Date- February 9, 2019
Location- St. John’s Campground
Elevation- 26 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 19.5 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 483.4 miles
Weather/Temp- overcast, windy, 60s
Pain level- zero
Wildlife encounters- spiders, armadillo
Days without shower- 4
Days without laundry- 4
CatFox Status- Bundle of energy
The festivities lasted until 4am, but around 1am, three 4-wheelers came tearing ass behind the store, right past us and into the dark woods. They never came back.
From what I learned this morning, that was a low key Friday night. Geeezus!
We slept in and hung around the store until about 11am. The resupply was bleak, and I ended up hiking out of there with some hostess cupcakes and some Grandma’s cookies. Not ideal at all, but that’s part of the fun of resupplying with only what you can find around the trail. I’ve only ever sent myself a food box once (on the AT), but other than that, I’ve always made due with what I can find on trail. That’s part of the fun of thru hiking for me. Even the suffrage of being stuck with crappy food. I love to hate it!
Despite the really late start, we crushed the miles through the beautifully open slender pine forest and scrub tunnels. We did the 19.5 miles in 6 to 7 mile chunks between breaks – which helped the short day fly by. It was cool and windy, making for ideal hiking conditions.
I’ve gotten to the point now where I can carry Katana pretty much as far I’d be willing to hike without her on my back – before wanting to stop for a break. My neck and shoulders have finally gotten strong enough not to mind her extra 21 pounds for a few hours at a time (when need be).
The most interesting part of the day was walking through a couple miles of still smoldering forest. I don’t know how recent the controlled burn was, but it was obviously under control enough to leave unattended and open to foot traffic. It was deff surreal and a little unsettling walking through what basically amounted to an almost active burn. It was a first for me.
Aside from the smoldering burn zones, it was a fairly uneventful day. We did the last 3 miles in the dark along a grassy forest road and ended up at an empty public campground near a large canal – I let Katana hike those miles with us, and I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew it was dark for us too…
In other news, I knocked a couple more ticks off me today and Schweppes found 3 attached to him this evening. Florida still has nothing on Virginia in terms of ticks, but it’s becoming a close second…
Today also marked the first day I’ve gone sock-less in the new shoes. My feet feel fantastic! I find going barefoot inside my shoes far more comfortable than wearing socks. Both my feet and my shoes dry out so much faster, and in certain conditions, I feel like my feet stay cleaner.
No big miles planned for tomorrow – just a quick 8 miles into the town of Palatka to resupply and such. Might get a room if the weather deteriorates like it’s predicted to…