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[ft-l] Trip Report - Day 3,4,5? - FT - Lake Butler to White Springs

Well, I wish I could make the rest of the trip report as exciting as the first day in that police car, but I can't so I'll briefly describe some of the highlights.
Day 3, 4, 5
The trail thru Osceola was wet, wet and wet.  Some areas seemed burned quite badly while others were saved.  The NEW FOOT BRIDGES were GREAT!!! Thanks to everyone involved in making all the new foot bridges!  There must have been at least a dozen.  We still ended up walking in sandals at times.  In "Candy Swamp" (I believe that's what it was called) we had to do some deep wading - up to our waists in water.  It was so cold and we loved it.  Once we got out, we both admitted that we were disappointed that it was so short of a wade! :(
Ocean Pond camp ground was great.  We took a long lunch to let everything dry out.  We spread out tents and bags and all to dry.  There was a HOT WATER SHOWER there!  Nothing is better on the trail.
We finally made it to "The Shelter", one of the best FT shelters I have ever seen!  It's basically a large wooden platform with an aluminum roof.  Complete with a small library of books for reading, it was great - fire ring w/ grill, latrine, steam next to it for water.
Special thanks to BSA Troop 157 - M. Duren Eagle Project 1-99 for the great foot bridge in the Northern Osceola section.  Well done guys.
Finally made it to the Suwanne River on the 5th day.  The trail near the river was very scenic.  The limestone was showing, little rapids forming.  At times the trail reminded me of the AT with the climbing and streams.  Some great camping spots.  The only problem with the area is we kept on loosing the trail; maintenance was needed.
Once into White Springs we happen to be walking by Stephen L. Williams' House (President of The Florida Panther Society Inc.) when he said "Do your parents know where you are?".  That was all it took for a conversation starter, we ended up meeting for dinner at the 3 B's restaurant.  Rick and Steve could have talked all night long, but we had to get some cars shuttled.  For more info, drop in at The Florida Panther Society Web site at www.atlantic.net/~oldfla/panther/panther.html
Well, that's all the highlights that I can remember...  I'm looking forward to Ken Smith's AT 98 Reunion Hike in March.  Who's attending this year?
Happy Hiking,
Jeff Walters
Anywhere is walking distance, if you've got the time.
(Steven Wright)
Florida Backpacker's Trailplace