Hikers Get Police Called on Them

ECT Day 267&268

Day 267: 34 miles

This morning we woke up at the Baptist church and broke down camp. We were gone just before the sun was up. From there we had about 5 more miles of road walking. Then we popped back into the woods. When we hit treeline, we officially completed the Western Panhandle section of the Florida Trail. Now we are starting the Eastern Panhandle section.

The site behind the Baptist church where we camped last night.

It felt great to be back in the woods once more. Because of all of the road walking in Canada, I was expecting a whole lot of road walking down south. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Florida Trail. The mix of road walking and actual dirt trail is pretty great. I think it’s literally helping to nurse my body back to health. And I sure can’t complain about that.

Lately I have found so many heads up pennies along the road. I always take it as a sign of good luck. If I find one takes up I will flip it over and leave it there.

Once we were back in the woods we stopped off for a quick break. Then we continued along through the woods. The terrain was easy going and the weather was nice. We pushed on for another couple of hours before stopping off again.

Finally getting back onto the FT after road walking most of yesterday.

Around 10:30-11am we came to a big clearing and decided to stop off. All of our gear was pretty wet from last night, so we wanted to dry it out. It was a little early in the day though which meant that the sun wasn’t quite hot enough. The whole process took a lot longer than it normally would have. But we got a nice long break out of it!

Walking through a piney forest.

Everything got mostly dry and then we continued along. Today we’re moving a little slow and time isn’t exactly going by quickly. But they just happen sometimes. When we did leave that break spot, we wound up walking for a long while. The trail was soft and covered in pine. My feet felt great moving along.

A florida trail marker.

After another hour or so I came upon a creek and Beer Run was stopped off filtering water. At the time I still had a little more than a liter and was feeling lazy. I really didn’t want to fill up. But that’s a move that can bite you. Within the next hour I had regretted my decision and needed more water. Then had to stop off at another source and climb down to grab some water. The water has been quite plentiful so far along the Florida Trail.

A hiker notice warning of potential high water levels. We took the actual trail and didn’t even get our feet wet.

Not long after I got back to walking, I caught up to Beer Run. He was stopped off at a road that the trail crossed over. It was pretty late in the day already, but we’d done a good job making miles up. We were still maybe 11 miles out from the next town at this point. But Beer Run proposed that we make a dash for town regardless. We would get there late but still get there.

Bullet holes in a trail sign.

I liked the idea of sleeping in a bed, showering, and being able to charge up. So we decided to push on. We recharged with one final break and then put the pedal to the medal. The next hour or so wasn’t too bad. But the final couple of hours of the day I was exhausted. My feet were feeling sore overall. Luckily the one spot my right foot which has been irritating me wasn’t too bad. My feet just hurt in general.

The sun beginning to set through the trees.

When we hit 30 miles for the day, we still had over an hour to go. That was definitely a tough hour, but I was looking forward to town. Eventually we got out of the woods and hit the road again. That was a good sign that we were getting close. We weren’t exactly heading into a big town. But there was a motel next to a gas station and a dollar general. Truly what else could hikers ask for.

Walking across a boardwalk in the dark.

When we got into town, we headed over to the gas station. While I was shopping around, I looked up and noticed Beer Run talking to a police officer. Then he came over to me and asked if I was ok. Apparently, someone called the police on us while we were road walking. They said they saw a woman in distress walking along the road. I must have looked so miserable in those last couple of miles! Someone felt the need to call the police! Plus, Beer Run has super long hair. So it sounds like the person who called thought that it was two women hiking along the road. What a hilarious situation.

Our room for the night!

After that fun encounter we checked into the motel next door. Then we walked over to dollar general to grab a couple things. We got a big jug of milk and each got a whole box of cereal. Back at the room, I ate the whole box of fruity pebbles and loved every minute. Then I showered and wound up watching TV. It was pretty late at this point and eventually I called it a night.

Day 268: 23.5 miles

This morning we slept in pretty late at the room. I love taking advantage of a room if you can. You might as well sleep in and stay until check out. Why the heck not.

Around 10am we finally got packed up and headed out. Then walked next door to the gas station to grab some lunch. There was a subway inside, so I got a foot long to pack out. Then we began road walking. While we walked, I ate the first half of the sub and drank a Red Bull. I usually don’t do caffeine, but I was in the mood to get a little boost.

Walking along the road in the late morning.

We walked for a couple hours and then stopped off along the road for a quick break. It was pretty damn hot and sunny out today. So getting a quick break in the shade was lovely. Then we got back on the road once more. I ate the other half of my subway while we walked. Then pulled my gossamer gear umbrella out and walked with that for the next few hours.

Road walking with my gossamer gear umbrella.

About 12 or so miles into the day we went past a gas station. I wasn’t in the mood for fried food or anything, but you could get a serving of red rice and beans. That hit the spot. One of the things I’m most excited for along the Florida Trail is the food. Once we are further south in Florida, I want to eat some of my favorite foods. When I lived down in Florida briefly in 2021, I got to eat a lot of Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Colombian food. Those are some of my favorites in particular.

The beans and rice at the gas station were nothing special. But I liked the change of pace. I’m so over all the fried and sugary food. It’s hard to get excited about food for me lately. After I ate, I had to pick out a small resupply which also proved difficult. For so long this year I survived on pastries and muffins. But I’m pretty done with all of that.

I couldn’t resist trying out a strawberry Yoo-hoo. I’d never heard of such a thing!

We hung out at the gas station for a while before continuing along. When we finally did leave it was late, so we didn’t have much time before it got dark. Leaving the gas station, we had another handful of miles along the road. Then we got back into the woods just in the nick of time.

Beautiful skies as the sun set.

Walking along the road as the sun began to set.

Fortunately, we only had to walk in the dark for an hour along the road. That can be a bit sketchy. Getting back into the woods was a relief. Then we wound up walking until about 7pm. Around this time we passed by Little Porter Lake Campground and decided to stop off. There was a fire ring and some benches. It was the perfect place to set up for the night.

Gorgeous pink Florida skies.

Our camp site for the night.

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Comments 8

  • Jeff McCorkle : Nov 30th

    You are amazing! Nothing stops you. Well done! And excellent writing.

  • Skirted Walker : Nov 30th

    Another power walking day. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

  • thetentman : Nov 30th

    Thank you for the post.

  • Al S : Nov 30th

    Sometimes the police will make up the “we got a call” excuse when they want to talk to people.

  • Jabez : Nov 30th

    Hi. Buddy and I did the first 125 miles of FT in February this year. U mentioned bombs in Elgin. Did u get a hiker permit and also check if trail was closed in certain areas? We had to adjust our hike and do a flip flop there
    because section off limits. Looking forward to reading about rest of trail.

  • Jim : Dec 2nd

    Again, wow! 34 mile day followed by a mere 23.5. I really don’t see how you guys hike like that. I am in awe!

  • Mike : Dec 2nd

    The section you did on day 267 was the section I met out and about. Amazing you did what took me 3 days all in the same day. Beautiful trail through here though.

  • jhon : Dec 2nd

    Police CALLED on you? What a shitty lead in. Someone was concerned and called the cops for a wellness check. Pathetic. I am no cop lover and do not like criminal cops. That was a horrible lead in to gather hits. No worries, I will never read another one of your postings. AMF


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