It wasn’t long after posting yesterday’s blog that a creature of decent weight walked very near my camp. It wasn’t more than 15 yards away and wasn’t scared when I said nervously said the first thing to blurt from my brain; “oh your a BIG thing arn’t you!”. The beast kept it’s pace and broke sticks under it’s heavy foot fall. I clambered out from under my cover and shined a dim LED light in the things last known area but see nothing. It has moved on. I hate it when the scary stuff happens right away as I’m trying to go to sleep. My ears start to hear every single sound and my brain starts to fit them all together and decipher what type of critter is nearby. I have heard of folks using earplugs (so they won’t wake up until they are already being mauled) but I prefer to study the sounds and learn what they mean. The rest of the night was uneventful. I slept pretty good (once I fell asleep) and didn’t wake up until about 5:30. It was raining then but not to heavy and the winds had died down considerably since I fell asleep. I checked the weather app and it shows rain all day but a break around 8am-9am. Seems a good time to get moving to me, so I lay still for awhile absorbing the rhythm of rain.
I pack up camp when the rain allows me to and plan to only go a short three miles to a known covered picnic table and a water cache. I figure I can sit out the coming thunderstorm under cover and eat some food while tending to my feet. I have until 11am before the main band of storms hit so I travel merrily along until the three miles have passed. At the covered picnic table, all looks good but I can’t find the water cache. It’s okay though as a still have 2 liters from the last one and I unpack some food and get to cooking my morning meal. While the water boils I check my map app to see that the water cache isn’t at the table but it is nearby, so now everything seems in order. Until about 9:30 that is when the wind and rain kicks in and alters my plans drastically. I have my pack leaned up against the leeward side of the table, but I hadn’t notice that the concrete pad the table was sitting on is resting an inch below ground level. As the water starts flowing around the pad like Noah’s great flood I realise that this plan isn’t going to work out, and with the wind pushing the rain sideways, there is no place to stay dry. I do a quick scan of my surroundings and see the bridge I crossed earlier, figuring it works for the homeless (and here I am without a nearby home) I make quick feet to get under it. As I am sitting under the bridge (it’s nice and dry under there) I check my phone to see it only has 57% left. I plug it into my charger but it is dead, 0%! Seriously after two days atop my pack in the relentless beating sun it has failed to pick up any charge. Being without a phone isn’t the worst thing that could happen. The map app is great but I can find my way without it, but it means I won’t be able to share with you my daily adventures! Thinking about that made me think of you sitting at home wondering what has happened. It’s like in the movie “A never ending story” when the “nothing” is eating the princesses kingdom because no one believes in it anymore and all it took was for the young boy reading the story to say that he believes to save it all. I hope something similar can happen here and someone reading this can make my charger start picking up the sun’s rays and get enough juice to keep this thing going. 🙂
I was able to make it 5 miles from the bridge in pretty good time before I stopped to eat and check on the charger. It is still dead despite about two hours in the sun while riding on my pack and what’s worse is that my phone battery has dropped significantly down to 27% even though it was on airplane mode. I see another bridge and a maintenance complex 5 more miles down the trail and I plan to stop there for the night. My phone will be dead, but I will not be 🙂 . I should be in Clewiston Florida at the south west side of lake Okeechobee by tomorrow night, so hopefully I can power up there. Until then, I’ll keep an eye out for the “nothing” 🙂
safe under the bridge listening to my little radio and watching the rain
I’m starting to look like “hiker trash”