This morning was surprisingly chilly when I woke up. It has been in the mid 40’s all week at sunrise, but this morning it was in the mid 30’s as I rolled out of my hammock and hustled to get my camp packed up. Grey Beard was already on the trail, but his Spot tracker was still in the van. That’s a big deal as he is setting a record, so Mickey and I made quick time to hit the trail ourselves from the north to hand it off to him at the pass.
The trail was beautiful on this chilly morning and we talked about how the cold weather is better to hike in over the Florida heat and we won’t complain about it. I even found another nice long sleeve shirt on the trail, this time a brand new Browning camouflage winter shirt, that fits great. Mickey laughed and said “the trail provides” as I tossed the shirt over my shoulder and said that I better quit saying what I need out loud before I fill my bag with odds and ends. Well, it didn’t take long for the temps to rise above 60 degrees, so I didn’t get to wear it today, but it might be my new cold weather hiking shirt. 🙂
The trail seemed to go uphill all day today, but we were making a 3.1mph pace and feeling pretty good. As we caught up to Grey Beard, he was already a few miles past the midway point of our miles, but he was thankful to get his tracker turned on and get credit for this section of the trail. In total we did about 18 miles and ended our day at Kelly and Sean’s house. They are amazing trail angels that bring every Through Hiker into their home for a shower, laundry and a bed. They run their house as an Air BnB for half the year, then treat the hikers to a free stay during hiking season. They said that since they are so close to the end of the Florida Trail that the only hikers that pass by are the die hards that they have been tracking on social media or from the trail angle page. After getting our showers and laundry going, Treehouse showed up from getting his car from Saint Marks at the perfect time for the six of us to go out to eat. We went to a local restaurant just down the road and had a great time over good food and conversation about trail life.
It was an 18 mile day full of steep hills (which made my arms tired from using my trekking poles so much) and we joked about how the whole day was nothing but one long uphill trail and stream crossings, and our legs were feeling the miles. Tomorrow is another 18 mile day so we couldn’t stay up too late, but it’s an easy road march so the miles will be easy. I really don’t like the road, but at least it’s predictable. Hopefully traffic isn’t to bad and the shoulder is wide. We will see.
one of the many clear water streams we crossed
Silver creek. That bridge in the background is where we were supposed to be, somehow we took a spur trail, but it led right back to the trail
The ground looks pretty dry here under the Boardwalk, but was six inches of really soft mud under there
This water was over two foot deep in this stream
Man, we crossed a lot of streams today. I’m not sure which one this is.