Another late start today: 9:30 a.m. But while it was still hot out, I was again blessed with wind and low humidity.

I was worried about ticks and chiggers in the Tosohatchee State Preserve, but due to this year’s dry “rainy season” there were no bugs.

The first part was on sandy footing, so that was hard. But then the trail went into the woods and was delightful. For a while, anyway. Then I started walking into spider webs. Those are pretty common on any hikes, but these were made of some super-sticky webbing that was pretty gross. Even worse, a lot of the webs had spiders in them. The spiders were yellow and black and maybe red, and vertical. That is, they weren’t fat, but tall and lean.

I began swinging my sticks in between any trees that were close together on either side of the path, as those were the areas most likely to have webs. It was mentally taxing, as you had to keep your eyes peeled every second.

Then suddenly the webs were gone and the trail was beautiful again. Until they resumed! This time there were more webs, and I saw one spider that was probably five inches long. ICK!

But again, they disappeared when the trail opened up. The last 6 or so miles were very enjoyable. The terrain was prairie-like, then through a proscribed-burn area where the palmettos were regenerating, then through a very serpentine path, and so on. The terrain kept changing and everything was gorgeous. It also helped when the sun and heat went down.

It was a long day, due to the late start; I didn’t finish until 7:30 p.m. But I’m so thankful to be able to explore such a beautiful part of our nation.


©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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