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Brian "Gadget" Lewis
Begins: Jan 12, 2015
Date: Sat, Feb 14th, 2015
Start: near Bayview Campsite
End: Fort Pickens, Trail Terminus
Daily Distance: 17
Trip Distance: 588.9
Entry Visits: 689
Journal Visits: 18,042
Guestbook Views: 843
Guestbook Entrys: 10
Florida Trail Map
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At the Terminus
Last night was much warmer than I expected, and the sunrise this morning along the beach was beautiful, so just a fine start to our last day.
Also very fine was the breakfast we had at a cafe after our first 5 miles. And the fact that the day was warmer than yesterday.
Walking along and seeing the horizon was somewhat mesmerizing. In normal life, how often do most people see the horizon?
Fort Pickens itself was pretty cool to see. Some WW1 era coast artillery emplacements, but the pre- civil war brick fort is really impressive, a fun place to finish up. We met our trail angel Helen and walked a mile or so in the area, seeing Osprey nests and learning about what it's like for volunteers who do so much to support and maintain this trail.
Lucky and I really enjoyed talking with Helen, not least because she has more than adequate chops to keep up with Lucky in a wide ranging literary conversation.
So that's the end for this year. The Florida Trail doesn't have much in the way of long distance vistas, there's a good deal of highway walking in this northern half, and on occasion you get your feet wet. But it's quite a different ecosystem, resupply is typically close together and doesn't require hitchhiking, and we typically didn't have to carry much water... so pack weights were pretty low. The trail is almost empty of hikers, which seems crazy to me because where else in the U.S. can you go on a long distance backpacking adventure in January?
I'm hopeful that I can do the other half next year, as Lucky tells me that the southern half is even better.
The Florida Trail is one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States currently running 1,000 miles, with a total of 1,300 miles planned, from Big Cypress National Preserve to Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola Beach. Learn more: www.floridatrail.org