Day 53 – A million steps

Day 53
Miles today: 26.6 miles
Miles so far: 985 miles
Campsite: Stealth Campsite

26.6 miles!! This is the most I have done on the Florida Trail so far. Not that impressive considering that it is on flat grounds ha but a milestone nonetheless for me.

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So it started like a typical day. I woke at sunrise, packed a wet tent that had actual frost on and left within 30min. By 6am I was hiking. I took the unnamed jeep road since I camped nearby. After 2.5 miles, I arrived at a broken bridge. There was no way of crossing so I walked back 0.5 miles where the trail crossed the jeep trail. Once I got to highway 331, it was all road walk from there. I had been warned a bridge upon entering Eglin was unusable. Someone on our Facebook group had mentioned a 4.5ft fording of the creek. Let’s just say that I was not going to cross it and decided to take the long road walk around it. It was really boring until I hit mile marker 20. I arrived to a thru-hiker oasis. KFC, Waffle House, Burger King, Whattaburger, McDonald’s, etc… Were all lined up and I was passing them by! I ate so much real food these past few days that the temptation was not a huge deal. I stopped at Walmart, grabbed a few hiking essentials… Hand sanitizer and wet wipes because you know, hygiene and all…duh. And 2 Bananas. Yay! Healthy choice. On my way out, I caved in and got subway. Dang it!

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The rest of the road walk was not as bad as the morning one. The road was less busy. I didn’t take many pictures because it was literally roads for 9 hours straight. Boooring! Although my first few miles were in the woods, thank goodness.

With all this road walking… I was extremely tempted to hitchhike but decided against. I had done enough yellow blazing agree. I am going to finish strong. I always road walk against traffic. Today, not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 5 cars stopped next to me, rolled their windows down and asked if I needed a ride. 5!!!! One woman stopped and asked if I needed a ride or was I exercising. Yeah, you could say I was “exercising”.

I was really near where the trail crossed the road when I saw a figure. A figure with a backpack! I yelled out HEYYY! Like an idiot. Ha! Guess who it was?! Joey! He had done the creek crossing, informed me the water was chest deep and that made me feel like I had done the right thing. He had texted me during the day about it but hearing it was even better. We hiked together for less than a mile when, tired, I told him I was setting camp right there and then. He had plans to continue another 3 miles. I did not have it in me and it would of been dark by then and I needed to dry out my tent a bit more since the morning frost. I tried setting it on a blazed post during my first brake but it wasn’t sunny nor windy enough to dry it quickly.

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Good news, I kept my feet dry all day. Score!! I am pooped and ready for bed. I have listened to 6 episodes of This American Life today, and I can say. Ira Glass has a great voice for radio. I may go finish an episode as I drift to sleep. Good night and happy trails!

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