Trail Journal

Date: March 05 2001
Trail Day: 278
Miles Today: 0
Location: Days Inn, Orlando
Section Mile: FNST 726
ECT Mile: 4187

0 day. Moved to Days Inn.

Date: March 06 2001
Trail Day: 279
Miles Today: 0
Location: Days Inn, Orlando
Section Mile: FNST 726
ECT Mile: 4187

0 day

Date: March 07 2001
Trail Day: 280
Miles Today: 20
Location: Jon Phipps house, Oviedo
Section Mile: FNST 746
ECT Mile: 4207

Was hoping to get an early start but it didn't work that way. Missed the bus, waited half hour for another one. It stopped well short of where I wanted to go. Looks like I was on the "short" bus. Waited for the "long" one and go to where I wanted to be. Must have been 10 AM by the time I started. There is some confusion as to where Vivek's mail drop is going to. The guy at the post office told him the zip was wrong. So I have to stop at Oviedo and Chuluotta today. I have to make a certain number of miles to meet my brothers tomorrow. Hence the need for an early start.

The map continues to be poor. I ended up doing a very convoluted walk to find the trail. Its supposed to run along SR 419 but I could see no blazes. I could see where the abandoned railroad bed is though. Followed it to Crow - Seminole trail. This is paved and very popular with roller bladers and bicyclists. Numerous expensive houses on both sides.

Checked at the post office in Oviedo. No packages. Continued on into Little Big Econ State Forest. Met Rick Guhse and Karen. He is the chairman of the long distance comittee for the FTA. Took a photo of them. Talked for sometime.

Then onto Flagler trail. This is a very nice trail. Numerous bicyclists. Just as the trail came into Chuluotta I met Jon Phipps. I have heard of him from Joan Hobson. He drove me to the post office and I made it just in time. They had actually closed the window but opened it and gave me the package. I was very relieved.

Jon invited me to his house for the night and I readily accepted. Met his wife Joan and her son Greg. Had a good dinner. Jon has done the AT twice, the PCT and the FT. He's quite a veteran. He's going to do the AT this year starting April.

Very tired for some reason and fell sound asleep.

Date: March 08 2001
Trail Day: 281
Miles Today: 18
Location: Near SR 520, Beeline X way
Section Mile: FNST 764
ECT Mile: 4225

Saw the shuttle launch in the morning. Got a shot. Had breakfast. Jon dropped me off at the trail. It was quite chilly. Decided to wait for the post office to open to mail my sleeping bag and 2 books to Vivek. Also mailed a stake to him. I have been meaning to mail this since Amqui in Quebec. Better late than never, I guess.

Mostly roadwalks today with 2 bits of trail thrown in. Got to the interchange where I meet my brothers. Left two notes on SR 520 for them. They will get here late night 2 - 3 AM. Should be able to find each other. Lets see.

Date: March 09 2001
Trail Day: 282
Miles Today: 12
Location: Near Cox Creek
Section Mile: FNST 776
ECT Mile: 4237

We met without any problem. They found the first note. They spread out a tarp as a ground sheet and slept in the open. There was a lot of light because of a full moon and a light from the interchange.

In the morning we redistributed all the food. Looks like we are a little short on food. This will be a first. Took a shot of all of us.

Started off with a roadwalk. It got quite hot. Most of the trail was roadwalks or on levees with no shades. The walk along the Taylor Creek levee was good. Saw two tortoises and numerous of their holes. Also saw a wild hog.

Decided to do a short day. We cooked and ate some Indian food. Its been a long time since I've eaten Indian food. Kumar and Suriyan took a nap. Then Kumar and me fished for a while. It started raining at night.

Date: March 10 2001
Trail Day: 283
Miles Today: 16
Location: Bull Creek WMA
Section Mile: FNST 792
ECT Mile: 4253

Started off early. It was misty. Had some soup. It tasted good. We are short on food and so have to ration it for the next 4 days.

Found two orange trees and tood a break to gorge ourselves with oranges.

Most of the hike was on levees. There were numerous cows in the Deseret ranches. Saw tortoises and several fox. We took several breaks. Suriyan is not in good shape.

We are glad to be out of Deseret property and into Bull Creek WMA. The pump at the first camp site was broken. So we are also short on water.

Decided to sleep in the open but the mosquitoes became bad and they set up their tent. I used the mosquito net Kumar has brought me. Also played cards for a while.

Date: March 11 2001
Trail Day: 284
Miles Today: 16
Location: Near US 441, 3 lakes WMA
Section Mile: FNST 808
ECT Mile: 4269

Did not have enough water to cook breakfast. Water has become quite a problem. Most of the trail runs thru swamps but everything is dry.

Got off to a good start but slowed down a lot towards noon. There is a loop trail of which the FT uses the east segment. The sign showing the southern terminus has faded out. We did not realize this and continued on into the western section. Realized we were on the wrong trail about half mile into it and turned back.

The connector trail in Deseret ranch was very poorly blazed and we lost it about a mile into it. Did a lot of bush wacking to get out of it. This area needs a lot more maintainance. We must have covered 5 miles instead of 3.

Found an orange beside the road and split it amoungst us. Also saw turkeys, deer and armadillos.

We were very tired. It was dark by the time we were done cooking.

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