Friday, December 13th, 2019
We managed to stay dry after staying the night at a motel in Clewiston, all thanks to our awesome friend Chris who hooked us up with a room right before we arrived. What a guy! We packed up, checked out, and headed to McDonald’s for breakfast. There were a good deal of hiker errands that needed to be done before we could leave town. This pretty much would be the last place we could resupply until we reached the end of the Florida Trail. This crazy trail that we started early this year and returned to complete after our journey across Arizona, between Alabama and Georgia, through Vermont, and back to Alabama again was nearly coming to a close. This year has been quite the adventure!
We planned on resupplying for eight days, much longer than our usual 1-3 day average. We gathered all that we needed at Walmart and Dollar General, and then went to the post office to mail a package ahead. On the way there, a guy stopped his car right next to us.
“Hey! Do you remember me?”
“Where from?” he questioned us with a grin.
It was the guy who told us that the dike was “closed all the way through” when we reached the construction site outside of Lakeport. In hindsight, I think there was a miscommunication. I don’t think he realized how far along the dike we were traveling. He told us he was amazed that we made it all the way to Clewiston and wished us a safe journey.
Right as he was pulling away Frisbee yelled out to him.
“Hey Man! Happy Holidays.”
He smiled, “Happy Holidays!”
It was already lunch time so we grabbed food at Burger King before we walked back to the trail. On our way back, we stopped at Popeye’s to grab chicken sandwiches to eat for dinner later. While we waited on our food, we ran into a Florida Trail hiker. His trail name was Tiffany, due to his jewelry, and he was from Ohio. He hiked the Appalachian Trail earlier in the year and was hiking the Florida Trail northbound. He had already hiked to Okeechobee on the west side of the lake (the same way we came), then went to hike the Ocean to Lake section, a branch off of the trail we haven’t done. One day we will! Now he was re-hiking the stretch we were covering and continuing along the east side of the lake.
We hiked with each other the rest of the day. He told us he was hiking the Arizona Trail once he was done the Florida Trail. We told him how much fun he was going the have. The Arizona Trail has got to be my favorite trail so far (Sorry AT! I still love you!). We had a safety meeting by the water and watched a guy driving his yacht nearby.
“How much done you think that is?” he asked.
The three of us would continue to talk about whatever came to mind. He told us about how he deals with unwanted nonsense. “If it stresses me out, I’m out!” That’s a good way to live. After vegging out for a long time, Frisbee reminded us why we were there to begin with. “Well, we should probably get back to hiking.”
Onward we went. We walked with Tiffany most of the way into the night, and we waited for him once we got to a pavilion near John Stretch Park. We hadn’t made it far out of Clewiston, but this was where the trail would split. Tiffany was heading back north, we were heading in the other direction to the south.
We invited him to stay with us. We figured we’d stick around by the pavilion in case it rained. We weren’t sure what lied ahead of us. He agreed to join us even though he wanted to keep going, and the three of us found a dark area under some trees nearby. I listened to the owls hooting throughout the night and Tiffany would disappear early in the morning before we roused.
8.7 miles (14.0 km)
Jump Ahead to Return to the Florida Trail: Chapter 25
Jump Back to Return to the Florida Trail: Chapter 23
Start from The Beginning