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[ft-l] F-HATT Trip Report


OBJECTIVE Report:  Hike #39, Maps 9 and 10, 16.2 miles, in the Apalachi-
cola National Forest (West side), from FR 314 on the west side of Bradwell
Bay, west to FR 175 (this is west of Tallahassee about 25-30 miles and 
then south about 15-20 miles), hi temp. 77 degrees, lo temp. 40 degrees.

Good--I found out that I could still backpack, after not backpacking for 
over a year due to foot pain from plantar fasciitis.  In my supportive 
and well-padded hiking boots, and with dirt or duff underfoot, the minimal 
pain disappeared completely after the first half-hour of hiking each day 
and my feet were none the worse for wear at the end of each day and at the 
end of the trip.  It appears that hard surfaces and everyday lace-up shoes 
are still a problem.

Bad--Out of the 16-plus miles, only four miles or less are actually "trail"
--the rest are forest roads (some old and growing in, some heavily used) 
and paved highways (1.4 miles).

Good-- the last 0.9 mile was in "real" (i.e. not logged and replanted) 
woods, and it was utterly wonderful.

Bad--just before that was a 2.2-mile forest highway roadwalk and just 
before that was a 1-mile chewed-up forest road with old logging on either 
side and  a huge active clear cut at the end, with loaded log trucks 
alongside the road, and huge machinery in the cut, just waiting for Monday 
morning to continue the destruction--and NOISE!!  Unfortunately, I had to 
camp near that, so I sure wasn't able to sleep in on my birthday.    :-P

Good--oodles and kaboodles of new violets, complete solitude on the trail
--not another soul in three days, screech owls trilling in the night, three 
nights so far from any lights that you could see that the sky is actually 
solid horizon-to-horizon stars.  Not just sprinkled here and there, but 
*solid* by golly!  Also *most excellently* good--Ranger Ronny Traylor had 
spent a lot of personal time recently, mowing and blazing the trail west 
of Porter Lake.  It made an enormous difference!

Interesting--the experience of drinking swamp water for the first time.  
Filtered of course, but weak-tea-colored nonetheless.

Other--This was the inaugural trip for my new Bug Hut and Silnylon tarp.
Since it was due to be cold at night I didn't use the new nylon-backed 
fleece bag, and was glad I had taken my warmer regular sleeping bag since
it really turned out to be quite cold.  The net tent sure did nothing to 
keep out the cold, and the tarp couldn't be configured around it to do 
too much good, either.  But it should be a really good hot weather 

Highlight--Reaching the end of the hike and finding yellow ribbons tied
everywhere (my car and a trail sign and a campsite sign) by Ronny Traylor
and Terry Tenold who had reached there from the opposite direction the
day before and left them in lieu of a handshake.   :-))

Respectfully submitted, 

Linda L. Patton, Reference Librarian, Strozier Library, Florida State Univ.
      Tallahassee, FL 32306-2047 (850)644-5019 lpatton@mailer.fsu.edu
          "A world without wilderness is a cage." -- David Brower