Words to Actions
I am as prepared as I possibly could be. I am ready to take on this challenge mentally, and physically. This is where all the research, money spent, and time devoted gets tested. It’s time to turn my words into actions.
Florida Trail Shakedown
It felt good to give the legs a good warm up hike, and they didn’t let me down. Normally I find myself getting blisters on my feet, yet found none after some bigger mile days. My soreness wasn’t bad which tells me my prior conditioning was at least adequate. My new pack felt great, managed the weight just as well if not better than my old bag.
We ended up doing about 40 miles in 3 days, each day getting hotter than the last. The miles were smooth, my friend Tyler and I handled them well. Our average coming to about 13 miles a day. Granted Florida is flat, but I felt I had miles in the tank still when we would stop our day.
The Ocala section of the Florida Trail is by far my favorite. The trails are immaculate, nice and wide, and well marked. The campsites coming more frequently than most other sections. Vast open prairies, with lots of wildlife. If you’re lucky like we were, you can walk to a spring fed pond, where we soaked our feet and legs after a long hot day.
They say you pack your fears, and now I am guilty of it. I don’t want to be the one in their tent shivering because their gear is wet, and it’s cold. I want to be able to hike warm and not make sacrifices those few days when the temps are low.
Testing my warm gear was successful in the Maine winter, but it takes up a lot of space in my pack. Not to mention the absurd loft of a 0 degree quilt. All that being said, my pack is stuffed to the brim when loaded with 4ish days of food.
Hopefully with a visit in Hot Springs I can lose a fleece jacket and maybe switch quilts. Regardless of my fear I will make things work, staying warm and dry.
A Cabin In The Woods
After a grueling 12 hour drive, my friends and I had made it to a beautiful cabin in Helen, GA. A proper send off. Cigars, cases of shitty beer, and a few day hikes. Enjoying the backwoods of Helen with all the amenities, before leaving it behind for a few months. I could not have asked for a better way to start the trail.
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