Trail Journal

Date: February 05 2001
Trail Day: 250
Miles Today: 0
Location: FTA crew cabin, Tallahassee
Section Mile: FNST 347
ECT Mile: 3808

Took a O day. Helped out the crew hauling wood to the bridge sites. This is hard work. Got a good appreciation of some of the work that goes on behind developing and maintaining a trail.

Went to an FTA meeting and one of the members Herbert bought us our dinners. Came back somewhat late and slept.

Date: February 06 2001
Trail Day: 251
Miles Today: 16
Location: Aucillo River
Section Mile: FNST 363
ECT Mile: 3824

We said our good byes to Restless and the crew. Restless dropped us off at the trail. Had lunch at a store on our roadwalk. There was a notice offering 1000$ reward for anyone who had information on the person who stole the owner's vehicle.

Then started the trail along the Aucilla river. This is an amazing river that sinks and rises frequently. Its awesome to watch a good sized river disappear completely.

We decided to stop a little early. I was very tired and fell asleep as soon as I lay down.

Date: February 07 2001
Trail Day: 252
Miles Today: 21
Location: Gandy Motel, Perry
Section Mile: FNST 384
ECT Mile: 3845

Lots of dew in the morning and quite chilly. Completed the section along the Aucilla River and started the forest road walk across the Foley company land. Quite boring and uneventful. The day was hot.

Tried to get a ride on SR 20 with no luck. Walked about 5 miles to a rest area and called a taxi. Very tired and demoralized.

Date: February 08 2001
Trail Day: 253
Miles Today: 0
Location: Gandy Motel, Perry
Section Mile: FNST 384
ECT Mile: 3845

Nomad and I decided to take a O day. I did not get up till 10 AM.

Date: February 09 2001
Trail Day: 254
Miles Today: 15
Location: 3 m E of Econfina River
Section Mile: FNST 399
ECT Mile: 3860

Got a ride from the same cab driver who had given us a ride in. He just happened to be driving by. What a coincidence !

Continued the forest road walks. We can still see Wild Flamingo Man's footsteps although they are now quite faint.

Decided to stop a little early today. Spent the rest of the day taking a nap and reading J.R.R.Tolkein's 'The Hobbit'. Interesting book. Sleeping in the open tonight under a full moon.

Date: February 10 2001
Trail Day: 255
Miles Today: 15
Location: Days Inn, near Madison
Section Mile: FNST 414
ECT Mile: 3875

It started raining in the morning. I decided to try walking barefoot. The roads are sand for the most part. A good place to try this out.

Stayed cloudy with light rain all day. Another day of boring forest road walk. Florida trail is highly incomplete.

Nomad is now half a day ahead. I dont think I will be seeing him again.

Walking barefoot - the toe area bends a lot more without a shoe. So my toes are aching. Also developed blisters under the foot. I did not know this could happen. Also problems with thorns. Feet are quite sensitive and you can pull back before you step completely on them. Some of the sand spurs are somewhat painful to remove. Things were OK as far as I was walking, but once I sat down for dinner and got up, walking was painful. This calls for another O day !

I now have about 800 miles or just under 2 months left of this hike. I am feeling quite sad that its coming to an end. Things all around are looking up. The weather is improving, days are getting longer and hiking is fairly easy. I have more time now, and will be reading a lot more. I am dreading re-entering society. Before I started I did not realize that it would be so bad. I am planning on travelling the country by bus and spend a couple of days at some of my friends and relatives place after the hike is over.

Date: February 11 2001
Trail Day: 256
Miles Today: 0
Location: Days's Inn, Near Madison
Section Mile: FNST 414
ECT Mile: 3875

Took a O. My feet are in no shape to walk any way. Talked to Vivek, Kumar and Suriyan about getting together as I approach Orlando. Vivek and his wife Lusia plan on meeting me in Orlando and spend a weekend. Kumar and Suriyan will be hiking with me from the south of Orlando to Lake Okeechobee. Really looking forward to it.

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