Date: 11 Jan 2018 04:53PM EST
Location: Camping near mile 167.2
Today's Miles: 17.1
Total Miles: 167.2
Almost left the hotel room in the middle of the night last night, wasn't able to get any real sleep for some reason. Too many strange sounds, perhaps, just didn't feel right.
Managed to fall asleep as the sun was rising and get an hour or two of sleep. Packed up, called the wife for a few, headed out around 0900.
Road walk detour around some more construction, so I walked deeper into the city of Okeechobee. Ran into TruckerBob, a Florida Trail aficionado who happened to be in the area. We chatted for a few minutes, took a picture, and parted ways.
Stopped in quick at a UPS pack and ship store to send a few pieces of gear home. Still hesitant to send home my one larger warming layer, although it hasn't dipped below sixty degrees in a week.
Kept on walking through town, keeping an eye out for water fountains and spigots as I walked. Ten mile road walk out of town makes finding water a bit different than gathering from a pond or stream. What it does provide is an almost over abundance of bathrooms. Used the restroom at the Walgreens on my way out of town.
Got loads of sun today. Thought I was alright, but as with dehydration and hypothermia, by the time you feel it it's probably too late. Managed alright, slathered sun lotion on the tops of my arms and the backs of my legs every so often to keep the worst of it at bay. Head, neck, and face are fine, have a nice PCT hiker box find of a hat for those areas.
A bit over halfway on the road walk I was flagged down by a young man rancher as he was pulling up to one of the gates of his fields. He kindly split his lunch of a sub sandwich with me, topped off my water with ice cold bottled, and we had some good conversation for about a half an hour as we fellowshiped together. Didn't get his contact information unfortunately, but I gave him the address to this website so I hope he reaches out.
The detour road walk linked up with the actual trail, which is on a paved country road. Spent the hottest part of the day with the sun to my back, walking on hot tarmac, roasting my calves and arms. Luckily there was a slight cool breeze to help, but it was definitely hot hot hot.
An older couple pulled over and asked if I needed a ride, flabbergasted at my response that I'm walking to Pensacola. Another lady pulled over and gave me some baby wipes, a few pieces of gum, and a small ice cold bottle of water, ashamed that she didn't have more to give!
Today has truly been the best kind of trail magic day. Not the support of someone who dutifully plans out and executes a plan, which is incredibly helpful to us, but the snap judgements of kindness that people show when they perceive someone to have a need that they can fill.
Either because of last night's poor sleep, the prospect of over fifteen miles of road walking, or perhaps both, I was in a pretty sour mood today. Having people reach out to help without reason has definitely helped.
Camping tonight under some very large, and assumably very old, oak hammock trees. Their bows arch over the site and provide shade and a block for the wind.
A good place to end the day.