Date: 03 Jan 2018 0601PM EST
Location: Camping at Nobles Campsite
Today's Miles: 13.0
Total Miles: 35.7
Woke up to the patter of rain, seemed to have rained on and off all night. Packed up my kit in the rain, put on my gritty, mud soaked socks, stuck my feet into wet boots, and off I went for the third day of wet foot hiking in a row.
My personal secret to preventing blisters and raw feet when your feet are soaked: petroleum jelly (Vaseline). My short theory on this is that since blisters are caused by excess friction (either from ill-fitting shoes, dirt and sand, water/sweat, or all the above), by adding a lubricant with staying power like petroleum jelly, it reduces friction-related ailments, like blisters, sores, hot spots, etc.
Whatever the reason, it worked when I hiked for twenty days of wet feet on the Long Trail in Vermont, and it worked for the past three days of swampy swamp in Big Cypress: not a single foot issue.
Spent most of the day tromping some more through the swamp, with the primary difference being that today's section was the deepest most siltiest mud yet. The first five hours of today were spent shin to thigh deep in a muddy concoction that felt like I was on a stairclimber, though very little actual elevation was gained or lost. Pace was pretty on par with what others reported, between 1-1.5 mph.
On the bright side, I didn't have to travel far at all for a water source to drink from.
Around 1230 I arrived at the rest stop of the highway that the trail passes under. Spent a solid two hours drying my gear, using the facilities, charging electronics, and gorging myself on vending machine snacks. Guess all that stomping around in knee deep muddy water worked up quite an appetite, and with contactless payment being accepted on the vending machines, it made for an effortless and continuous feast.
Last couple of miles today were pleasant enough in comparison. After passing under the highway the trail led down a dirt road alongside a small canal that reminded me very much of the Jungle Cruise at Disney Land. I didn't see any gators or snakes, but I'm very aware of their possible presence and am constantly scanning the ground and tall grass aside the trail for them.
Camping for the evening at an established campsite alongside the canal. Very quiet except for the crickets and frogs that are making themselves known.