Dirt Road, not to be confused with Cracker Swamp Road.

Kurt has an account with BellSouth.Net, an ISP. In Jacksonville all the lines were busy and in St. Augustine … well … BellSouth has no point of presence in St. Augustine.

But Palatka! There's a POP in Palatka of all places. Spuds! You could hook up to the Internet in Spuds! Downtown Spuds consists of a gas station. I think. I don't know, we passed through Spuds in under a minute.

We also passed through Putnam Hall, where there is neither a hall, nor a putnam. Orange Hights was a busling megaopolis of a town—several buildings making up an obvious downtown area.

But no Internet service from BellSouth.Net in St. Augustine. Kurt's theory: “They're trying to preserve their heritage.”

Yea, right.

Devil's Millhopper

The Devil's Millhopper is a large sinkhole, 117 feet deep and about 500 feet across. The name comes from the shape of the hole, resembling the funnels used in mills to feed the grain into the millstone, and the fact that numermous bones and skeletons of animals have been found along the sides and bottom, leading many people to think that the Devil opened up a hole to suck all down to Hell.

Other than that, that's it.

The Devil's Millhopper is located in northern Gainsville and as haunts go, there are none. But as a nature walk, it's impressive. There's a boardwalk leading down about 100 feet to the bottom and halfway across. It's a large deep bowl like formation.

Sinkholes are caused by rainwater seeping through the ground, where it filters through old rotten vegetation where it turns into a very weak acid. The bedrock of Florida is primarily limestone, a rather porus rock that reacts with acid readily. The limestone is eaten away, leaving a large cavity underground that will eventually collapse under the weight of the ground above.

And that's what happened with the Devil's Millhopper. The primary sink hole was made approximately 15,000 years ago, but recent openings have happened in the last millenium, one possibly a hundred years ago.

Homeward Bound

After lunch at a nearby cafe (The Millhopper Cafe) we started on our way home, with Kurt driving the first leg. So I'm currently updating the journal on my laptop as we drive along Florida's Turnpike.

We're about three to four hours from home at this point.

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