Date- February 5, 2019
Distance Traveled Today- 5.1 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 411.6 miles
Weather/Temp- clear, 70s
Pain level- zero
Spirits/Morale- cloud 9
Wildlife encounters- otters, cranes
Days without shower- 0
Days without laundry- 0
CatFox Status- happy as a clam
Food Eaten – variety
We were up and hiking by 7am and walking through Paisley before 9. We posted up at the Dollar General and met Poet, Hippie Chick, and their daughter Julia at 10 am.
Piling into the 4-Runner, we headed to Juniper Springs for a day of canoeing – or at least that’s what we thought. When we got there we learned that the canoe run was closed for the day because they were cutting down some large pine tree. Bummer.
We almost had them take us back to trail, but instead they invited us to Poet’s parent’s house on the shores of Lake Weir. We accepted, and I’m so glad we did!
The gorgeous home was literally on the shore of the lake with a large dock and covered boat house (complete with a little speed boat). After meeting Dorris and Jeff (Poet’s parents), we showered and got laundry started.
After the laundry was going, Poet invited us onto the boat for a trip around the lake with his family (minus his parents). Katana is not a fan of boats, so I left her in the Florida room and we took their Australian Cattle dog, Indigo (Indie for short) along for the boat ride.
We cruised around the large lake at a fast idle… talking, learning about local history, taking in the scenery, watching otters, and listening to the Sandhill Cranes. It was fabulously relaxing!
About 3/4 of the way around the lake, we stopped and docked at a shoreline restaurant called “Eaton’s.” We had a few drinks, played with Julia and Finn on the sandy lake beach, and ate good food. I had the shrimp & grits, and it was divine – thank you for asking!
After a couple hours of lounging in beach chairs on the lake beach, the sun was getting low. We got back on the boat and motored over to the east side of the lake to watch the magic. Poet cut the engine and there we were… quietly drifting in front of another perfect Florida sunset. Some of the best ones are viewed from water, and this one was no exception.
We watched Sol sink until it touched the horizon and quickly disappeared. Then we waited just a bit longer before heading for the hill.
As if the day wasn’t perfect enough, they ordered pizza when we got back to the house. I was still pretty full from Eatons, but I can always make room for good pizza – and it was.
As far as side adventures go on thru hikes… they don’t get much better than this. It was the kind of side adventure you only hear about as legend. Something you heard about happening to someone else from a second hand source – but never you. Finally it was us. The best part was getting to be a part of their family, if only for a day.
It’s back to the old grind tomorrow, and it’s supposed to be a hot one. Luckily we’ll be hitting some springs…