Thru Hiking on Thanksgiving Day

ECT Day 271&272

Day 271: 3 miles

This morning we slept in at our motel room. We had to wait until check out time to get a ride back over to the post office in Blountstown. Both of us had packages sent there. But the post office was closed by the time that we got into town yesterday.

Around 10am the kind man who ran the motel drove us over to the post office. Inside I was able to get my new quilt! But my other package never arrived. I provided a new address to have the box bumped to when it does come in. Then boxed up my old sleeping bag to send home. I had the REI joule bag since 2017. I’ve used it on all of my thru hikes for over 8000 miles. Now I’m going to be trying out the katabatic palisade 30 degree quilt. It’s about 14 ounces lighter than my previous. And the reviews I’ve seen are fantastic.

Once we finished up inside we got a ride back to the motel. Then we began hiking from there. We are only planning on walking 2-3 miles today. That will bring us to Bristol, FL. We’re going to nero there today to let ourselves rest a bit.

Crossing the bridge from Blountstown to Bristol. Apparently there was a sidewalk on the other side of the road that we missed.

When we were walking into Bristol we accidentally walked on the wrong side of the highway. Apparently if we had gone to the right we would have been blessed with a sidewalk. But we walked on the left to be able to see oncoming traffic. There was no sidewalk on that side. Once we started there was really no going back. It would have definitely been safer to walk the highway on a side walk. But we made it across safely regardless.

Found this rubber ducky on the road!

Getting into Bristol we first stopped off at a gas station. Then we went to the main restaurant in town. It actually had a lunch buffet which was an awesome surprise. There was fried chicken and all sorts of sides and other things. Everything was really good. We stuffed our faces there and then waddled over to the motel.

The snowbird motel in Bristol.

We were able to check right in to the Snowbird Motel which was pretty cheap. Then we dropped our bags and walked down the road to resupply. I needed food but also had to find some contact solution and other odds and ends. We are going to pack out food for the next 75 miles. That isn’t crazy long, but is probably our longest food carry yet in Florida. I got so much food.

My new katabatic palisade 30 degree quilt! I’m obsessed.

Back at the room I packed it all away. Then laid in bed to write and rest. I got a strawberry milk and some rice pudding as a snack. Then we watched TV and had a chill rest of the day.

Posing outside the local jail in Bristol.

Later on in the evening we walked over to subway for dinner. Then retreated to the room to eat and lounge some more. Not long after that we called it a night.

Day 272: 20 miles

This morning we took our sweet time checking out of the room. There really isn’t any rush to push out crazy miles. My only goal for the Florida Trail is that I’d like to  arrive at Big Cyprus for the kick off event. As long as we’re doing big days most of the time that’s going to be an easy goal to accomplish.

My pack looking enormous with 3 days of food. The largest food carry in all of Florida.

Walking the road leaving Bristol.

We wound up leaving the room around 10-10:30am. It was thanksgiving day! Another year with an unorthodox thanksgiving. Last year I celebrated thanksgiving in Big Bear along the PCT in California. I got to celebrate with 6 other thru hikers. This year Beer Run and I are going to mostly celebrate in the woods! There wasn’t really anything in town worth hanging around for. Most places will be closed today. The woods isn’t a bad place to spend the day though.

After walking for an hour or so we took a quick break at a closed down gas station. Usually it would be open, but was closed due to the holiday. Then we continued on and walked for another hour or so. After that we were finally back in the woods!

Getting back into the woods after leaving Bristol. There was a trail ledger here with lots of familiar names.

Trucker had texted me saying that we were going to be entering into our first swampy section. I was feeling positive about it though. It’s been so incredibly dry so far here in Florida. I don’t necessarily think the swamp is going to be as bad as it was back in March.

Those next few miles had comments on Far Out about the swamp. Apparently just a few months ago we would have been wading through deep water. But we didn’t even have to get our feet wet going through today. I felt so ridiculously lucky about that. I could have handled a super wet and swampy Florida. I’m appreciative though that that hasn’t been the case. I’ve walked over 4500 miles this year. So I wouldn’t complain if the last 1000 miles was as easy going as possible.

Crossing a bridge along the florida trail.

Around 3-4pm I attempted to call my family for thanksgiving. My dad was getting together with all of the family on his side. That’s the thanksgiving event that I normally go to every year. Except for the last few years because of either traveling or thru hiking. Sadly though I didn’t have any service now that we were deeper into the woods.

Going through a grassy field. Apparently this section is normally under water! But we kept our feet dry.

Not long after that I caught up to Beer Run and we took a nice break. We talked about how this area we are in would normally all be under water. That concept was so crazy to me. Then we kept on going to get to camp. We weren’t planning to hike late into the night tonight. It’s supposed to rain around 5:30-6pm. So it would be nice to be able to set up camp before that started.

A beautiful forest and Florida trail marker.

We wound up finding a pretty nice spot around 5:30pm. It was really flat but had a ton of prickers. It took me a while to find a spot and get situated without any pricker bushes near my tent. A plant like that could easily rip the dynema of my tent or pop my pad. I have to be careful of that.

Once I got set up I headed inside. Then did some stretching and a bit of writing. It was fairly early so I had a nice amount of time. And like clockwork around 6pm it began to rain! I was happy with our decision to have an early day. It wound up raining all night long too.

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Comments 5

  • thetentman : Dec 4th

    Flat and wet. Not quite perfect but it will do.


  • BossHog : Dec 5th

    Too cool! Love your posts! Keep on treking!

    • BossHog : Dec 5th

      #PegLeg 💪🏆

  • Bill sickles : Dec 5th

    Very cool thing to do.i wanted to do it back in 1972 when I was a young man with tons of energy.but i couldn’t find anyone to go with me.i would have loved to walked all over
    America still do but iam too old now
    Good luck

  • John Sewell : Dec 7th

    I continue to enjoy your posts.

    I love lighthouses so I Googled St Marks Lighthouse and enjoyed learning about the location. Thanks for sharing with us about St Marks. See you again soon.
    Good luck from KY


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