300 Consecutive Days of Thru Hiking

ECT Day 300:

Day 300: 35 miles

This morning I woke up around 5am to it lightly sprinkling rain on my tent. I stayed awake and paid attention to see if it kept up. If possible I was hoping to pack up camp before it really began to rain. Luckily it never did though! Around 6:30am I finally got up and situated. The skies were blue and it was looking like a beautiful day.

The sun was just coming up and it felt like a great day. The sky looked pretty good and I had trouble believing that it was going to rain all day. Today is my #300th day on the Eastern Continental Trail. For the last 300 consecutive days I have been thru hiking this year. I remember when I used to have numbers like that collectively for multiple thru hikes. Earlier this year I had counted 365 combined days spent thru hiking, ever! That was between the PCT 2017, the PCT 2022, and the Bama to Baxter hike. Now I’m at 300 days just for this year alone.

I set out and got moving. There was an incredible sunrise in the works. It looked like some kind of illusion due to the moisture in the air or something. The clouds opened up in a perfect circle with the sunrise shining just through it. If anyone knows what that event is called or if it has a name let me know. It was absolutely incredible.

An amazing sunrise this morning.

Whatever was happening with the sky this morning was amazing!

Honestly the first thing that came to my mind was “I’m not surprised that early man believe in a higher power”. When I see something like that it’s hard not to believe in something greater than yourself.

I spent a long time this morning thinking about my incident yesterday. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. While I was not raised under any particular religion I would consider myself to be a very spiritual person. I believe in something more powerful than myself, but I just prefer to call it “the universe”. That’s just what works for me. But whatever you prefer to call it or believe, I still felt like something was watching over me yesterday.

At one point today the trail followed along this fence for miles.

When you believe in something like that you have to believe that everything happens for a reason. Not just the good things. Thinking back to yesterday I realized even that situation falls into the same reasoning. There’s a reason that that happened to me.

I also started thinking about these 300 days I’ve spent on trail. And the millions of things that could’ve gone wrong along the way but didn’t. I met a lot of people this year who had to go home for mental reasons, physical, or family. There is an endless list of things that could interfere with a long hike like this. I feel like something or someone has been looking out for me along the ECT.

Taking a quick break on this bench.

After setting out I continued along for a while. Sometime around 9am I saw my 2nd northbound hiker! It was a guy and we talked briefly. He told me that Beer Run was about an hour ahead and another guy was a couple hours ahead. I wondered if this other mystery guy was the one I’ve been warned about. One man told me that a hike ahead of me was screaming at him and swearing. He said the guy seemed dangerous and like he was on drugs.

Then last night Mighty wanted me of a hiker ahead of me. She said when she came across him he was talking to himself. Apparently he was loudly screaming swearing but stopped as she walked by. That just scares me. Especially hiking alone through the woods. I was hoping that my path wouldn’t cross with this mystery mans.

There was a whole section of forest where the trees were dark half was up their trunks. Does anyone know what causes that?

I walked until sometime around 11:30-12pm. Then I stopped off at a covered picnic table that I walked by. It was too nice of a spot to resist! I ate some chorizo, cheese, and crackers. I sat on the ground and did my stretching for a while. I wound up hanging out there for way longer than expected. But it was a nice break.

A nice covered picnic area along the trail.

Leaving there I continued along. I wound up walking for hours, basically all the way to Basinger. This section of the trail used to be a long pavement road walk. Apparently they just made a new trail to get the route off the road. It was just blazed and rerouted. But no one had come out yet to cut an opening in the barbed wire fence for the trail. So I just followed the old route. It went along a paved roads for about 8 miles.

Another absolutely incredible tree along the trail.

It was hot out which was pretty brutal. But honestly it felt nice to be walking on dry ground. I needed a break after yesterday’s swamp trauma. Walking the road sounded great in comparison to that. A couple trucks pulled over to ask if I was ok while I walked. I always appreciate elope looking out for me! But I didn’t need a damn thing.

Walking along a paved road for about 8 miles in the late afternoon.

Sometime around 4pm the road walk brought me to the Basinger Community Center. I stopped off there to fill up my water. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a spigot at the store down the street. Then I began the mile and a half walk down the street to the Cracker Trail Country Store.

An adorable baby cow! It was tiny and speckled black and white.

I got there and began grazing to find something to eat and drink. I got a couple drinks and some chicken tenders. The guy who ran the place chatted me up. He couldn’t believe that I wasn’t packing a gun or a dog! But I’ve been doing just fine without both. I sat inside and ate my food. Then went out front to pack up and do my stretching.

The sign for the Cracker Trail Food Market.

There was a kitty cat outside that I snuggled with a bit. Some people outside chatted me up. Then I continued along just after 5pm. I knew it would be getting dark soon. The first few miles ahead were all along the road. I wanted to get that done as soon as possible before it got dark.

Road walking as the sun began to set.

When I left the store it was just starting to get cold. I walked for a couple miles and then went passed a church. Originally I was hopeful that I might be able to camp at the church. But they more recently put a fence up so you can’t access the church anymore. After road walking for another few more miles I got off the road and into the woods at a trail head. The timing was perfect because I was ready to be done.

I walked about a mile in and found a place in the woods just off the trail perfect for my tent. I got set up and then did some writing. After laying for an hour or so I was surprised to hear the sound of men in the distance. It was clearly two men walking and talking. At the general store the workers told me that Beer Run and the other hiker were up ahead of me. So I was assuming these two guys were strangers.

I stayed quiet and hoped that they wouldn’t see my tent just off the trail. But to my surprise I heard someone say, “Peggy?”. It was Beer Run! He was walking with another hiker Cottonmouth. I didn’t know if Cottonmouth was the screaming and swearing mystery man I’d heard about.  Or possibly just another hiker.

Apparently they had left the general store and accidentally went the wrong way! That’s how they wound up behind me. They had to do some bonus miles to get back to here. Those poor dudes! Going the wrong way is the absolute worst.

They continued along the trail after that. Maybe I’ll see those guys at some point tomorrow. I laid up in my tent for a while after that. I managed to do a bunch of blogging and get a post uploaded. Lately my blogs have been so long! There has been a whole lot to write about. After doing that for a while I eventually called it a night.

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Comments 33

  • Keith : Dec 25th

    This womn’s posts are so blabbing
    and egotistical.

    • Lish : Dec 25th

      Blabbing isn’t a word. Egotistical is the opposite of her tone. You sir are an ass.

      • Lish : Dec 25th

        Of course blabbing is a word just not the one you meant since no secret was revealed but of course the first time I respond to rudeness with rudeness I was incorrect. May we all find kindness first in our hearts in 2024.

    • Bricks : Dec 25th

      Well, Keith where is your trail blog and 300 days on the trail. Let’s all read it together

    • Tom & Marie : Dec 26th

      My mom used to say if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything.

    • Tim : Dec 26th

      I met her while hiking the panorama trail in the Chuluota Wilderness Area,
      She is a nice lady. And she does have a lot to be proud of.
      So if this is blabbing, Keep it up and Happy Trails.

      Old Crooner

    • Tony : Dec 27th

      It’s pretty awesome what she’s doing, you on the other hand sound like a troll that is incapable of doing half a day hike.

    • thetentman : Dec 27th

      Wow. You got loose and to an Internet connection. Do your handlers know? Better take your meds.

  • Jules in NY : Dec 25th

    Well Merry Christmas to you too, Keith. I’ve been enjoying her posts for months.

  • Bill Yeadon : Dec 25th

    I have been enjoying her adventures since she left Alabama the first time. Having lived in Florida the southern part of the FT doesn’t seem too attractive. I just want PegLeg to get out of the swamp and get to the Keys.

    • Nephi Polder : Dec 25th

      Go Peg-Leg. Enjoyed my Christmas blog update from you (not sure the blog happened today). Keep trekking.

  • DEB : Dec 25th

    I continue to enjoy your posts & living the adventure with you. You are awesome! Keep safe out there- from alligators & jerky boys.

  • thetentman : Dec 25th

    We are not worthy.

    Thx for the post.


  • Clint Carr : Dec 25th

    I’m so glad I bumped into this blog. (Thanks Google). What an awesome adventure you have been on! I’ll be doing my longest hike through Ocala in January (68 miles in 24 hrs). It’s an organized event by Green Beret Fitness w/25# pack before food and water. Training has been intense to build up my endurance.

    I appreciate your blogs and give my me an idea of what I could run into.

    You are proof a little discipline can get you a very long ways. You truly love the journey and not just the destination!

    Keep those feet moving!

  • Jeff Smith : Dec 25th

    Maybe there was a flood and that caused the trees to be black, up to that point a few feet above the ground? Just an idea…

    • Chris : Dec 26th

      That’s what I was thinking, a flood caused the trees to be black.

  • Jennifer Cochran : Dec 25th

    I dont judge people that swear or get upset. You dont know what that person is going thru
    If anything he might be suicidal.
    So think of it in the flip side.
    He could be your soulmate. Or your next best friend. Or that person that might help you in a bind.

    • Jeff Greene : Dec 26th

      Could be! But as a single woman alone in the wilderness, she is very wise to be wary of a person who appears erratic and angry to everyone that has encountered them, dontchathink?

  • Tractor Tom : Dec 25th

    We lived in Okeechobee, Florida for about 15 years and I know that section of trail well. I was doing some writing for the Okeechobee News for a while and wrote a couple pieces about the Florida Trail that were published in that paper. Enjoying reading about it again.

  • Shell : Dec 25th

    I’m not sure how I didn’t know what thru hiking was until I came across this blog. Any advice/resources on getting started? Beginner-Intermediate hiker based in South GA

  • Steve : Dec 25th

    I’m jelly. Way to go!! Takes guts to do what you’re doing. Are you finding yourself? Best way to . Keep it up 💪.

  • JM : Dec 25th

    Love your posts and also dread seeing your mileage left decrease. Please keep posting beyond the ECT.

  • Chris : Dec 26th

    Don’t worry about long blog posts,.. we’ll still read them 🙂

  • Matt Daly : Dec 26th

    I don’t mind the longer posts, I’m a wannabe thru hiker, but not thrilled with the knee deep water sections. I live on the edge of ONF and run on sections of the FT. The blackened tree trunks are likey from prescribed burning, done frequently. I’ve seen charred trunks up to 15 feet up. Enjoying your progress.

  • TAMARA Miller : Dec 26th

    I am curious how you support yourself and play for your hiking.

  • Allan & Peggy Adderley : Dec 26th

    The magnificent trees are Live Oaks (so named because they never lose all their leaves in winter), the king of the southern forest. Most likely what you are seeing are high water marks on the trees. The purple berry bushes are American Beauty Berry. Ours have already died off as they do in winter. They last longer down there. Hopefully, you will only see gators sunning themselves. Being cold-blooded, when it’s cool they come out of the water to get warmed up and are less of a threat. Happy Holidays!

  • Lish : Dec 26th

    The Universe is the word. My heart swells each time I read your posts. Your bravery,attitude and general goodwill towards all make me remember that humans got some good left. Thanks again and may 2024 bring you tremendous blessings!

    • Lish : Dec 26th

      The cloud is called a fallstreak according to my husband. Absolutely stunning capture!

  • Old Man Paul : Dec 26th

    You go girl. Merry Christmas.

  • Joe : Jan 5th

    Keep it up been reading ur blog since last April… Have a great New Year and u go girl.

  • Alex Barnett : Jan 6th

    Peg Leg

    I know I am behind in reading your blogs. I enjoyed reading your last blog. Even though I don’t know you I am proud of you for what you have accomplished. I agree with you that as you spend time in nature it is impossible not to recognize a higher presence.

    Take care and keep on trucking.


  • Zach c hall : Jan 27th

    You’re an amazing person. Inspirational!
    I want to do this soo bad. I’m a single father so I’m very weary of taking my son along.


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