Florida Trail – Stage 2 – Western Panhandle

IMG_5014Start:  Harold

Finish:  Apalachicola River

Distance:  175.1 miles (281.8 km)

Time:  5 days (December 12-16, 2011)

Daily Average:  35 miles (56.3 km)

Total Distance:  235.1 miles (378.3 km)

Highlights:

  • Ecofina creek: In particularly a very welcome afternoon swim at the “Devil’s Hole” – my favourite swimming spot on the entire FT.
  • First ever night at the Hilton……………unfortunately it was the Motel and not the Hotel. Nonetheless, at $40 a night and just across the road from restaurants and a supermarket in downtown Crestview, it wasn’t too shabby.
  • Close encounter of the Swine Kind, in the form of a Mexican standoff with a 300 pound boar. After a bit of huffing and puffing, from both parties, the piggy was kind enough to let me pass.
  • Unexpected Pizza Delivery: The section proceeding Blounstown is a long, shadeless road walk which can seem never-ending. Whilst making my way along this stretch, four separate cars stopped to ask whether or not I wanted a ride. On each occasion I politely declined, informing my would-be benefactors that I was hiking the Florida “Trail” (chuckle, chuckle) and had to keep walking. The final stopee was a guy by the name of Phil, who along with his wife, Martha, were Florida Trail Angels. We chatted for 20 minutes or so by the side of the road, before he eventually drove on. Sometime later as night began to fall, I started to look for a camping spot. Just as I was ready to call it a day, a vehicle pulled off the road directly in front of me and Phil emerged with a Hungry Howies’s Pizza and a gatorade. The perfect ending to what had been a pretty ordinary day of road walking.

Lowlights:

  • Road walking……….lots of it. A tip for future FT hikers is that whenever possible, look for maintence roads which occasionally paralell the main roads along which the FT is routed.

Notes/Musings:

  • The FT is without a doubt the flattest long distance hike I have ever done. The highest elevation point on the entire trail is a whopping 283 ft. above sea level. That is not a typo. You can leave the diamox at home for this one!

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *