The Florida Trail: Chapter 25

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

It was time to finally leave the comfort of our hotel room, but we were totally ready to hike out. Frisbee decided to wait at McDonald’s until they served lunch so he could pack out some McDoubles that we could eat at the end of the day. While he waited, I started my walk down CR 53.

After I passed Midway Baptist Church, where we had planned to stay days prior before the torrential downpour cut our hike short, I was nearly hit by a truck while wishing my Dad a Happy Birthday over the phone. I was walking towards traffic so I could get out of the way as cars went by, but I wasn’t expecting anything to fly up behind me! Some idiot in a hurry was passing another vehicle and came inches from striking me! Shortly after that, a dog ran across the highway to try and bite at my heels. I’m a huge animal lover, but I’m not opposed to kicking a dog if it attacks me. Fortunately, the dog was bluffing and it didn’t come down to that.

The walk continued on dirt roads with no mercy from the sun. I was happy to eventually go back into the woods, even with the sprouting thorn bushes whipping at my legs.

It was even nicer when I got to see the Suwannee River for the first time!

One of several blow downs

I took a short break at one of the camp sites to drink some water and eat a Snicker’s bar, then I was back on the road.

I took a peek around the Stroud Cemetery. A lot of the tombstones were for infants from the 1800s. Pretty sad.

I signed the trail register before returning to the woods. I’d see a turkey, deer, several lizards and a snake as I walked on the fragrant pine needles toasting in the sun.

The tail-end of an Eastern Hognose

Then I was back along the Suwannee with some nice scenery, before walking under I-10 and arriving at the shelter (which was more of a pavilion).

A hiker named Joe was there and we chatted about the Appalachian Trail. I suspected he was homeless. We’ve come across a number of “hikers” that walk and hitchhike along the Appalachian Trail to stay in the shelters. It makes sense to come down to Florida during the winter. I couldn’t blame him. I’d do the same thing if I were homeless!

Frisbee later arrived with McDoubles, which we scarfed down before setting up the tent and waiting for the storm. The pavilion wouldn’t keep us dry if the wind was blowing hard sideways. It also looked like it could flood. We’d anxiously lay in our tent once the wind picked up, and the thunder and lightening rolled through, hoping for the best.

22.4 miles (36.0 km)

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