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Re: [ft-l] The Big 360: From town to town to...

Encouragement from me - keep the faith and walk the walk.

FTCracker@aol.com wrote:

> Another weekend spent tromping up the Western Corridor. Mileage?
> 20-something. Rich does the stats; I just walk. And walk. And walk. And shoot
> photos, now and again.
> It took two days this time, to get the miles in, thanks to my sore feet.
> Roadwalks and I don't get along. The balls of my feet were torn apart by the
> constant changes from asphalt to grass, back and forth, dodging the cars. Had
> to quit after 11 miles the first day. Too many blisters. Then came back for
> more the next day, in the rain.
> We started off at St. Cloud. It's kind of annoying that the most efficient
> way of roadwalking car-to-car is to drive to the far point, then the near
> point, then walk back. Seems we're always headed in the opposite direction of
> travel! But it saves gas and time. More glimpses of sandhill cranes, these
> amid the bustle of civilization. A pair strutted in a yard along Canoe Creek
> Road. Several pair joined up with a herd of cattle, nosing around in a field
> within a stone's throw of our Footprint editor's house. Three more crossed
> Neptune Road at the rail trail crosswalk, causing cars to pause!
> Ribbons of sidewalk led around St. Cloud through residental areas with
> overpriced homes framed by noisy roads, including the Turnpike. Homes cut
> deeply into prairie and cypress swamp, the precious domain of the sandhill
> crane. Eventually, the trail moves from the road onto the Osceola Rail Trail,
> a nice (although paved, and thereby footsore) meander through residental
> areas fringing Lake Toho. One problem, though: no trailheads! Perhaps they
> don't want visitors on their trail.
> Lake Toho brims with waterbirds. Dozens of cormorants drying wings on a
> rotting dock. Night heron crouched low on a bridge rail. Gangly wood storks
> watching fishermen on the pier. Ducks and coots, herons and ibis. Anhinga
> waiting to snatch fish from unwatched lines. The trail winds around the
> lake's edge for over a mile, heading into and out of Kissimmee along the rail
> line and the Old Tampa Highway, the original road between Tampa and Orlando.
> Through Intercession City...and I wonder, what did they intercede in?
> It's tough to walk when there's no shoulder and little berm-- especially when
> it starts to pour. Puddles form; cars splash. But trees stand out more
> vividly, especially maples ablaze in fall finery-- crimson, gold, orange.
> Daisy fleabane breaks up the roadside weeds with patches of purple. A bald
> eagle roosts on a utility pole, watching us pass in the pouring rain.
> Almost to Polk County! Slightly 20 more miles of roadwalk, and then the trail
> becomes a trail once more.
> Cheers, Sandy
> * From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *

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