Miles today: 18 (?) miles
Miles so far: 125.5 miles
Campsite: Vance Whidden Park
WOW. What can I say about today… We were on the road by 450am. We made our way out of Clewiston in the dark and up on the dike. Two kind gentlemen who were out on their morning walk told us how to get around the construction. It was an easy hike without a headlamp. By Joe’s Fish Camp we had to start our long road walk detour to Lakeport. It was misting all morning until about 7am, then it started to rain steadily. Master Yoda was helping us, young Padawans, to get our hike on.
We were soaked in no time. I had my ultralight umbrella and remained dry from the chest up which was nice as I was hiking in a t-shirt. Wearing a rain jacket would of made me sticky. Ew.
The constant pounding of the asphalt on our feet was terrible. I understand re-routes when there is construction but I didn’t like it. I was grumpy and Alex was too. We were soaked, had sore feet. It had become no fun to walk. We made our way to Moore Haven and stopped at the Burger King for coffee and a dry place to rest. By that time, it had been torrential downpours out. After over an hour there, we packed our things up but then suddenly most customer’s phones went off giving them a tornado warning for our area. Soaked and caffeinated, we had to keep on hiking to make it to our destination. So we went… Out in the rain for about 2 more miles. It was raining hard and we were walking on a very busy road in the grass. A woman pulled over to inform us what we knew, tornado warning for the area and to seek shelter. Within minutes of her pulling away, we found a closed church on the side of the road that had a good entryway to shelter us for a bit.
After the heavy, and I mean HEAVY rain came down, we continued our hike. We passed a correctional facility. We had toyed with the idea of hitching a ride to the nearest campsite. Yeah, Like anyone would of picked up 2 hitchhikers next to a prison…so we didn’t do it.
In a matter of minutes, a lady pulled over, telling us to get in because she had saw cloud formations that may become tornadoes. Without hesitation, we jumped in, apologized for being drenched. She didn’t care, she wanted us to be safe. We told her to drop us off 2 miles away at the C-5A campsite but she passed the turn off so quickly. We forgot that driving is a whole lot faster than being on foot, in the rain. She continued driving and dropped us off at the entrance of this county park. Sadly, we just had skipped 6 miles of trail. At this point, we didn’t care, we were safe and why risk it. We thanked her and walked 0.5 miles to set up camp in the park. No one was here due to the bad weather. Miraculously, it had stopped raining as soon as we dropped our packs to get our tents out. YES!!!
A few hours later, an older man arrived with his dogs. He informed us he has just saw a hog on his way to the parking lot and that they roam this area a lot and that we had to be careful. He also told us there was an orange tree not far from our tents behind a few other trees. DOUBLES YES. We were finally getting dry and fresh fruit was available too? What a day! I did see my first giant banana spider. It was far too high in a tree to take a good picture but it was massive… And I mean huge!
We heard a pigs oinking around, should make for an interesting night. As I am sitting in my tent, at 6pm, the mosquitos are swarming my tent. It’s a constant buzzing. Kudos to anyone using a tarp with no bug net. They come out on time every night at 6pm and typically gone by 8pm. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ.
If i don’t make it out alive, blame the skeeters. Happy trails!