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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.