OKEFENOKEE'S ENCHANTED TRAIL
George Harold Fulks- John Dwayne Redding(commenced 11:45 A.M., 6-20-ll)
As John, Tanya, and Tracy Redding sat on a sofa, they were discussing some of John's photo
collection. they came across one of a log house set in a background of tall, white-
pines. Tracy, a sixteen year old daughter, commented excitedly: "Dad! That's one of
the house that you, Grandpa and Grandma lived in when you were a kid, isn't it, Dad"?
"Yes, my dear!" John Redding answered."That was the house we lived in at Camp Cornelia; right on the Eastern edge of The Great Okefenokee Swamp. That was an interesting place to live, Tracy; just the right place for a Tom Sawyer such as I.
I wish the three of us could visit there sometime and take some good digital shots.
Those would be great for placement in the Redding Family Archives".
"I love to read and listen to stories you have about The Great Okefenokee Swamp,"
Tracy said. "There really is an enchanted and haunted trail, isn't there? Strange
things happened there, didn't they? It is really haunted, isn't it"?
Answered John Redding: "I have every reason to believe so. I don't expect everyone to take my stories and writing seriously though. Some just won't believe
stories of hauntings and strange occurrences unless they've personally experienced
them. I was that way once. I'm now a firm believer in the existence of ghosts and
enchantments. I'm not even frightened to know there probably are such things.
People have seen what are called mirages, haven't they? Things such as that may be
visions emerging from parallel worlds".
And as John held that 1955 photograph of a long home home set among pine trees,
Tanya, his wife and Tracy, his daughter snuggled more closely to him; hugging his
shoulders. by sitting, touching, and coming closer, a link was established between
a man and his family. A link was exactly the inspiration John needed to share with
his family another story of when he lived at Camp Cornelia on the edge of The Great
(And here's that story)
The road leading from Camp Cornelia to Crane's Island was about five miles one-way;
give or take a few steps. Walking that distance required more than an hour but just
fifteen minutes by car or truck. To get to the island, one had to follow a sandy road that had at one time been an ancient sea bed. That sand was clean as on an ocean and snow white. Every walking step would leave footprints. Along the way, there were places where swamp water had flooded over the road and then receded.
The journey by foot from Camp Cornelia to Crane Island required first that one walk South for two-and-one half miles until he reached a stock fence that belonged to the Cranes. One then trod West for one-
quarter-mile along that overgrown fence row. That part of the fence stopped at a corner- a perfect ninety degree turn. The view arond that corner was obscured from
ones vision. One was required to walk two more miles due South, but Crane's Island was still a mile and one-half away.
Allow me to state that Mr. Crane was peculiar and particular about who visited his island or entered his homestead. Whomever seen there should have been invited-
either family or friends. Anyone else was politely and sternly asked to leave. But
fortunately, my father, mother, and I were invited often to the Island.
But it just happed that I, John Redding, had a problem. I knew little fear and
could not resist entry into areas of interest. "Fool hardy" was a word that might
well describe my attitudes during those times. In one sense, the wilderness there
served as a lure intending to work as does a magnet; to pull me into different places near the Okefenokee Swamp and even into Folkston- a small town twelve miles
Northeast of Camp Cornelia.
Personally, it is my feeling that an eco-system such as The Great Okefenokee Swamp- its creatures: plants, animals, birds, reptiles, and insects are all part of a link that are all attached to an entity; an intelligence so to speak. And that entity seems to touch one in incredible ways- pulling, holding, and embracing. All
must be God or a tiny component of Him. The eyes, the taste, touch, smell, sounds,
and other sensation may come to bare as part of a link.
If anyone takes up residence in an area such as The Okefenokee, the things that
live there want to see one, to become acquainted, to sense fully what one and each other are doing and how other things are behaving. There are several senses and maybe a few heightened and extra senses.
End Part I