Hiking Dude Blog
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I can relax and not worry about this sign for quite awhile now. :-) I enjoyed a day off the trail in Ocala playing with new friends and doing a couple presentations to scout troops. Then, a quick flight on Friday got me home to Minnesota for a day of recuperating yesterday.
Now comes the fun chore of piecing together tracker pings, pictures, and blog posts into my journal. I hope to have that finished midweek so I can tell you my story.
Looking back at the pictures, I was blessed to explore some wonderful environments, meet some special people, and observe wildlife I'll most likely not encounter again.
Thank you, Florida!
Last Hiking Day
I traveled about 18 miles today.
Rain all night and then it stopped at 7:30am so I packed up in the lull. The lull wound up laying all day so I had a wonderful last day on the trail, ending my Florida hike at the Santos campground east of Ocala. The hike was much like yesterday with similar forest and few animals. The most angelic of trail angels, Sue, and her son Chris, picked me up. Sue is the scoutmaster of Chris's special needs troop. We've been having a wonderful visit and I got to have a potluck dinner with their while troop. They made me an honorary member of their troop and gave me a troop shirt. All the guys are good scouts and their parents offer wonderful support.
I traveled about 30 miles today.
I finally got a 30 miles day. The paved bike path north from Inverness was a pleasant walk for many miles even though it is very busy. After crossing the beautiful Wthlacoochee River at Dunnellon, the trail braided with horse and bike paths through sand and pines. Today, I met only the second person on this trip that was not a joy to chat with. A surly convenience store guy in Holder, FL. So, after leaving his shop, I purposefully stopped at a small produce place called Snows Country Market and bought some really great fruit. The staff there was great and I got to chat about my hike with them. I took a blue blazed side trail tonight to the Ross Prairie trailhead where I'm tenting in the ' scout camp area ' back in the trees. The bathroom has hot shower and cold potable water so this place rocks. Rain is expected tonight and all day tomorrow so my last hiking day looks soggy just like my first day.
I traveled about 22 miles today.
Cold enough last night to have my water bottles freeze! I thought I was hiking in Florida. Thinking ahead, I kept my water filter close to me all night so it didn't freeze. It was a chilly start and I was misled by my Florida Trail app, but then i got to hike 15 miles with my cousin's son (anyone know what that makes us? ) and it was nice chatting with him since we just met. Clear sky, very dry burned out pine forest, and smoke in the air made for a very different hike than past days. Tonight, I met troops 302 and 459 in Inverness. I presented a bit about my hiking and am resting at their very nice scout hut. The scouts were a great audience, asking questions and being polite.
My tracker battery died. The map won't be updated until I find a store to buy new ones.
Done Hiking Today
I finished hiking for today. You can check out my current location on the map and I'll post about my day when I am in coverage.
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