The Florida Trail: Chapter 14

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

After suggesting to the owner of the Airport Motel to have a hiker rate (if not a lower price overall!) we crossed the Apalachicola River and re-entered Eastern Standard Time.

Frisbee had heard good things about the Appalachee Restaurant’s lunch buffet. It was too early for lunch, but we ate a hearty breakfast, then checked to see if the Snowbird Motel had availability so we wouldn’t have to rush to get everything done. We were not so lucky.

It is what it is though, so we headed over to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store to resupply for Apalachicola. The girls there really got a kick out of us! It surprises me how many people live and work right on the Florida Trail that have never heard of it. Two of the girls thought we were crazy and the other said she’d consider doing it herself.

On our way back to the Appalachee Restaurant to check out their lunch buffet. We met a NOBO named Lorax and picked his brain a bit on the way to the buffet then went our separate ways. Maybe it’s a rotating menu, but the buffet was mediocre at best. We felt like we wasted some valuable time.

We began the road walk to the forest, and were attacked by swarms of gnats the entire time. We were feeling pretty miserable when we ran into another NOBO named Birdy outside of the Lake Mystic Citgo. As before, we exchanged information then continued on our merry way.

As we made our way back to the road, a guy in a car flicked us off then turned around to try to run us down. He wasn’t the only one who got dangerously close to us. I was officially done waving to every passing car. The locals made their point that they didn’t want us there.

We wouldn’t get far in the woods before we called it quits for the day. Even though it’s a big no-no, we decided to set up camp on the trail. The next stretch would be a wet one, and the next campsite was too far to get to before dark. We at least waited until the sun was setting before pitching the tent.

Once settled in, I’d mistaken the glow of the moon for a headlamp shining on the tent. Then a truck would creep along the forest road parallel to us. We hoped we weren’t spotted. As we dozed off, a guy pulled over, unloaded his shotgun along the side of the road, then drove away. We were glad Lorax mentioned that a lot of the locals were killing hogs, otherwise I’m not sure what we would’ve done next. It’s not always the wildlife you need to fear out here. The locals can be much more frightening!

13 miles (20.9 km)

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