Florida Trail Day 4

Florida Trail - I'm here Dad

Day- 4
Date- January 2, 2019
Location- I-75
Elevation- 13 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 3.9 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 30.7
Weather/Temp- sunny/mid 80s
Injuries- none
Pain level- none
Spirits/Morale- Jubilant
Wildlife encounters- None
Days without shower- 4
Days without laundry- 4
Hunger/craving- A rack of ribs sounds nice
CatFox Status- Unbelievably good


Got a later start than intended, around 8:15, but that’s just how late I naturally slept in.

The first almost 2 miles out of camp were nothing but axel grease mud and some muddy water trekking. I have no idea how I haven’t fallen over the past two days. Too many small Cypress to catch myself on, probably.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and temps were soaring again by 9 am. I could manage half a mile at time before needing to cool off and rest.

After 2 miles, the mud finally quit and became solid ground. I can’t remember the last time I was so relieved to see normal trail. A half mile after that we hit a wide open swamp buggy road and I could finally set Katana down.

For the next mile she was hiking on my heels, in front of me, and beside me. I can’t even convey to you how amazingly happy this made me. I had tears in my eyes as she hiked with me like nothing had changed over the thousands of miles we’ve shared together, and I’m choking up now as I write this and think back. She’s going to be alright. When trail conditions are good, she’ll smash it like she always has.

We reached the rest stop a little after 11am, and I spent $10 on vending machine water. There are hundreds of people coming and going through here by the hour, and Katana has drawn her fair share of attention. I have no intention of going any further today. The plan is to drink as much as possible to compensate for the last few days, and then stealth camp somewhere nearby.

There are faucets by the pavilions outside, and I finally got my shoes looking back to normal. It feels good not to have the pressure of time hanging over my head on this thru. No winter to beat. No extreme cold weather to worry about. You just have to get to the next meal, the next water, or the next good thing.

Go to Day 5


  1. This is so interesting to me that anyone would volunteer to do this section. I live in Seminole county and have done “the pretty sections” but would never have the guts to do what you are doing sir. Please let me know if you want a clean shower, soft bed, cocktails and a home made meal (with all the water you two can drink) when you get anywhere between Geneva and Sanford.

  2. I feel like a kid being read a bedtime story anxiously waiting for the next chapter to begin!!!
    Sweet dreams!

  3. Love your adventures, but I have to ask what that long spindly thing is in one of your pictures. Almost looks like a giant centaped.
    Take care and be safe.

  4. Enjoy hearing about yr Florida adventure! There were 2 young men who had to be air lifted out of the “swamp” a few days ago along trail- not sure how close they were to you but looked like swamp slogging for miles, with lots of gators and snakes. Hang in there CatFox 💕

  5. Thanks for the updates, Kyle. I love reading about all of your adventures! So happy that Katana is with you on this journey. Please be safe you two! 💞

  6. Kyle it is so good to be following along again. I always looked forward to reading what adventure you both had. I learn so much from you. I have to say this swamp had me a little worried. I was looking to see that you made it out. I also am happy you put catfox right back out there. That is truly awesome. Can’t wait to see your next post. You are a lucky guy. Have so much fun. Be safe

  7. Isn’t life interesting when a stranger believes in your dog so much? I never doubted her (or your) ability to transition to the world of hiking with no sight. So proud of both of you – her for being the courageous canine soul mate she is and you for being courageous enough to believe in her! My tears of shared joy flow to you – over time, space and distance!!!

  8. Thanks for explaining about the domes. I didn’t know. And thanks for taking the time to describe your hike, especially about Katana. So happy to hear she is adjusting well and in good spirits!

  9. Sorry about that guess I hit the wrong key. Anyway it is so good to see you and Katana back on the trail together. I am sure she will be smashing out the miles with you. Makes me happy to hear that and I am sure brought relief to you. Doesn’t look like a place I would want to hike though. Gators and snakes and bears OH MY.

  10. I have Read all of your wonderful books! I Love them!! I am so glad to see Katana and that you are taking good care of her out on the trail! She looks good and also happy to be back with you! Im ready to read another book….but I am so happy to read your latest adventure and especially that Katana is back! Take care! I worry about your water from some questionable places! Please be careful! Thank you for your adventures!

  11. Hi Kyle! Pleasantly surprised by your FL Trail adventure. Usually, we’re anticipating an upcoming hike of yours. So glad you’re getting out there and Katana is cute as ever! I’ve been curious abt the FLT as I get down to FL once a year to visit parents. So far you’re not selling it. Lol. Stay safe out there.

  12. Glad to hear Katana is doing so well, but I’m not surprised! Thank so much for sharing your adventure. To me, the humidity in Florida sounds more intimidating than anything else a person could possibly encounter on a hike, especially at those temperatures. Yikes….

  13. Wow, what a hike! Thanks for sharing the adventure. I live at the southern teminus of the AZT and we just got two days of snow six inches each time. Of course I had to go hiking!

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