Thursday, December 5th, 2013
The park ranger, armed with a side arm, pulled up alongside of me in a white pick-up truck. “Have you seen an old man?” she asked. “He has been lost for four hours, has diabetes. If you see him tell him to wait here.”
So a hunter was lost. “We are concerned that maybe he fell into one of the sinkholes. If that is the case we may never find him.”
As I reenter the trail the sound of gun fire explodes in the distance “Are you going in there alone?” another officer asks. “Be careful!”
I am. I head home planning to return after the hunting season is over.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
“I rode all the way here from Texas”, the horse back rider told me when we met near the trail. We talked of life alone on the trail and how it must have been 200 years ago. “My dad was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He is gone now. He never talked about it. I served too.”
Then, Leslie Fender rode off. Yea, just as the sun was setting.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
The soil here is covered with limestone bedrock. Acids in the rain and dissolved plant material have slowly, over centuries, eaten away at the limestone. The stone erosion has created caves, sinkholes and even disappearing rivers. It is an eerie place because the Florida trail skirts deep crevices some of which are hidden by dense brush. I moves slowly, as usual, but am fascinated by the geologic environment. This is Aucilla at its best.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
The Aucilla River is cal. But the adjoining Florida trail is difficult to maneuver.” May your trail be crooked, winding, lonely and dangerous and lead to some wonderful views”? That is how a sign depicts what is ahead on this portion of the trail. The sign is right; the moving is slow, difficult, and fun. After all this is the Florida Historic Trail!
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Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Now the going gets tough. The St. Mark’s portion of the Florida historical trail, just off Highway 98, is difficult. The foot path is clogged with large tree roots partially submerged boulders in swamp pools and a plethora of newly fallen in small trees. I barely am able to walk 2 miles in an hour.
Sunday, December 1st, 2013
All good things come to an end. After 17 short miles the bicycle trail and is and I am once again in the swamp my mock boots served me well as I cross a lawn levee wet with fresh do. The levee is high and down below I can see in hear big alligators jumping into the adjacent canal.
Then, there is a long abandoned dirt road leading to a ghost town destroyed way back in the 1920s by a devastating hurricane. Silence pervades. The loneliness is enjoyable.
Saturday, November 30th, 2013
After spending Thanksgiving with family in Tallahassee I pick up my root in Florida where I had left off also a few months earlier. Now, I begin walking South ultimately I will find the exact spot where I ended on November 25 after my engagement with the deer hunter.
Walking out of the large city of Tallahassee I am least when I begin making my way towards the St. Marks wildlife preserve a bicycle path, paved all the way helps me ushers the time pleasingly through this pristine area of North Florida.