What a (mostly) great day! Judy slept in and I drove myself to Scott Road, where I left off yesterday. It was a nice, cool morning (mid-50s). I had about 18 miles of hiking through the beautiful Econfina Creek Water Management Area ahead of me.
The trail was hilly here, winding up and down while following the creek. There were lots of boardwalks and even several swinging bridges. One was called Apple Bridge, and had a carved apple on it, although I don’t know why. Another was called Fender Bridge because an old, abandoned fender was nearby.
I ran into a trail crew early on; this weekend they were working on this section of the trail. We exchanged pleasantries and they took my photo; workers always take photos when they run into hikers. I didn’t see Eric Lewis, the man I met the other day, but the workers said he was in the area.
At one point I passed what is called Devil’s Hole on the map. It appears to be a large sandy area that eroded away into sort of a funnel shape.
A snafu occurred mid-afternoon. Judy was hiking toward me and said she saw signs saying the trail was closed due to logging. I said it was not; I’d just hiked about 14 of the 18 miles just fine, plus the trail crew didn’t say anything about closures. So she kept hiking eastward toward me.
Well, I suddenly crossed a road and saw a sign that said the next mile of the trail was closed for logging in 2017 and 2018. A re-route was in place. What to do? Judy was hiking toward me, and if I took the detour we’d pass each other. My Guthooks app did not show the detour, which it normally does. The signage looked brand new. The trail crew did not mention any detour.
I decided the trail crew must have just created the detour this weekend, and no logging had started yet, so it was best to forge ahead and find Judy rather than get separated.
Judy had turned around by this point, unbeknownst to me because our cell phones weren’t talking to each other in real time. After one-third of a mile, I emerged into a clear-cut area. It took me about 20-30 minutes of thrashing around in the ruins, and then the scrub, before finding where the trail continued on.
When I finally met Judy at the trailhead, I still had nearly 5 miles on the road to squeeze in before dark. I just made it!