Date: 29 Jan 2018 06:43PM EST
Location: Camping at Oak Hammock Shelter
Today's Miles: 16.0
Total Miles: 494.2
What a night. Torrential downpours for the first few hours, with scattered showers throughout the early morning. Tent held up pretty well, but wasn't the best conditions to sleep out in.
Even so, managed to pack up relatively quickly. Put on my wet clothes, wet socks, and wet boots, packed up my wet tent and damp sleeping bag, and off I went.
First few miles were along a large canal up on an embankment. Pretty misty and grey out, plodded down the trail in a dreary jungle-esque setting.
Crossed a lock pretty early in the day, ended up chatting with the lock tender for about twenty minutes. Says his favorite part about his job is the solitude, and the manatees that swim around the lock. Told me he's responsible for counting them when he sees them, and even opening the lock to allow them to travel up and down the canal.
Stopped for a couple of minutes at a small park on the other side of the lock to refill my water and eat an early lunch. Gobbled down some extra thick bologna slices and a whole box of Little Debbie cakes.
Shortly thereafter the trail became submerged in water for long stretches of a time, and remained so until the end of the day. So much water flowing all over the place from last night's storm. Couple of miles on a deeply rutted and flooded logging road led to being knee to thigh deep in water for most of the afternoon.
Arrived at one of the handful of shelters on this trail around 1700 and called it a day. It's one of those shelters with a picnic setup below, and a loft above, so I strung my bear line around the downstairs and had a yard sale style pack explosion, hanging everything up that was wet.
Since I arrived with a bit of light left and the fire pit had a grate on top, and there was a sturdy pan left in the shelter, I decided to have a fire and make some tuna melts out of the tortillas, cheese, and tuna I'm carrying. With everything being so wet out it put my fire starting skills to the test, but after some time I managed to have a fire going.
Expect to have the whole place to myself tonight. On top of the fact that it's a weekday, there's so few hikers out here I'd be genuinely surprised if someone showed.