Date- February 23, 2019
Elevation- 98 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 13.8 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 695.1 miles
Weather/Temp- clear, high 80s
Injuries- cuts, scratches
Pain level- zero
Wildlife encounters- turkeys, vultures
Days without shower- 0
Days without laundry- 0
CatFox Status- Manimal
Up at 6 am and hiking by first useable light at 6:45 – still soaked with sweat and warm in the hammock. After a little more than 1 more mile of trail, we hit 6 miles of dirt road. Like a champ, Katana hiked more than 5 miles of it.
After those 6 miles of dirt road, it tuned into a paved road with moderate traffic. We did 3.5 more miles on the paved road before stopping for our first break – more than 10 miles in, at 10am.
We stopped to break at a roadside Baptist Church and filled up our water for the first time since camp. After an hour of lying on the cold shaded concrete, we pressed on.
It was HOT! No breeze, no cloud cover, and no tree cover on the roads. By 9am the conditions were almost unbearable, especially while carrying a dog. The amount of sweat I’ve lost over the past few days has been unreal. My shorts are soaked through and look like they’re stained with grease and dirt. The sand caked to the hairs on my chest is disgusting. I feel like a walking health hazard, and the buzzing gnats are a constant. If there was a breeze, it might take care of most of them.
If I didn’t live on the beach here in Florida, I probably wouldn’t live within 500 miles of this state. I don’t understand how anyone lives in the interior of Florida if they’re not on a lake or within half an hour of the beach. The breeze just doesn’t penetrate these forests, and a healthy breeze is the only thing that can make these temperatures and this humidity bearable.
We went more than another 3 miles past the church into the outskirts of the town of Madison. Here we found fast food, convenience stores, and motels. Schweppes has been battling medical grade chaffing and heat rash on his legs – the worst he’s ever had, he says.
As we sat in McDonald’s, we still continued to sweat uncontrollably. There was just no cooling off, and the only thing awaiting us outside was another 30 miles of road walking. Thanks, but no thanks.
We got a room, and Schweppes is doing his best to get ahead on the healing process of his chaffing. We’ve got designs on shooting for our first 30 mile day tomorrow, but we’ll see how that goes. Climate control has a way of intervening in hiking plans, and we are but humble mortals…