Miles today: 13. 9miles
Miles so far: 519.7 miles
Campsite: Sue’s House.
Cold feet and a cold back… Not something I like to wake up to. I must had turned around at night and my quilt opened up and let a bunch of cold air in. I woke up freezing. The overnight lows have been in the low 30s. Crazy how a few days ago I was swimming in a Natural spring because it was so hot and now I was struggling to stay warm.
When I packed, I never thought about bringing gloves, because… It was Florida! I had planned for cold weather and bought a 20° quilt for it but didn’t think about gloves! I looked down at my feet and took my sleeping pair of socks are used that as gloves. Frost was on my tent and my hands were already cold. I walked for about 5 miles with my socks as gloves. It worked well and kept me warm.
I had another dog try to get me today but thankfully he or she stayed away after I yelled out. So i continued on and met a sobo section hiker who was going from the Suwannee section to past the Ocala section and back. As we were talking, 2 cars almost had a head-on collision on the dirt road we were on. The woman who had almost gotten her self in an accident was cleaning her windshield. When she past us she went to the far left of the road and almost hit the fence when she quickly jerked to the right. She was heading to the far right slowly when she went up a bank of dirt in the ditch and came back to the center of the lane… She was either drunk or really couldn’t see out of her windows! Either way, I couldn’t wait to get off the road!
Made it to GoldHead Branch SP back gate. It was a dry section and didn’t get my feet wet a single time today. Another miracle. Yay! Once I arrived to the front entrance, I paid my fees and waited for Hammock Hanger. She was driving to get me for the night. We had a lot of time to talk as she lives in Jacksonville. She had hike a lot of long trails such as the AT, FT, JMT, The Camino… And many more. She, too, was an experienced solo hiker and it was nice to hear all of her solo experiences. Hearing her talk about hiking in a skirt made me want to wear one! I was able to slackpack for about 2 miles. She arrived and asked me if I wanted to leave my pack behind and finish the last 2ish miles left in the park. 2 easy miles without a pack?! Let me tell you, they were the lightest 2 miles I’ve ever had so far! I was floating on the dry trail. A Pines needle bed was even making it even more cushiony.
I am currently sleeping in the most comfortable bed I have ever been in. Maybe it’s my trail back talking or maybe it is just THAT comfortable… One thing is for sure is that tomorrow morning I won’t have to freeze my fingers again. Hammock Hanger has given me a pair of gloves. No more cold fingers! Wish I could say no more cold mornings but that wouldn’t fun, now would it?
It is past hiker’s midnight and I have been well fed and taken care of. This week has been a great week of trail magic and good timing. Things seems to have fallen into place like they were meant to be. Happy Trails.