Greetings!! I’m back from camping and hiking in Florida! Bliss! It was just what this weary soul needed. Most of my time was spent exploring Florida’s National Parks: Everglades, Biscayne, and Dry Tortugas. (Total gator count? ~40)
At the end of my vacation, I had an unexpected bonus day and decided to day-hike a section of the Florida Trail. So… the Florida Trail is a huge jerk and here’s why:
I’m on mile 10 and have just unlocked hiker mode: the miles are coming, my mind is in lala land, and my eyes are glued to the trail.
I don’t see the alligator until it’s too late and his teeth are mere inches from my leg. I close my eyes and wait for the pain of his razor sharp teeth ripping into my soft flesh. Shoot, I really liked that leg.
Heart pounding, I sneak a peak at the alligator. He doesn’t move. His jaw is locked open and he looks at me with plastic eyes… WAIT!! PLASTIC??!! I wait several more seconds to make sure. Then I kick him in the face and finish my last 4 miles with poopy pants.
Very funny, Florida Trail…. grrrrr!!!!
As a child, I would frequently flip to the last 3 pages of a book to catch a preview of the ending. I have always been impatient.
Nothing has changed.
On Saturday, I woke up on a train destined for an 8 hour Washington DC layover en route to sunny Florida. I called my brother, who lives near DC, with my impulsive plan:
“Hey.. I want to visit the AT today. It crosses Harper’s Ferry… Pick me up there and drive me to DC tonight, so I can catch my next train to Florida? Pleeease?”
He agrees, and I have the urge to do cartwheels down the train aisle. I will be on the Appalachian Trail in a few hours!!! I can’t believe it!
I rush off the train at Harper’s Ferry, mere seconds from missing my stop (typical Acorn). From here, it is only several blocks to reach the Appalachian Trail. I easily find my way to the white-blazed path which haunts my dreams. It’s a chilly, emotional moment as I spot my first white blaze— a lamp-post near the fork of the Potomac and Shenandoah River. My body is shaking, and I’m not sure if it’s caused by the excitement or the bitter cold.
It’s absolutely beautiful. How funny…. Never thought a white rectangle on a post would mean the world to me.
I’ll cry the next time that I’m here. Just hoping that in June, my tears won’t freeze.
ATC Staff: Thank You for being so sweet and happy to see me! Can’t wait to be back here in June!!