Trail Journal

Date: January 22 2001
Trail Day: 236
Miles Today: 28
Location: Ebro
Section Mile: FNST 144
ECT Mile: 3605

Steve dropped us off at the trail at about 9 AM. We got to Freeport and had lunch. Continued on to Bruce. The map says there is a motel there. We found out that it was filled up with long term rentals. We continued on to Ebro and got a motel room.

Fairly uneventful, long day.

Date: January 23 2001
Trail Day: 237
Miles Today: 24
Location: Canonon Motel, Panama City
Section Mile: FNST 168
ECT Mile: 3629

The map that I have says there's a motel in Southport which would make for a 24 mile day. Nomad and I decided to go for it.

Pine Log State Forest is a beautiful park. It was also a beautiful, bright day. The water levels here are very low. After that we did a forest road walk through Moore's Pasture WMA. We reached SR 77 at about 4 PM and tried to get a ride. Two women with 3 children stopped after a while. They said there was no motel in Southport. But they gave us a ride till Panama city. (10 miles or so away). They also gave Nomad and me 5 $ each and promised to give a ride back tomorrow. More trail angels !

Had dinner at a Waffle shop.

Date: January 24 2001
Trail Day: 238
Miles Today: 18
Location: Econfina Creek
Section Mile: FNST 186
ECT Mile: 3647

Nomad and I got a ride back to the trail from the two ladies. They also bought us breakfast. Continued the roadwalk to SR 20. We met Luke Denton at SR 20. He is doing a north bound hike of the ECT. I had talked to his mother about a year ago when I was trying to find a partner to hike the IAT.

Another 4 miles or so on SR 20 and we came to a new trail along the Econfina creek. Sidney, a FTA volunteer met us at a camp and gave us directions for the rest of the trail.

Today was a slightly short day.

Date: January 25 2001
Trail Day: 239
Miles Today: 21
Location: Shelton's Corner
Section Mile: FNST 207
ECT Mile: 3668

Last night was somewhat cold - just above freezing. We hiked the remaining 5 miles or so and continued the road walk to Shelton's corner. Econfina is a beautiful creek. There is one place with a spring underwater that's so big that the water seems to be boiling in that area. This trail is going to be a popular section once it is complete.

Also ran into a prison crew clearing up the litter along the road. They were extremely curious about our hike. It was fun talking to them.

Towards evening Sidney stopped by and offered us a ride. We talked for a while.

We bought dinner at the store on Shelton's Corner. The lady there was Lorraine. She was a nice lady.

Nomad cooked beef stew for both of us. It was excellent. We camped in a park about a quarter mile south of Shelton's Corner.

Date: January 26 2001
Trail Day: 240
Miles Today: 14
Location: Cherokee Motel, Bloantstown
Section Mile: FNST 221
ECT Mile: 3682

It was very cold last night - about 25 F. Since I have sent back my liner and flannel jacket, I am now somewhat uncomfortable at 25 F. I will try and just pull through with the gear I have now as we are now in the beginning stages of the warming trend.

Nomad and I had breakfast at the store on Shelton's corner. We talked to a local gentleman for a long time. It was interesting.

Nomad is going to be visiting some friends for two days, so we said our goodbyes. Got to Blowntstown and checked into a motel. Quite warm out today

Date: January 27 2001
Trail Day: 241
Miles Today: 5
Location: Cherokee Motel, Blounstown
Section Mile: FNST 226
ECT Mile: 3687

Decided to do a short day into Bristol. There is a long bridge over the Apalachicola river. Its about 3 miles long.

Picked up the Florida trail guide that Vivek has mailed to me in Bristol. However the motel had no vacancies. Stopped by the library to check email. Tried to get a ride back to Blounstown for about 2 hours with no success. Then talked to the motel owner in Bristol if he could give me a ride to Blounstown and back if I stayed at his motel Sunday. His name is Prashant. He is from India. Almost all the motels that I have run across are owned by Indians. He was quite friendly and gave me a ride.

Date: January 28 2001
Trail Day: 242
Miles Today: 0
Location: Snowbird Motel, Bristol
Section Mile: FNST 226
ECT Mile: 3687

Got a ride back to Bristol from Prashant. He charged me the same rate Cherokee motel charged me although the room is much better. Quite happy.

Talked to Kumar, Suriyan, Vivek, Vikas, Sangita and Mari. Looks like Vikas and Sangita will be moving to Texas. All of my friends and relatives have moved or changed jobs since I started my hike. Shows what a state of flux American society is in.

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