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Brianle - Florida Trail Journal - 2016

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Brian "Gadget" Lewis
City: Bellevue
State: WA
Country: USA
Begins: Jan 19, 2016
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Feb 6th, 2016
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 185.6

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 450
Journal Visits: 8,758
Guestbook Views: 117
Guestbook Entrys: 5

Florida Trail Map


After backpacking for a while, it seems truly incredible how quickly one can get around with planes and trains and automobiles (all of which I used these last couple of days). I flew home yesterday and was able to see my doctor that same afternoon. I was somewhat surprised when he prescribed an antibiotic, and said that it was indeed the right answer to get off the trail for a considerable period of time. This is oddly pleasing, as in a case like this there's always a tendency to second guess, to question whether leaving the trail was really the right decision.

When I hiked the AT in 2010 I got giardia that took a couple of weeks to get over --- and to recover strength to the point where I could consider hiking again. In that case, I just really really wanted to get back to the trail and finish in the same year, and so I did. In this case, I had already broken the Florida Trail hike into two big different-year pieces anyway, and with the conditions particular to this year, I'm content to wait for some future year to finish the 300 or so miles I have yet to hike on this trail.

Some have suggested that based on what I and some others have said that they wouldn't ever want to hike in Florida. If that's your reaction, then I think I've probably failed in conveying the totality of things. There is a tendency that any traveler has to try to dramatize, to show the most extreme situations, and perhaps to make themselves seem cooler than they are. :-) Nothing I've put in my trail journal isn't true (to my knowledge anyway), but most of the time it's "just walking". Florida offers such a very different climate, such very different flora and fauna, and the opportunity to hike in shirtsleeves in January is pretty wonderful in my opinion, especially in my own country. Even if hiking in swamp doesn't appeal to you (!), January is normally the "dry season", and there are a lot of neat stretches of trail where one can walk without much concern about getting their feet wet. So don't write Florida off if winter backpacking appeals to you!

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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:


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