Finish: Loop Road
Distance: 95.2 miles (153.2 km)
Time: 3.5 days (January 12-15, 2012)
Daily Average: 27.2 miles (43.8 km)
Total Distance: 1137.6 miles (1830.4 km)
- Big Cypress National Preserve: From I-75 down to Loop Rd., the trail consisted of some 30+ miles of swamp tromping. Most of these were spent wading in shin to knee high deep water. A challenging, but beautiful stretch of “trail.” Along with St Marks, my favourite part of the FT.
- Snakes: During the Big Cypress section I spotted three water moccasins.
- Morning coffee with Girl Scout Troop #48. Promised I would mention them in my blog……………….hope you had a fantastic weekend girls!
- The shadeless canal walk south of John Stretch Park was ordinary, as was the road section along CR 833.
Notes & Musings:
- It’s funny the people you run into whilst walking in a swamp: I encountered numerous northbound hikers on this ultimate stage of the FT. Most notable were ‘Amoeba’ and ‘Billy Goat’ (see photo below), the latter of whom I had met whilst hiking the PCT in 2007. At seventy two years young and with a flowing white beard that would put Santa to shame, Billy is a bit of a legend in the hiking community. With the exception of a couple of months each year, during which he reportedly moonlights as a tightrope walker for Ringling Brothers Circus, he can be found hiking on a trail somewhere near you. His favourite is the PCT, and I look forward to catching up with him again sometime this spring. Thanks again, guys, for the crackers, cheese and kippers!
- Trail Names: Which brings me to the concept of “trail names”. In the States, it is common for hikers who are walking one of the long distance paths to receive nicknames. Indeed, it is such an excepted part of hiking culture, that the majority of people out on the trail actually begin to introduce themselves by their trail name, rather than their real one. In 2007 whilst hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, I received the monniker of “Swami”, given to me because of my yoga background and a penchant for stretching during each and every break.