Day 3 / 35mi / passed Holt to Titi Creek in Eglin East
I experienced last night what’s known as a surprise downpour. A surprise, because it totally didn’t look like it was going to rain. I’ve gotten into this habit of not setting up my shelter. Ever. I should really start looking up the weather more. I often ask folks but not yesterday! This woulda been all cool if I pitched my tarp, but waking up when it’s already been raining with everything wet was bad news. Naturaly, tired, and lazy, I grabbed my tarp, and layer it over myself. It was too late.
Waking up the railroad, and hwy I slept near was shrouded in mist. So deep that cars would disappear in front of my eyes. I made my way down that road. A fairly substantial roadwalk to the next town so I zoned way out to some music, and dreamed of sunlight. Doesn’t help me to look at miles or my watch. I just wanna see what I see and make my way.
Walking that highway posting my last update, and checking messages a lady ahead is pulled off the road and starts to approach me. Naturally I look like some fool totally absorbed in my phone. I swear I don’t have the miliamp hours to be doing that! Her face was mad familiar, and sure enough a couple years ago we both were on a 6 day group hike lead by the FTA together! She had been looking for me as I passed through her area, and she sure found me! See I’m not that hard to find. Walking cross country and stuff but ya know, I’m out here. You’re out here, somewhere. Let’s meet up and chit chat briefly! Nancy was super cool to come find me, and it was really nice to see a familiar face.
Shortly there after I walked into my first town to resupply in. Down the road was some larger grocery stores, yet I chose a gas station. Sitting outside finishing off a soda before I head out, a one armed homeless man sees his kind, and approaches. We get talking, and he reveals that his tent is in the bushes just across the street. Really nice guy, says he spends his days reading his bible, and standing by the road with cardboard scribed with religious scriptures. He also mentioned that he goes to the town meetings. I thought that was really awesome. He speaks up for himself, and other homeless in the area.
I manage to break away, and realize I’ve been here before! Except last time via a car on a very short trip to Alabama with my mom. We had looked for the trail markers then, now I was following them, having come all the way from Canada to be here!
My gear was all wet still so down the road I found a park, just before the trail picks back up into the woods. Filled my water, layed all my junk out to dry, and relaxed for 30 minutes or so. Back in Connecticut I had to sleep in wet everything, and wasn’t exactly looking forward to that again.
Heading back into the woods I scare some day hikers. Bridges over beautiful creeks. One after another. Nothing but incredible trail here in East Eglin. Back on Airforce Base land, though this time it’s more obvious. Extremely loud engines overpower my music, and little headphones. Fighter jets fly over me. One so close it had to be 100 yards or less. Very interesting to watch as I walk!
This section of trail is awesome. More deer moss, creeks, bog logs, bridges, well marked, and maintained. A lake with tables even! My standards are in a weird place after walking roads through Alabama 🙂
Night rolls in, and I continue on. Crossing a major highway, running not to be seen by cars approaching in the distance. The night hiking today is quite enjoyable. The moon in full force, I didn’t need my light for quite a few miles even. Might as well enjoy walking in the dark! I’m going to be doing a lot of it in the next couple weeks.
Just been through that area recently, some of it with incredible trail angel Nancy who you saw today ! She forgot to say hi for me as she kept me posted while looking for you. Guess you didn’t see my post about that new section needing mowing etc, those were blackberry bushes and we kept tripping up on that nasty stuff, but i had long pants on, and always will when I hike, just for that reason. Besides, your legs are probably prettier than mine! Love following your progress, rooting for you all the way! Hope to see you soon, Gail (Safari) from Loxahatchee chapter.
Thanks for blogging your FT hike. I enjoy reading about your adventures and it gives me great ideas and knowledge on how the trails are. Thanks again and Godspeed!
Your blog is awesome!! I don’t know if you have posted it anywhere, but do you have recommendations for the path you are taking on the FT? I backpacked a month of the AT this summer and am thinking of backpacking for a couple of weeks of the FT over Christmas break, but am kind of confused with the different trail options! Thanks!