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[ft-l] Joan "Igloo" Hobson - Section 15 - 2/23 to 2/26



Beginning: Holloway Road

End: SR 100

Total Mileage: 24.3 Miles
Road Walk Connecting Sections 15 and 16: Approx. 22 Miles.

Conditions: Consists of planted pines, turkey oak and bottomland hardwood.
Deer and turkey populations. Woods and open fields. Traverses historic and
scenic Gold Head Branch State Park, an Army Reserve Camp, and some rural
road walk.



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Wednesday February 23, 2000

Had to get up @ 5:15 and do exercises for my back. First time it's given me
trouble. I'll take Vitamin "I" (Ibuprofen) today. Small fire this AM and
Coffee. People are getting up near 7PM. They are all fast, so we're off at
around 8AM. We have to get water soon, everyone is low. Trail guide mentions
a "pond with wildlife viewing", so we're off. Found no pond, only a muddy
area at the center of a depression. On to get water at a house on Coral
Farms Rd. Road walk slowly on the way to Gold Head. Only company makes this
day tolerable. Into the Park around 2:30, cold drinks and on to find a
campsite. I'm waiting for Bruce and Molley. Finally found Bruce and Molley
in another part of the Campground. We'll spend the night away from the
others.

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



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Thursday February 24, 2000

It's 7:15 PM and every one is in bed. I'm by the fire. Body good by this AM
to my beloved Bruce and Molley. We had scrambled eggs, toast, coffee and
sausage for Breakfast. I joined my partners for another day of hiking. We
left about 8:30AM. Nice large campsite, wonderful hot showers and fresh
drinking water. We "toddled" on up the trail to the gate. We paid for the
second site, got ice water to drink and used the facilities before heading
down RT21 to camp Blanding. Had to hop a gate to get in. First mile is on a
sand road and the walking is warm. We finally entered the woods and had a
very pleasant walk on a well blazed trail until we came to Alligator Creek
where we stopped for our longest break (about 1'15"). The guide is backwards
here and we thought we had passed the lake. Shortly we came on the lake, so
clear and clean. The blazing was a little confusing at Treat Road because of
some old blazes still on posts, but we figured out the route quickly and
headed into the Airport. The sand road is long but shaded this time of day.
Next we traveled woods roads to Crystal Lake where we took advantage of a
sheltered picnic table to rest. The little stream we crossed was flowing
fast with pure clear water and a sand bottom. We came to a new fence which
confused us for a time but we made our way on a re-route. As we crossed a
paved road, two more hikers joined us. They've hiking with me previously. On
to the campground for the night. There's a nice little clear flowing brook
near here as well. Good water. We all visited, ate supper and they were all
off to bed.

Posted by Jeff Walters on Wednesday, March 22, 2000.



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Friday February 25, 2000

(Road Connections) Up usual 5:30AM start, fire, pack up some things and have
coffee. Dawn breaking about 6:30. Awaken the others. We're off to the
R.R.Bed by 7:30. It's about a mile out to RT100 then North to SN81 West to
11-th and on to wide R.R. Bed covered with stones. Reasonably easy walking
the 4 miles to Hampton. We got off at the first paved road east of town and
walked to a convenience store. We're walking separately and the faster ones
got in about an hour ahead of us. Next we walked 18 out of Hampton to 301
North to the next piece of the R.R. Bed. Most was acceptable walking except
for a large blow down and a pile of cement blocks. As we approached Sampson
City the R.R. bed became impossible and we opted to walk up 225 to an
easterly road to a boat ramp. The time was estimated at 1.5 hours. By 5PM we
weren't there so we hitched a ride in a pickup and it was least another 2.5
miles. 2 of our partners had taken a ride at 3PM and were wondering where we
were. There was evidence of possible parties in the area so we moved back
off the road into the woods to camp. No fire here so I'm in my tent by 7PM.
All others settled as well! I'm writing and reading.

Posted by Jeff Walters on Wednesday, March 22, 2000.



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Saturday February 26, 2000

We have to get to Route 100 and walk to Lake Butler. We've been told that if
we walk east the road will turn North to Route 100 - about 3 miles. We're
off by 8AM after getting water. My partners tell me that at least two slept
little last night as there was a large fire and a party going on into the
night. The police also visited. We got to RT100 and walked about another 2.5
miles to the new River Ranger Station. There was a new building with toilets
and a cold water faucet. The rangers gave us ice water to drink and told us
they are open 7 days a week and will allow camping. After a nice rest we
walked on. By now we're walking in two groups; those who are faster and the
rest of us who are slower. It took until 3PM to reach Hardies on the
outskirts of Lake Butler. Refreshed two folks head for home and we head to
the jail to find a place to camp. We're given permission to pitch tents in
the County Park and they leave a bathroom open. The only uncomfortable thing
is the overhead lights were left on. We had dinner in a nearby restaurant
and cleaned and dried our cloths. A discussion insued about tomorrow. The
consensus was we would rise early and try to walk all the way to Olustee.
It's about 21 miles. We got to bed, but it seemed like dawn all night.

Posted by Jeff Walters on Wednesday, March 22, 2000.



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