Return to the Florida Trail: Chapter 10

Saturday, November 30th, 2019

We had breakfast with the family, then got packed up and ready to go. Before Frisbee’s parents returned us to the Florida Trail, we walked across the street to drop off some of the food from my previous resupply to a homeless guy. I’m getting sick of tuna, so might as well not waste it.

We didn’t have big miles in mind and started hiking around 1:30 pm. Frisbee wanted to watch the Alabama-Auburn game, so we were stopping at a sports bar 6 miles in. We were on a bike trail most of the time. Our hike was short, but we saw several Gopher tortoises before we arrived at Red Eye Sports Tavern. After a tense game, we walked in the dark to resupply at Publix down the road. We ended up getting McDoubles at McDonald’s instead, and sat in the lobby drinking coffee until it got a little later. The darker it got outside, the easier it would be to stealth camp.

While we were there, an older couple visiting for the holidays asked us for help getting an Uber since the man’s Maserati broke down. Due to a glitch with her Apple account, she couldn’t get the app, or any app for that matter, to work. We tried with Lyft too. I gave them the numbers of local taxi services, but they kept having issues with the whole ordeal. I tried!

We returned to the darkness and traveled along a bike trail with the glow of our headlamps guiding us. Suddenly we saw headlights on the trail ahead of us. I questioned if we made a wrong turn off of the bike trail. Vehicles aren’t allowed on it. Then as we got closer, we noticed it was a cop car, and he shined the spotlight on us. He slowly began to back up as we approached. We initially assumed someone called the cops on us. There were a lot of residences around us that might have been concerned about two people wandering behind their homes in the dark. When he took off without speaking to us, I started to wonder if he was doing something he wasn’t supposed to. I’ll never know.

The sidewalk we ended up on turned off into the trail in the woods of Little Big Econ State Forest. The trail was great! It bobbed and weaved through palmettos and it pumped up and down with tree roots designing the landscape. I questioned if this was a mountain bike trail. The section that followed made me think of the Suwannee, at least from what I could make out in the dark. We missed out on views, but it was still a nice stretch.

We questioned sleeping on the beach, but my headlamp picked up gator eyes, so it was a “no” from me. We stopped at Econ Campsite at 2 am. There were other people set up in the designated sites, so we just found a flat spot and crashed.


17.1 miles (27.5 km)


Jump Ahead to Return to the Florida Trail: Chapter 11

Jump Back to Return to the Florida Trail: Chapter 9

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