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[ft-l] The Big 360 Hike - Update

Days into hike - 32 

Latest segment hiked:

Moss Bluff to Big Scrub - 15.0 miles

Cumulative miles hiked - 332.6  

Miles to go - 22.4  

Comments:  Sunday was a beautiful day for a hike, so Sandy and I put other 
commitments aside and got a much needed dose of fresh air and sunshine as 
well as a break from the heartbreaking news from the real world.  The temps 
were 10 degrees cooler than our recent hikes and humidity felt lower too.  
Add in fresh breezes and it makes for a 15 mile day accomplished much easier 
than 10 mile days in the heat and humidity of midsummer.  Soon cooler temps 
will be a reality and all of you will be out here!

On the trip from Orlando, I saw a stately bald eagle perched atop a utility 
pole outside Eustis, perhaps a reminder that although life will be different 
from now on, that we Americans shall remain standing proud no matter what the 
blow.  May we regain the composure I saw in that eagle.  May our sight be 
keen as the eagle as we make difficult choices and look to the future.  May 
we show patience for the battle may be long.  May our leaders tap freely into 
the wellspring of wisdom.  May Americans always be free and the symbol of its 
freedom, the bald eagle, flourish.  May God bless peace loving people 
throughout the world.

Our walk on Sunday led us to Moss Bluff on a dirt road, then onto paved roads 
which led us to the entrance into Ocala National Forest.  At lunchtime, we 
decided to take another break at the Dam Diner and I'm happy to say that 
again my cheeseburger was cooked to absolute medium rare perfection.  This is 
really a neat place to eat.  As the bikers were out in full force, the place 
was packed and we had to sit at the counter and chatted with the couple next 
to us, lovebirds married for 42 years, he being a retired firefighter from 
Hialeah.  On the way out, we can report that this is the place to pick up 
your free copy of "Hound Hunter's Hotline."  :)

The Big 360 started in the Ocala National Forest, so we were very happy to 
enter the Forest again.  The dirt road taking us east toward those orange 
blazes we'll be seeing soon I've dubbed Big Scrub Road since it leads to Big 
Scrub Campground which, at this time of year appears to be one of the hot 
spots of the ATV crowd.  I'll not comment further on what we observed other 
than to say that their activities don't seem conducive to the peace and quiet 
most hikers seek.  It will be a great improvement when the western corridor 
meets the main Trail further to the north by staying on the Cross Florida 
Greenway.  We called it a day about a mile east of the camp.  

As we calculate the remaining mileage of the hike, it appears that the Big 
360 will actually total about 355 miles.  That's a pretty close 
approximation, so I'd like to suggest keeping the name Big 360.  When the 
western corridor is completed, it will be larger, but 360 has another 
meaning, as in walking the circumference of Central Florida, so no matter 
what the miles add up to, I think the name still fits.

There are two days of hiking left in our little hike through Central Florida. 
 If our plans hold up, we'll be hiking Thursday and Sunday.  If anyone would 
like to join us in celebrating the end of the hike at the Clearwater Lake 
trailhead on Sunday, let us know by email.  We'd be happy to have friends 
hike the last segment with us.

Happy trails,

Solar Bear