Day 36 –

Day 36
Miles today: 23.5 miles
Miles so far: 639.1 miles
Campsite: Holton Creek Campsite

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Woke early and was it was freezing. Temps were still below freezing. For some reason I was unable to keep my feet warm all night. Tried pushing all the down back to my feet in my quilt. Tried curling up but quickly one or two limbs fell asleep and was uncomfortable. I had a poor night of sleep. I was on the trail by 720am, wanting to be on the trail slightly earlier than I have been. I only had 23.5 miles to go…

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It was a chilly morning and took me a few hours to warm all my body up. Once the sun was completely high in the sky, it was easy but then I had a creek crossing… I had tried inching my way on a small log but to my surprised, it rolled on itself and sent both of my feet in the water. Brrrr…. A rope was affixed to a tree to help with the descent. It came in handy.

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I continued hiking while being grumpy. I took only 3 short break today in order to be able to make it to camp during sunlight. By 2pm, I only had hiked 14ish miles… There was still a lot of work ahead. The day didn’t seem to fly by as it used to. I tried many different podcasts, audiobooks and music genre. None of them proved to be effective against my sluggishness. Then I had another creek crossing, which had me again with soaked feet. The trail wasn’t as well maintained as I would of hoped… But then again, the Florida Trail Association is small and I doubt volunteers can easily make their way here to clean up and maintain it. I am just thankful it has been well maintained this far.

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I had more dog encounters today. One tried chomping me and I yelled out and held my trekking poles towards it. Another one was in its yard but the trail was on the edge of the fence and I had no where to give it room. It barked and barked and followed me as I reached the other side of its yard. It was fenced with barb wire, a wooden fence and an electric fence… Was that to keep me out or keep the dog in? Eeek.  Third encounter was a bunch of small dogs and a large one on a hill, barking down at me. This time, no fence. The little dogs didn’t worry me, it was the big onr that was trying to find a way to get through the brush that scared me the most. Isn’t anyone go outside when they hear their dog bark bloody murder? I have yet seen any owner all day calling their dogs back. Grrrr.

Around 5pm, I almost threw in the towel but I was too darn stubborn to let my goal of the day go. It was only 23.5 miles dang it! I somehow managed to find a pocket of energy and breezed, ish,   to the last mile before camp before another crossing had me screaming “FUCK!”. Morale was down. This time, it was a thigh high crossing and it was almost dusk. From what I’ve learned gators feed at dusk and today seemed to had been warm enough for them. Ugh. While flailing my trekking poles in the water like an idiot, I crossed and hoped for the best. I made it out alive!

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I arrived at the campsite at dark. The campground host’s German Shepherd was barking at me from a distance and I was in no mood to, yet again, try to protect myself from a loose dog. To my surprise, it was in a fenced in yard. The hosts greeted me and showed me my site and informed me of toilets and showers! Yes! I knew i pushed hard for a reason.

It maybe was an odd day but I am very glad to be here now, at camp, warm in my sleeping bag. I have little to no appetite and just very sleepy. Despite the sore feet, and shoes I am glad to be able to thru-hike the Florida Trail and damn proud of it every day, no matter what. Happy trails!

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