Today is the last full day on the trail, and it really hit me as I woke this morning. I don’t want the adventure to be over, but I’m sure there will be another. Our fire was out and we packed our gear for the second to last time. It was kinda sad packing everything up knowing that tonight I will be stealth camping on the beach, so this was the last time I’d pack my hammock on the trail (all kinds of thoughts like that were floating through my head). Once we were packed up and ready to roll, we all took our time slinging our packs on our shoulder before leaving camp and heading out through the sand dunes.
Only having 8 miles to do today, we decided to take it as slow as possible and enjoy the hike by seeing the sights. We stopped at a little motel’s restaurant and ate a big burger to fuel our bodies then headed a few miles over to Margaritaville for a few drinks on the beach. Grey Beard even stopped by for a margarita and conversation as we sat in the shade of a micro tiki hut. The water view was exceptional with its blues and greens and the temperature was perfect for lounging around the beach with a cold drink in hand. A few hours passed before we moved just a few miles more down the trail to Peg leg Pete’s for more food and a few more beers. We sat in the “Underwhere bar” below the restaurant and had a good time enjoying the local atmosphere. Somehow the day had slipped away rather quickly, and we realized that the sun was going down. We had to wait until sunset anyway to do our last mile in the dark, so that we could set up our camp without being seen.
Arriving at the beach, we were greated by the sounds of waves crashing and a salty breeze blowing off the water. The stars were glowing bright in the clear sky and it was perfect weather to cowboy camp in. We all laid our tarps and sleeping bags out on the edge of the sand dunes and got ready for our last night together. Tomorrow is another short 8 mile day to reach the end of the trail and Grey Beard will be doing the last 6 miles with us. His route on the Blackwater trail ended up being 6 miles shorter than ours, so he wants to even things up, just because. It should be a good day, but I kinda don’t want it to happen.
the beach view at margaritaville
Me sitting at the teeny tiny tiki hut