Miles today: 16.7 miles
Miles so far: 778.1 miles
Campsite: Porter Tract Campsite
The day started with breakfast in bed. Mini muffins, apple juice and fritos. I seriously can’t wait to eat fresh fruits and vegetables again. Joey had told me yesterday that he was not going to leave early. I had other plans. It’s great to not have to follow anyone else’s schedule but your own. By 9am I made my way out of St Marks but within 3 miles I had to stop at the convenience store. Perhaps they would have a better resupply selection than the “grocery” store in St Marks. I was able to find a few protein bars and different type of snacks. The store had a subway so, of course, I ordered myself a footlong to go and a breakfast sandwich to eat right now. I was considering this my second breakfast.
The trail got into the woods right off US98 but aftee a 1/4 mile it somewhat lead me out and right back on the road. Tall grass was blocking my view and it seemed that the flatten areas leading to the road wad the trail. After hiking a while, I noticed orange blazes in the woods next to the road. When did the trail go back in?! There was standing water between it and I so I continued on the road’s shoulder. It went on for a while until the trail crossed US98 and instead of leading you in the woods, it was just making a straight line in the really tall grass and wetness. EFF that and I continued on the road. Afterall, it was 20ft from me and I was following it while my feet remained dry. All that happened as I was shoving a whole bag of swedish fish in my mouth. Elevensise!!
Once back on St Marks National Wildlife Refuge property, the trail was much better and easier to follow. It was on a dirt jeep road for a while making the miles fly by quickly. Even terrain is easier to hike on. I arrived to a recently burned area. It smelled like a campfire and looked unreal. The ground crunched each step I took. In the distance I could see a log still burning and thought that camping nearby may be a terrible idea.
I arrived at camp at 330pm and to get away from pesky bugs, I set up my tent and layed in it while eating my foot long sub sandwich. Yep. I was still eating.
I received a text from Joey telling me he thought that he had passed my campsite and didn’t see me, as I was about to reply he showed up. Here we are, hiking together again 🙂
Right now I lay in my sleeping bag, in the middle of the afternoon listening to all of the insects chirping and flies buzzing around me. I am realizing that with less than 350 miles left on this journey, I will miss this constant closeness with nature. This trail has had its odd obstacles such as long road walks and, worst, under water trails. I’ll definitely not going to miss the sloshing sound as I wade through dark unknown waters resulting in wet feet. Those sections makes me feel better about the nice dirt road walks I’ve done. Right now, my thoughts on the Florida Trail are that despite the amount of water, this is a pretty trail worth doing. I did choose the “wrong” year to do it as water level are higher but I don’t regret my decision thus far. Let’s see what I say when I reach Fort Pickens.