Date- February 21, 2019
Location- Holton Creek Camp
Elevation- 59 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 13.7 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 654.2 miles
Weather/Temp- clear/mid 80s
Pain level- none
Wildlife encounters- lizards
Days without shower- 0
Days without laundry- 0
CatFox Status- annoyed
Wow! Today did not go as originally planned – mostly due to how hot and humid it was. I can’t imagine doing this trail in the dead of summer. Heat is one thing, but that humidity is just the cherry on top.
Even though we got out of camp around 8 am, the miles just didn’t come to us today. Within 10 minutes of beginning the day we were pouring sweat. I drank a half gallon within the first hour out of camp and still felt like it wasn’t enough.
Four miles into the day we hit a half mile side trail that led to a gas station. We each drank a half gallon of Gatorade there and packed out another half gallon of water.
Four miles later I already drank most of the half gallon I was carrying and was filtering another half gallon from a spring. The odd part was, despite all these fluids, I never peed once today. But I also never felt dehydrated, or any of the symptoms. It was just hotter than hell (especially carrying Katana) and I was sweating fluids as fast as I could drink them. I think Katana probably drank a full liter herself today, and she didn’t even hike.
The terrain and scenery were gorgeous all day, but the trail was once again nothing but a series of short but very steep ups and downs. Never more than 10 to 30 ft climbs and descents, but man were they as steep as anything on the AT at times.
It didn’t feel like we took that many breaks today, but the ones we did take were beautiful. The Suwannee opened up with some pristine sugar sand beaches on the river. I really should have gone for a swim, but settled for dunking my head every chance instead.
Around 3:30pm we ran up on a group of about 10 teenage boys and two guys around our age who were leading them. They were stuck at a deep water ford, and none of them wanted to cross. A few were scouting the area for an easier crossing with no luck. I have no idea where they came from or where they were trying to go.
Stopping for a moment, I spoke to them and fielded some Katana questions. They informed me that the ford was very deep and that I’d be better off finding a way around it. I shrugged off their suggestion by saying, “Sometimes you gotta get wet,” and stepped into the ravine of water. Before I was even halfway, it was waist deep. It didn’t get any deeper, but it stayed waist deep on the far side, and the bank was an almost sheer wall of mud. It took me a good minute using my staff and free hand to climb out of the water in an almost bear crawl. I wouldn’t have been able to get out if I hadn’t set Katana down on the muddy bank first.
Schweppes did manage to find a way across – but on a fallen tree about 12 ft above the water. The kids had found it too, but it was way too much of a liability for their chaperones to let them cross. I wasn’t even going to risk it with Katana.
At 4:30pm we had just under 14 miles and had reached a remote walk-in/paddle-in campground with screened in shelters, bathrooms, and a shower; a great find indeed.
We stopped for a bit and decided to air out some gear and clothes. Then we decided to rinse some clothes instead. Next, we decided we might as well rinse ourselves. And after that, there was just no point in going any further since we were clean and cool. Funny how that works.
We could have gone over 20 if we continued into the dark, but we were just done at that point. Schweppes is chaffing badly and decided he wanted to quit while he was ahead today. No sense in making it any worse when he could do damage control here.
I’ve been very lucky with chaffing on this hike, and all my hikes since the AT. I’ve found what works for me. I douse myself in baby powder every morning, after every break, and before bed. I’m talking nether regions and the inside of my thighs. If you’re prone to chaffing, then I suggest you give this method a try.
I pulled 4 ticks off me today that were attached – 3 on my legs and 1 on my hip. I caught another two before they attached. All dog ticks, and all extremely small. Scarily small.
We’re camped out in one of the screened-in shelters and there’s a fat diller digging around outside. He keeps going underneath the shelter and I’m gonna try and get a video or picture of it.