Today’s hike began just northwest of Lake Delancy. Luckily, the day’s forecast was for cloudy skies with a high around 70. Perfect hiking conditions!
Judy and I started out together on what was a gorgeous stretch of trail, showcasing lots of pines and palmetto. But she turned back after 30 minutes to get the car and move it up the trail. I forged on ahead.
Unfortunately, the next part of the trail had been burned; smoke was still coming out from one hole. I imagine it was some kind of prescribed burn. Actually, it was beautiful in its own way – the inky black ground around the trees, with the trail a little ribbon of light. This section ended around Rodman Reservoir, a beautiful body of water complete with osprey nests.
Putting Lake Delancy Behind Us
Judy and I hiked a little road section here near the Rodman Dam. There were all sorts of large tree trunks clustered on one end of the reservoir that reminded me of the trees/logs we saw last summer in lakes around Mount St. Helens. In those lakes, the trees in the water were from the famous volcano eruption back in the 1980s. Incredible! Well, we later learned these Rodman dam logs were from the devastation of a hurricane – Hurricane Matthew, I think it was.
After hiking around the dam, Judy drove ahead to Buckman Lock while I continued on. We had learned from Late Start’s trail journal that the locktender at Buckman Lock is a man named Arthur. We met Arthur, who told us the story behind the trees in the Rodman Reservoir. He also said there are lots of manatees that pass through the locks, so they leave them open at night so the animals don’t get stuck. Unfortunately, no manatees were around when we were there, nor any boats going through the lock.
A Really Long Boardwalk Crossing
Later, in the afternoon, I hiked through an area near Caravelle Ranch. It was very sandy, and I got a lot in my shoes. Ugh. There was also an area where people dumped trash. Sad.
After that, the trail was phenomenal, especially the area through Rice Creek Sanctuary. It was this beautiful, woodsy area filled with hardwood, but also all of these tropical plants like palmetto and palms. I also crossed lots of boardwalk, including the Hoffman Crossing, an 1,886-foot boardwalk!
Looking forward to what tomorrow brings!