Date- January 28, 2019
Location- Tracy Branch Camp
Elevation- 62 feet
Distance Traveled Today- 17.4 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 282 miles
Weather/Temp- overcast 50s
Pain level- low
Wildlife encounters- deer, cows, snake
Days without shower- 4
Days without laundry- 4
CatFox Status- Happy Go Lucky
Food Eaten – bacon jerky
We got up early and didn’t have a ride lined up. I suppose I could have inquired on social media, but I really don’t like doing that. So I bit the bullet and paid an Uber to take us 60 miles back to where we left off on the trail under the Florida Turnpike.
The only problem was that his GPS didn’t take us down the turnpike, and instead took us down a series of back highways. By the end of it, he could only get us a little over 2 miles from where we left off, so we had to re-hike it. I went ahead and just added those extra two miles to our total mileage for the day, as well as the hike.
We were hiking a little after 10am in cold, windy, and overcast weather. It had rained for nearly 24 hours straight, and the trail showed it. There were giant deep puddles everywhere on the wider gravel sections. Where the trail became grassy and narrow – it was like walking down a creek of standing water. My new shoes got broke-in early.
After 7 miles of intermittently slogging through puddles and grassy sloughs, we hit a 2.5 mile road walk along a mildly busy highway. There were used syringes all along the shoulder. Perhaps there’s a lot of type 2 diabetics in this part of Florida?
We hit the “Forever Florida” ranch a little after 3pm and 13 miles of hiking. Sadly, their limited restaurant had closed at 3. It wasn’t that disappointing, since we’ve basically been pigging out for the last several days. We hung around for about an hour and ate some of our own food before moving on.
It was getting on in the evening so we hiked another leisurely 4 miles through palmetto prairies, oak hammocks, cypress domes, and palm hammocks. We finished up at an established campsite called Terry Branch, just as darkness fell. It’s actually a very nice spot with a shelter, bathrooms, and covered picnic tables.
Katana had more energy than she knew what to do with today. Every time I set her down, she would pinball wildly from one side of the trail to the other – all the while prancing and bounding into the air. She was a hot mess, and I loved it!
Schweppes’ birthday is tomorrow – he’s turning 27. In celebration we’re going to hike at least 27 miles. He wants to do a 24 hour hike at some point though. He’s been talking trash about beating my 21 hour, 63 mile day on the CDT. Hah, he’s welcome to it!