Day 40 Aucilla

Day 40
Miles today: 25.4 miles
Miles so far: 731ish miles
Campsite: Stealth Campsite.

Finally made it back on the trail with the App. Woohoo. This phone app has gps and it is so much easier to follow and have better information than the papermaps.

Joey and I started hiking around 650am to be back on the road before anyone started driving on it. Well, it was a deserted dirt road anyway and didn’t see a single car for many hours. It was a chilly morning. We started calling this day this “opposite day” because of all the odd opposite things we were used to see… Let me explain.

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We walked by a bunch of cows but oddly enough they ran towards us. I say it was odd because all the cows we’ve encountered in Florida were afraid of people and ran as our sight. These one didn’t. They were coming right for us. It named Joey the cow whisperer.

After spending some time with the cows we started hiking again. About 10min later Joey shouted “whoah” and we stopped. On our left, stuck in the barbwire fence was a teenage deer. He had its leg wrapped in barbwire and couldn’t run away. He was upside down.  I hurried toward it. Joey warned me it may kicked me if I tried helping but I didn’t care. I had to help. I knelt down to his face. His face on the ground, and his butt and legs up because he was stuck that way. He must had fought a long time because he barely kicked when we approached. I stroke his or her face gently to somewhat reassured it. It had a look of defeat about itself. It was too sad. Joey tried pulling the barbwire apart but no luck. It was tightly wrapped. We both tried using my trekking pole to pry it slightly bigger than the deer’s leg and it worked. As soon as the leg was free he ran off, limping. Either it was dislocated or broken. It didn’t look so good. I hope hr recovers quickly. Sadly, it all happened so fast, I didn’t get a photo.

We continued hiking after that. Still feeling like an “opposite day”.  I kid you not, a few miles later there was a soda machine in the middle of nowhere. For 75cents you could get a soda. It was plugged in and was standing outside of a trailers boundary. Why on earth was there a soda machine THERE? We each got a Sierra mist but our morning was too cold to crack it open then and there. Opposite day, I am telling you.

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We made our way to the boundary of the Aucilla WMA and finally was back in the woods. No more road walking! Our morning on the road was 15.5 miles. We were happy to be back on softer, quieter grounds. After a few miles in the forest, we had to cross another creek. Joey went in knee deep then stepped on a big floating log and got out. Seemed easy enough… Until it was my turn. I took my shoes off and wore my crocs… Remember dry feet are happy feet. I began to walk across but it just got deeper and deeper. The bottom was filled with wood pieces and sand or so I thought since I couldn’t see the bottom. I was unable to make the step up to the same floating log and got stuck with logs blocking my way across. By then, I was butt cheeks deep and wanted out. I made it across and put on my nice dry shoes. The cold water had washed up my dirty feet.

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I finally arrived to Aucilla River camp campsite only to find out it would be a terrible place to camp if it would rain…which is suppose to tonight. I looked around and saw nothing that would be safe in a heavy thunderstorms so I decided to continue hiking for a little bit. I finally arrived at a flat area a mile or so later. I was pooped and ready to eat dinner in bed. By then, Joey was behind me and I thought he would of stayed at the camp behind. To my surprise, he showed up 20min after my tent was set up. He saw the designated campsite and thought it was a joke. Especially if we were about to get heavy thunderstorms ahead. He planned on hiking another mile or too but saw my site was big enough for both of us and stayed.

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I heard there are tornado warnings in the panhandle and we’re very close to them but far enough to just get the heavy rains. Whew! Thank goodness.

Today was a big day for me. The road walk isn’t easy on my feet and I am getting sleepy. Let’s hope for another productive day tomorrow but first, a safe night in the storm. Happy trails!

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