Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day 18/6: Gold Head Branch State Park to West of Hampton

March 25, 2017

Yay! Another partly cloudy, not-too-hot day. Ten-Miler and I started off hiking together through Gold Head Branch State Park. She turned back about halfway to move her truck to the main entrance. I passed through before she got there, though, and entered Camp Blanding while she was back at Gold Head Branch. No worries; she simply moved the truck to the opposite end of Camp Blanding and began walking in toward me.

I wasn't sure what to expect at Camp Blanding, which is used by the National Guard as a training center. Luckily no military exercises were going on (if there were, we would have had to take a detour). The Camp was gorgeous, with lots of tiny trails and others that were spacious and wound past some pretty lakes. G.I. Jane was filmed here, and it is the site of state park beaches that were once segregated. 

Once through here Judy drove on up ahead to a gas station/mini mart while I hiked through some neighborhoods. Right before I reached Judy, a nice man in his yard offered me any cold drink I wanted. I asked for ice for my water, which he gave to me. He said he was a transplant from Pennsylvania, then told me to watch out for drunks on the road tonight, since it's Saturday.

After meeting Judy at the gas station, she decided to go up to Hampton, park the truck and walk back in towards me. Immediately after leaving her the trail went through this awesome little area of thick vegetation; the trail was the only break in it. Unfortunately it eventually led to many miles of walking along a rail-trail that would have been lovely except for one thing: the base was made up of rocks. It was uncomfortable from the start, and after something like 10 miles of it, the bottoms of my feet were KILLING me.

Tonight we're staying at a new and very nice Best Western in Waldo. (And yes, we've been making "Where's Waldo?" jokes all night.) We had a fantastic dinner at this little Mexican place down the road. I had the best quesadillas I've ever had.


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