Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
As soon as the sun was about to rise, we broke down camp and mentally prepared ourselves for the swampy hike ahead.
We got our feet wet right off the bat, and the trail would take us in and out of swamp water, and up and over blow down for most of the morning.
We’d take the little nature trail to have lunch at Camel Lake campsite.
By noon, we had only hiked 5.3 miles. Pretty sad by our standards. The norm is usually 10-12 miles. Knowing there were more blow downs to slow down our pace through the next stretch of trail, and that we didn’t have enough food to be traveling at that speed through Apalachicola, we briefly took the nearby forest road 105 until it reconnected with the Florida Trail.
Our detour was short, and we were back in the swamp in no time. Fortunately, we’d get the occasional relief from wet feet when the trail took us into long leaf pine forests, and it would alternate between that, marshes and grassy fields.
While passing through, we’d run into our 10th NOBO, a Canadian named Plod. We’d also see a lot of interesting plants, including the carnivorous pitcher plant.
I’d get a scare when I nearly stepped on a Pygmy rattlesnake! Afterwards, I’d get startled by numerous sticks laying on the trail since they all started resembling snakes.
We started passing through a burn section and were a little disappointed that that was where we had planned on camping. We had little choice to do otherwise. We could have backtracked 1 mile or pushed on and risked night hiking, something I’m usually not opposed of when we’re hiking on a trail where everything doesn’t wants to kill you.
We set up, hoping the crisp earth wouldn’t puncture our tent.
19.2 miles (30.9 km)