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[ft-l] Joan "Igloo" Hobson - Section 13 - 2/17 to 2/19



Florida Trail Journal - Section 13
Ocala National Forest - North

Beginning: Juniper Springs Recreation Area, Ocala N.F.

End: Rodman Dam, Ocklawaha River

Total Mileage: 39.5 Miles

Conditions: 8.2 miles of this section is a protected Wilderness Area of the
Ocala National Forest. No hunting, removal of vegitation, even blowdown, is
highly regulated by Forest Service. Much wildlife activity. This area is
well blazed, orange. Trail continues beyond Wilderness Area through old
prairie, around lakes, some dense sand. Some swampy areas. Some high pine
forest, old sinkholes. Popular hunting areas: Be Aware of Hunting Season!
Deer, hog and turkey abound. Also raccoon and smaller animals. Snakes and
'gators too.



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Thursday February 17, 2000

Tent not wet and tarp only slightly. That's a relief. Had my wild rice,
cranberries and yogurt for breakfast from the TRAIL gourmet this AM. Very
nice day, but promises to get warm. We stopped at Juniper for food and
drink. On to Hidden Pond for drying gear, another swim (not me, my
partners), soaked my feet. We've not seen very much wildlife. Couple deer,
some hawks and sand hills. Pondered over tracks: bear or large dog? Hot and
tiring day. Into Hopkins Prairie around 5PM and rendezvous with my beloved
Bruce - Molley too, of course. Bruce had spaghetti for me. Slept comfortable
in the van.

Posted by Jeff Walters on Monday, February 28, 2000.



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Friday February 18, 2000

Up to haze and scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. Got going in a cool AM up
the Prairie. Slow poke this AM. I feel like it's 3PM not 10AM. Keep on
moving and enjoy the rest stops today. Much more open areas (clear cut).
Some pretty area with pine trees and just grasses. Got to Blue Blazed trail
to Store 88 about 3PM. Drank two iced teas immediately. Set up camp, took a
shower and washed cloths. Barbecued Dinner arrived with my next hiking
partner. Have to get my list of re-supply. Store 88 is a wonderful respite.
They now have a hiker register, ATM and E-mail access. Jumping tonight. Don'
t close until 2AM. Sat up until 9:30 to bed on the regular Therma-Rest pad.
Have been carrying the leaky lightweight pad so far this trip.

Posted by Jeff Walters on Monday, February 28, 2000.



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Saturday February 19, 2000

My Son's Birthday. 2 people will be finishing today at Rodman Dam. Been
wonderful partners for the last 100 miles. Lots of fires to cook and keep me
warm. Pleasant conversation. I'll miss them. Off at 8:15 with new hiker.
We're on our way to Rodman. Very hot day. Rested often as partner need to
get her "sea legs". I'm feeling pretty good today, but glad for the frequent
stops. We're both surprised by the lack of wildlife. Met hikers today going
south. 2 sets of boy scouts. Lots of ATV's started to see damage to the path
at Grassy Pond. Sandy uneven path and loss of the natural forest floor.
Tough walking. The machines seem to be everywhere in spite of signs which
clearly prohibit motorized vehicles. No water except at Campgrounds. We're
glad to arrive at 5:15PM, setup tents and cook dinner. I'm in my tent with a
candle lantern finishing up chores and this journal. Second time I've
miscalculated my food supply. Have to be more careful. Bed at 9:30PM.

Posted by Jeff Walters on Monday, February 28, 2000.



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