Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful couple of holiday months! And even if you haven’t… I hope you’re still striving to find the good, as well as the silver lining that is ever present all around us.
I have a few major updates, but I’m going to try not to drag this out – there’s adventure to be had!
Firstly, Jessica and I are no longer together. I only share this as to avoid all of the future questions about why we’re not in each other’s posts, etc. etc. There’s no story and nothing scandalous – simply a parting of ways due to differing future ambitions. We’re still on good terms, and still friends.
Secondly, Katana finally had her remaining eye removed this winter. It was already completely blind and still causing her pain, so it was time. The good news is… she’s done amazingly! It took a little getting used to seeing her with permanently closed eyelids, but she’s made the transition easier for me by adapting so well. 90% of the time you can’t even tell she’s blind. She can map out a room and even a house in minutes – as well as trace my path. It’s unnervingly awesome!
Thirdly… I went ahead and decided to Hike the Florida Trail. In fact, I’m already out here and have been on trail for several days by the time you read this (daily journals following this post). Surprise!
Oh, and I brought Katana. For better or worse judgment, I’ve brought her with me to see how she does. Regardless of how she does, I am fully prepared to carry her the entire way if need be, however I hardly think that will be the case. Either way, if this trail proves too much for her, or for me to bear her… I have enough friends and family in this state to bail her/us out at any time. In fact, the northern terminus is 15 minutes from where I live in Florida. It will be nice to finish a thru hike in my own backyard for a change.
This will be a 1,200 mile hike from Big Cypress in the south Florida Everglades to Fort Pickens in the far Northwest Florida Panhandle. This trail will be flat, hot, cold, humid, wet, muddy, sandy, lonely, overgrown, and infested with more bugs and dangerous reptiles than I or you have probably ever seen. It should take anywhere from 8 – 10 weeks to complete, but we’ll see how that goes with Katana in tow. I’m really in no hurry (except for Cobia season in April).
Part of me is really excited to do this trail, and the other part of me is like, “WTF are you thinking, Dummy?” It’s my home state, so I feel a certain obligation to hike across it since there is the convenience of a trail to do so (and because I’ve been talking about it for like 3 years). Time to put up or shut up!
I don’t expect this to be a fun hike, or even an exceptionally beautiful hike. I simply expect it to be an experience, for better or for worse. And I thank you, as well as my lucky stars every day that I am fortunate enough to do this sort of thing while taking you along with me. None of this is possible without you, and I do not take it for granted.
I hope you enjoy this latest ride… because it’s probably going to kick my ass six ways from Sunday x 10.