Date- February 20, 2019
Location- Bank of Suwannee River
Elevation- 69 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 16.1 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 640.5 miles
Weather/Temp- cloudy, 70s, 80s
Pain level- zero
Wildlife encounters- none
Days without shower- 2
Days without laundry- 2
CatFox Status- Still killing it
We got out late at 11:30am, but it’s always nice when the place you’re staying at is already on trail. No sideways miles – just walk out the door and you’re hiking.
After a mile of meandering down Main Street, as well as the outskirts of a large campground, we were back on the Suwannee. This already easily rates as one of my favorite sections of the trail. The constant dips and climbs, the sugar white sand, the views of the river, and the feeling of being in the U.S. southern south – not just the tropical south, make for a great hiking experience (for me at least).
It got pretty warm today, into the low 80s, but thankfully it stayed mostly cloudy. Still, I sweated as much as I’ve ever sweat – especially in this hilly terrain.
Due to the precipitous river banks, the vegetation, the narrow twists and turns, and the overall unpredictability of the trail – Katana did not hike much. She just did her thing on my pack, cleaning herself, sticking her nose in my ear, sniffing at the air, and staring toward every sound around us.
For the most part, it was just another day of hiking. The scenery is top notch, water is plentiful, and the terrain is challenging – yet not too challenging. I found 4 more ticks on myself, one being attached to my calf. Schweppes found 3 on himself. We’re getting pretty good at catching them, but there’s just so many. I haven’t found any attached to little dog in over 2 weeks.
The most exciting part of the day was when I busted my ass trying to leap across a trench of water at the bottom of a steep depression. Schweppes even filmed it.
It was maybe an 8 ft leap, and I could have done it if my hands were free. Unfortunately, I had Katana tucked under my arm like a little furry football – yet I had the confidence of a person who wasn’t carrying a dog.
I took one big leap, hoping to catch my leading foot on the edge of the bank and just follow through with my next foot in a sort of uphill run. Instead, my leading foot barely grazed the bank, and my trailing foot was forced to land right next to it in the water. It was shin deep, but after my blundering, stumbling landing – I was wet, muddy, and sandy up past my knees. Katana was safe and sound. I set her down as I climbed out of the water and she ran the rest of the way up the bank herself.
Schweppes used his trekking poles to vault across the ditch and barely made it. He still slipped and fell on the far bank, but didn’t get wet. …I really wanted him to get wet. Damn.
We wrapped up right at dark on the banks of the Suwannee. It still wasn’t a bad day for an almost noon start. It’s supposed to hit the mid 80s tomorrow… and the next day… and the next day. We’re gonna shoot for 25 miles or so, but we’ll see.