This was an interesting day on the trail. I started in where the trail leaves SR 100 about 5-6 miles west of Lake Butler. The trail was a bit scruffy to start, but not too bad. At some point, though, the trail got strange. It was paralleling a soft, dirt road through the woods, but the trail itself was terrible.
The terrain was very lumpy and bumpy and difficult to walk on. In addition there were plants — little bushes, really — about knee-high choking the path that you had to bushwhack through. Normally, I’m a trail purist. I try to walk the trail as-is, no cheating. But after plodding through about a quarter-mile of this, the whole time seeing the nice, flat, dirt road a few paces to my left, I realized it was ridiculous to walk on this “trail.” So I switched to the path and never regretted it. If I had stayed on the marked path, not only would I have sliced my legs to pieces, but I probably would have averaged the swamp’s mile-per-hour pace.
After maybe 16 miles I crossed SR 90 and entered the Osceola State Forest. Ahhh! The trails were glorious here, and the scenery superb. I walked another 10-ish miles, enjoying every step, save for those spider web things that kept wrapping themselves around my face and arms.
Oh, I did start noticing a few mosquitoes — the first real bugs since I started this trail in January. But it was just one here, one there, so I didn’t even put on bug spray.
Trail Angel Janie Hamilton picked me up at the Turkey Run Trailhead. She was so sweet! She had some flavored water and regular water for me, plus didn’t mind that I was a sweaty, smelly mess. She gave me a little tour of some parts of this area and is trying to help me arrange future shuttles a few days hence, when I have nothing lined up. This is the best of humanity at work!