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Brian "Gadget" Lewis
Begins: Jan 19, 2016
Date: Wed, Feb 3rd, 2016
Start: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
End: motel in town of Okeechobee
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 185.6
Entry Visits: 374
Journal Visits: 8,757
Guestbook Views: 117
Guestbook Entrys: 5
It seemed more clear to me this morning that I needed to get off the trail at least for a while. I had shared a campsite in the state park with two Florida Trail hikers I met there, Kickit and Larry Bird. They had been hiking before this trail and are hiking straight through to Harpers Ferry, so my hat's off to them. I was able to give them the trail food I won't need anytime soon, so that was good.
Getting out of the park was somewhat of an adventure. It's illegal to hitchhike in the park, so after a 4 mile hike to get to the park boundary I would have been right at the point where the 25 mph dirt road turned to faster pavedroad. Maybe it would have worked out, but I had a conversation with a fun and friendly couple named Carl and Christine, and they offered to drive me the 30 or so miles to the town of Okeechobee. Wonderful!
So I went to the pharmacy to get more benadryl and I asked the pharmacist about treatment for fire ant bites. He talked about itching, which I presume will occur at some point, but once he understood the size of the bites and that they're weeping, he just flatly told me to see a doctor.
Which I will do, but given how these are responding I'll just take a train to Orlando tomorrow, fly home the next day (Friday), and I have an appointment to see my own doctor that same afternoon. Between my guesstimate of healing time before I would be safe slogging through swamp and the unusual trail conditions of this year, I'm just going to bag it for the Florida Trail for this year. This stuff is supposed to be fun at least a good portion of the time, and for this particular year I think that too much of what remains for me would either be road walking or marsh squelching.
But hopefully I will be back. Florida offers a lot, and of course I have the urge to see the about 300 miles that I have yet to walk.
Gadget's Trail Journal
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
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