Day 21 Jan 27th

Day 21
Miles today:  18 miles
Miles so far: 346.2 miles
Campsite: Lake Mills Campground

We hiked about 14 miles on the trail today and got out to do the 4 miles road walk to the campground where we will celebrate Billy Goat birthday tomorrow.

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It was pouring rain all night. The sound of the rain hitting your tent wall sounds kind of like popcorn popping. Last bight, I forgot to set my tent low to the ground to avoid rain splashing in. At 1am I woke up with drops on ny face. I did the best I could to tucked myself in but it’s been so humid that not having any ventilation could be suffocating in a tent.

Around 630am, we decided to finally bite the bullet and come out of our tents in the rain. By the time we were done with packing up the rain had turned to a mist. I was in a pumped mood despite the crappy weather out and cranked some miles in the morning. On top of the rain making us drenched from heaf to toes, the trail was very wet as well. Ankle deep for a long portion with the occasional step down surprise that made it knee deep. I believe most of those were created because of the wild pigs digging the ground up and making these big great holes in the dirt. *shakes fists at them*.  A few boardwalks were available but sadly, with being a very wet year, some of them were under water. Ha! I nearly slipped off a few of them. The trail had a few stiles. One didn’t even have barbwires and I had to use my trekking pole to make sure I wasn’t crazy. There was also a nice little bench that I was able to sit on but had to get my feet up as it was in water as well. One day… ONE DAY… I will be able to hike without getting my feet wet, just 1 day…

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The vegetation is so different here. It’s tropical. Sometimes I get Jurassic Park flashbacks and waiting to see a triceratops around the corner…  You never know. Although I did not see a triceratop nor a t-rex today, I did see more armadillos. Cute littled armored rodent. Also saw a few cows, after stepping in in their poop all day…

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We arrived at the campground and Sandra and John were already here. They are the author of the guidebook and the very useful app I’m using to guide myself on the trail. Alex arrived minutes later behind me. We were the only 2016 thru-hikers that started at Big Cypress there. We got invited to share a meal at Blue Blaze’s house and it was delicious. We got to talk with Billy Goat and he told me he had gotten sick on the Ice Age Trail this past year because of the ticks. He counted, 67 ticks he had on him at one point!!eeeek! Ticks can be pretty bad out there. Thankfully I have never had that many stuck on me. Whew!

Oh! And we were able to take a hot shower at the campground bathroom. Sandra gave us some soap samples to use. It was fantastic. Hot shower after being in the cold rain all day.

Tomorrow will be kind of a day off for us as well, as we will be here celebrating Billy Goat’s birthday. We hope to back on the trail either Thursday night or Friday. And we have a zero on Saturday ha! We deserve this anyway. Happy trails! (hope they are dry for you!)

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