Trail Journal

Date: December 30 2000
Trail Day: 213
Miles Today: 23
Location: SR 63, CR 80 junction
Section Mile: FAR 68
ECT Mile: 3211

It was a bright clear day. My route was mostly SR 63. It went through Lake Masteri. Its a huge beautiful lake. The water is bluish green - almost like the sea in Florida. Saw numerous hunters in trucks driving by. Many of the drivers wave at me as they drive by.

Also saw an armadillo 4 ft from me. They are funny looking creatures. There are tons of them in Florida.

Slept about 200 ft from the road in a patch of trees.

Date: December 31 2000
Trail Day: 214
Miles Today: 35
Location: Days Inn, Montgomery
Section Mile: FAR 103
ECT Mile: 3246

A personal record today - 35 miles. Was quite worn out when I got to Montgomery. Also saw the first Cypress trees in the hike. I thought they grow only in South Florida. I have now seen Armadillos, Cypress trees and flat terrain, all things I have seen in Florida. The only thing missing is the warm weather.

Got up to partially frozen water bottles. I was woken up by some people shouting. There was a fire in one of the homes.

Had lunch in Wetumpka. People are very friendly and wave to me from cars. A police officer stopped me to talk and make sure things were OK.

Most of the shops are closed because of Sunday and New Years eve. Got a very good room at the Days Inn.

Date: January 1 2001
Trail Day: 215
Miles Today: 16
Location: Knights Inn, Montgomery
Section Mile: FAR 119
ECT Mile: 3262

Decided to do a short day and just walk across town to the southern side. It was very interesting. The downtown was nice. It was deserted because it was a holiday. Then the neighborhood became quite rough and run down. I look scruffy enough to fit right in. One guy tried to buy drugs from me, another tried to sell me gold chains, one asked me if I was homeless. A lady police officer looked at me dramatically while driving by. The look said - Be careful mister, I 'm keeping my eyes on you.

Got near I-65. There are atleast 10 motels here.

Date: January 2 2001
Trail Day: 216
Miles Today: 0
Location: Knights Inn, Montgomery
Section Mile: FAR 119
ECT Mile: 3262

A 0 day

Date: January 3 2001
Trail Day: 217
Miles Today: 25
Location: Near Davenport
Section Mile: FAR 144
ECT Mile: 3287

Because I have no watch I had failed to realize that I was no longer in Eastern Time Zone. I have been in a different time zone since I entered Alabama.

Had breakfast at Shoney's and started off. A rather uneventful day. 2 Police cars slowed down to look at me but then moved on. Its somewhat difficult to find a tenting spot here because US 31 is a somewhat busy road and most of the adjoining land is private and fenced off. In general I try to stay out of fenced areas. I found a good unfenced spot near Davenport and decided to stop although I still had another hour of daylight left. My knees are also hurting, so its a good idea any way. I think its the hard road that causing the pain.

Heard some snorts as I was setting up my tarp, so I could be in some deer's territory. I haven't experienced this in a long time.

The FAR is now well underway and I should be in Florida in another 4 days and should be starting the Florida Trail in about a week. The forecast is calling for warm temperatures although it will still go below freezing at night. They say we will have 60 F this Sunday. I haven't seen that in several months now.

Date: January 4 2001
Trail Day: 218
Miles Today: 25
Location: Near US 31 & CR 30
Section Mile: FAR 169
ECT Mile: 3312

Got an early start. I was up even before the sun. The water bottle was almost all frozen. So I am guessing the temperature went to 25 F or so. It was a bright and beautiful day. I had to take off one of my jackets and gloves in a couple of hours.

There is a fleet of trucks that is hauling timber. The drivers had seen me all day yesterday and today. They have started waving at me.

About noon I heard some noises behind and saw a big german sheperd. I tried to drive it away, but it kept following me. I realized it was lost. It came to me when I took a break. It was quite frightened. I tied a string to its collar and walked it to Greensville. It always stayed very close to me. I am quite surprised he hadn't been run over. US 31 is a fairly busy and fast road.

Got to a gas station and asked the cashier to call the number given on the tag. The owner came and picked it up in about 15 mintues.

Walked another 5 miles and found a good spot similiar to yesterdays. Since the terrain has become flat its easier to find good spots. The only problem now is some areas are too thick with vegetation to camp.

Date: January 5 2001
Trail Day: 219
Miles Today: 30
Location: Near Wilcox
Section Mile: FAR 199
ECT Mile: 3342

Got an early start again. Over night temp again 25 F or so. I can still see ponds etc. partially frozen. Continued walking on US 31. Saw a post office in Chapman. I have not been able to bounce my stove and related cooking stuff since Anniston because I have no seen a post office or its been a holiday. Finally saw one today. Also mailed another set of journal entries to Suriyan.

Was stopped by a police officer. He asked for my id and ran a check on it. I wonder if they are allowed to stop people minding their own business and harass them. I know I'm in Alabama - the backwaters of civilization, but still. The cop had no tact. No wonder the local people hate cops.

Had lunch in Georgiana. Had fried Creole chicken - spicy. Enjoyed it. Got another order for dinner. Filled up my water bottle and decided to walk the CSX railroad to Evergreen. I have been heading south west and paralleling I-65 since Montgomery. I use US-31 and the railroad. From Brewton I will head south using roads to Pensacola. I should be in Florida on Jan 7 and in Pensacola on Jan 9. However its supposed to rain Sunday. I will have to see how badly I get wet and how cold it gets.

Today was a beautiful day. I had to take off both my jackets. The railroad is fairly active and I saw 3 trains go by. They are loud, but I love to watch trains go by.

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