March 21, 2017
What a lovely day. The temperatures started off in the mid-40s, and I had gloves on and wished I had a headband. My toes were frozen. But that only lasted an hour, max. Soon the temps climbed up into the 80s. But the humidity was low, there was a nice breeze and it was sunny.
Today was enjoyable on so many levels. I was in a beautiful forested area for much of the day. I'm sorry I'm not that into plants, so all I can tell you is there were lots of pine trees, palmettos and a prairie.
I passed about five groups of people out hiking; the Ocala National Forest is a popular spot, and the place where the Florida Trail was birthed.
Some of the highlights came when I was jogging a stretch and startled an enormous turkey in the brush right next to me; it flew up in a great fluttering of wings and scared the heck out of me. I also saw an eagle on the drive in, and several lizards.
I kept imagining I heard a wild boar rustling in the vegetation; Florida and Texas have big issues with wild boars. But nothing was there. I don't believe there are alligators here, but there are black bears. I got a tad nervous when I realized it's spring -- what if I somehow got in between a mama and her cub? But I saw no bear skat, no bear prints, nothing.
There's a lovely scent in the woods here. I can't quite pinpoint it, but it's sort of like cedar. Yet not quite. Anyway, it's lovely.
The only negative, if you can call it that, is that the entire path is sand. Much of the way it's easy walking, but there were some spots where the sand was deep and it was a bit difficult. Oh, and this area has some hills. Nothing much to most people, but for Florida (which is a very flat state) they were definitely hills.
Had one huge blister today by the only toenail I lost during January's hike. It had just grown back in, and obviously wasn't tough enough yet for a hike. The toenail itself is fine -- just got a blister on the toe.