Date: 26 Feb 2018 09:58PM CST
Location: Airbnb in Pensacola, FL
Today's Miles: 15.7
Total Miles: 1103.7
Last day on trail.
Woke up pretty early, well before sunrise. Either nerves, or the lazy day yesterday, my body and mind were ready to go.
Packed up quickly due to all the damn biting insects, said good morning to the other hiker, and took off down the dunes.
Excited to see the sunrise, I was fooled by some devastating looking storm clouds on the horizon. Luckily enough there was a portable toilet just off trail on the road (a handicapped one at that, so much space!), so I hopped in and did my thing while the storm rolled through.
As the rain came began to stop, someone beat on the door of the unit I was in. Turned out the other hiker wasn't as lucky and got caught in the rain, and wanted to use it as well. We exchanged places, and soon thereafter hiked off towards the end together.
A few hours later we were in Pensacola Beach and decided to stop for breakfast at a cool little cafe. We felt a little bad because we were both soaking wet from the rainstorm that hit us on and off throughout the morning, but the waitress assured us that most kids are way worse than a few wet hikers.
Drank some coffee, ate our delicious breakfasts, and lightly resupplied for the day, continued on our way.
Sky broke and remained sunny for the rest of the afternoon. Finished up the last couple of miles floating on a cloud, the way one does at the end of a long journey. More beach walking, and pristinely groomed trails as we entered Fort Pickens, paid our entry fee, and finished strong.
As we arrived at the monument the other hooped and hollered, scaring the hell out of an older woman who was watching a turtle off a small bridge. She was immediately excited for us and everyone began asking their twenty questions all at once.
We chatted for a few minutes with them, took our "summit photos" and walked the last few steps to the parking lot.
Ended up getting a hitch out of the park pretty quick, a nice couple from Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter I was digging through a garbage can looking for some cardboard, using the sharpie that I carried all trail (and never used!) to make a sign to try and flag down another hitch.
Managed to get a hitch super quick into Pensacola, a huge surprise since hitching has been notoriously difficult the entire trail. Lucky for us, the driver was heading within a mile of our Airbnb rental, which worked out perfectly.
A little early for our scheduled check in time, we grabbed some food, enjoyed our last indulgent trail meal of entirely too much Taco Bell, and slowly walked the mile to our rental.
With no laundry onsite and the both of us hack auite a bit of time on public transportation conveyances very soon, we walked across the street to a thrift store and purchased ourselves some new digs.
Heaven help the TSA agents that randomly search our bags when they encounter our unwashed trail clothes!
In time I'll post a summary of the trail, my thoughts, feelings, statistics for future hikers, and overall experience of hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail - but for now, rest, travel home, and contemplation are in order.