Pineapple Trouble  LbNA # 38884

Placed DateApr 12 2008
CountySt. Lucie
LocationPort St. Lucie, FL
Found By AhokasApokus
Last Found Feb 19 2013
Hike Distance?

(NOTA BENE: this letterbox was accidentally moved by Park Staff--see NEWS FLASH below. We asked letterboxers to help PineTroub get back where it belongs if they had the time. This morning we got an email from Mary S reporting she moved it back to its original location on 4/17/09. Thanks Mary! We hope these clues will work once again now.) The Pineapple Trouble letterbox celebrates the Winter Freeze of 1894 to '95 that wiped out the pioneer settlement at Spruce Bluff, which is now a 100-acre Natural Area in Port St. Lucie, FL. We planted Pineapple Trouble on April 12, 2008, on a really hot and humid spring afternoon along the "Pioneer Trail" in the north part of Spruce Bluff. Parking by the Native Upland Habitat Preserve Kiosk on Dar Lane (halfway between the intersection of Peru St. and the Exclusive Security Gate protecting the Vikings on Lookout Blvd.) will allow you to pick up a St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Dept. Interpretive Trail Guide identifying 27 points of botanical and historical interest along what at first looks like the small roads to a deserted 50s trailer park. Be sure to start off north on the east side of the double-lane antique asphalt, following the first seven signposts. We especially liked Post 5, which "identifies" (nifty icon of thermometer-lightning bolt zapping pineapple greens with drizzling frost) "Cold" as a hazard to settlers trying to make a living as pineapple farmers. Though you'll probably be really hot here, there will be a frost every ten years or so, and while hiking this trail (part of it a half-mile wheelchair accessible loop) without air-conditioning, you can long for the good old days when acres and acres of pineapples died here. Obviously, settlers needed "Other Occupations" to survive here, as noted at Post 7. This seventh post is where a sneaky little trail turns right off the ancient asphalt, occasionally blazed by blue markings on the slash pines that haven't blown down in hurricanes yet. Just a bit past the #9 "Tough Times" Post, commemorating "Measles, Malaria, Chickenpox, and difficulties during childbirth . . . crude cabins, . . . no roads . . . traveling ministers . . . school and post office," you'll see a big patch of Deer Moss (Cladonis spp are actually lichens, which you may have seen before as landscaping bushes for model railroad hobbyists--don't step on them! they're real fragile!) and then you'll get to the crucial clue: "#10 — Trouble Ahead — A freeze in the winter of 1894-95 killed most of the pineapples in the area." A slash pine nearly blew over in the hurricanes of September 2004 (Ivan and Jeanne), but is now (4/12/08) hung up on another dead tree just overhead of this Doomsday Post 10. If you follow the widow-maker northward down to its roots still half-buried in the sandy soil, you'll find our Pineapple Trouble letterbox. A bit further along this trail you can visit a little cemetery for Spruce Bluff folks who died pretty young. Once you get back to Dar Lane, you might like to take the south AIS (pronounced "Eye ees) Trail and visit the AIS (or maybe Jeagas) burial mound. This trail is NOT for wheelchairs, and gets pretty muddy after the first of two boardwalks over the wetlands, so if it has rained recently, wear boots. Our letterbox has a home-made logbook and a hand-carved stamp that should be inked in 3 colors, but we left no ink in the box, so bring your own, please (green orange and black are recommended). NB ON MARCH 12, 2009, A PORT ST LUCIE PARKS MAINTENANCE WORKER ACCIDENTALLY PICKED UP OUR LETTERBOX AND BROUGHT IT TO THE PARKS OFFICE; WE HAVE HEARD FROM PARKS STAFF THAT IT SHOULD BE RETURNED TO ITS HIDING SPOT NEAR POST #10 SOON. Also in Spruce Bluff, look for the Forbidden Fruit letterbox, registered at NEWS FLASH!! Yes, the PSL Parks staff planted Pineapple Trouble back in Spruce Bluff, but he forgot to bring the clues with him and hid it behind a "slightly leaning slash pine" between Posts 9 and 10 on the west side of the AIS trail, not the Pioneer Trail. The AIS trail is on the southern side of the park and nowhere near the Post 10 that matches out "freeze" theme. If you find Pineapple Trouble in its new spot, we'd like it returned to its proper place on the Pioneer Trail, the other side of the park, not too far from Forbidden Fruit planted by Shark Boy and Lava Girl. LATEST NEWS!! HURRAH! WE HEAR THAT PINEAPPLE TROUBLE IS AS OF 4/17/09 BACK IN ITS ORIGINAL LOCATION. THANKS MARY S! NEXT TIME WE'RE BACK IN PSL, WE'LL SEE IF WE CAN FIND IT AGAIN.