Trail Journal

Date: December 23 2000
Trail Day: 206
Miles Today: 0
Location: Econo Lodge, Anniston
Section Mile: APT 64
ECT Mile: 3091

A 0 day. I was planning on heading out. But when I got up I had absoloutely no mood to go.

Tried to buy another orange vest but they are all out. I have also lost my whistle/compass/thermometer combo, pocket knife and photon lamp. They were all tied in a string. I bought another pocket knife, could not find a photon lamp. The compass I will buy in Pensacola. The Florida trail is notorious for people getting lost due to poor blazing. So I will have to buy one before I start it.

Date: December 24 2000
Trail Day: 207
Miles Today: 4
Location: Near I-20
Section Mile: APT 67
ECT Mile: 3095

Slept well last night and got out of the motel at about 9 am. Walked to Rte 78 and tried to get a ride for about 2 hrs. Could not get one. Decided to walk 5 miles further out of town and try a ride. No luck. Walked another 4 miles and tried again. No luck again. Then just walked the remaining 4 miles to the trail. So it was 17 mile day although only 4 on the trail. It was also interesting to note that I could not get a ride on Christmas eve, where people are supposed to be full of brotherly love. Even more ironic that a good number of them were travelling to/from churches. It occured to me that if Jesus were to be walking through one of the neighborhood they would call the cops. Religion is just a farce these days.

Walked the 4 miles to I-20. The trail is fairly non descrept - a little of this and that. Ate some cheese and ham sandwhich and fell asleep.

Date: December 25 2000
Trail Day: 208
Miles Today: 19
Location: Blue Mountain Shelter
Section Mile: APT 86
ECT Mile: 3114

For the first part of the day the trail followed little streams. Then it climbed onto the Cheaha mountain and ran the ridges. Saw 2 hunters today. They were trying to chase a deer and were somewhat lost. I continued on, realized I was off the trail, came back and saw where the trail did a sharp turn that I had missed. Didn't know which way to go. Took one and walked for about 0.75 miles before realizing I was on the wrong direction. Turned back.

There were some nice small water falls. There was some ice near one. Took some shots. Once the trail started climbing there were numerous blow downs. The climb went very slowly. I was planning on going past the shelter but could not. This is the last shelter for me. The Florida Trail has none. Took a shot of the shelter.

Looks like there is no water for the remaining 28 miles of the APT. I have one water bottle full which won't last me the whole length. If I dont find some water on the way I will be thirsty.

Date: December 26 2000
Trail Day: 209
Miles Today: 20
Location: Clairmont Gap
Section Mile: APT 106
ECT Mile: 3134

Last night was fairly warm - above freezing. My water bottles had no ice in them. This is the first time thats happening in about 10 days. Completed the rest of the climb upto the ridge. It became surprisingly rocky and stony. That along with all the leaves made for very slippery hiking. The Leki poles sure came in handy.

I was also able to find water from some small stream, so there was no problem. Once again its fairly clear that the mountains have ended to the west and the east.

The day somehow just flew by. The terrain was fairly difficult. There are almost no flat areas. So its up and down all the time, though almost never very steep. Got some very good views.

Also completed all climbs above 2000 ft today. There is still some ice above that elevation and the wind is strong and cold. Also found that I have some milage problems in this journal. I shold be showing about 125 instead of 106. I will have to resolve that once the hike is complete.

Date: December 27 2000
Trail Day: 210
Miles Today: 29
Location: Abandoned Barnyard
Section Mile: FAR 20
ECT Mile: 3163

It rained a little last night but by morning everything was dry. I can now see city lights almost everywhere at night. The mountains sure are ending.

The trail was quite rocky in the beginning but the last 4 miles or so were very good. Completed the APT. Took some shots at the trail head. Continued walking on SR 77 and onto CR 7. It started raining and I got thoroughly wet. It was getting late and I decided to go to Goodwater for the night. It was another 9 miles. but along the way I saw an abandoned barnhouse and decided to stop there.

Later at night I could visualize things in vivid detail and color. I have never been able to do that.

Date: December 28 2000
Trail Day: 211
Miles Today: 25
Location: Motel 8, Alexander City
Section Mile: FAR 45
ECT Mile: 3188

I was expecting the temperature to drop sharly overnight but it did not. The clouds stayed on and held the heat. I got into my wet clothes. It wasn't that bad. Walked to Goodwater. They told me there were no motels in Goodwater. The nearest ones were in Alexander City or Syllacauge. Syllacauge is in the opposite directoin so I decided to go to Alexander City which is only slightly out of the way. It was a good thing that I did not hike to Alexander city last night as there were no motels.

Decided to walk along the CSX rail road to Rte 280 and then into Alexander City. Saw 1 train go by. I like walking on railway lines for some reason.

By the time I got to Alexander City, I was cold and miserable. I could not even fill out my Registration card. My hands were so stiff and swollen. I am now glad to be in a heated room.

Date: December 29 2000
Trail Day: 212
Miles Today: 0
Location: Motel 8, Alexander City
Section Mile: FAR 45
ECT Mile: 3188

A 0 day. Slept most of the time.

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