[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ft-l] section 5 trip report...

This is the telling of a three day backpack of the Cow Shit Trail
...er... the Kissimmee River Trail...

Bright and early Saturday morning thirteen of us headed north for some
dike walking.  I didn't expect to be hiking with anyone that I knew, so
was very pleasantly surprised to see two familiar faces.  Moose and
Meghan.  I had met Moose ( Mat Pulsts ) on the Appalachian Trail ( AT )
in the Spring of 1997, and we hiked together for a day or two.  At the
time, we had a lively FT discussion that is partially the reason why I am
down here hiking now.  Moose went on to complete the entire AT that year.
 We again met at Trail Days in Damascus VA this past summer.  This is
where I met Meghan.  The three mile dike walk was pleasant indeed as we
yakked and yukked along.  After the dike walk, there is an information
board that delivers warnings about the bombing range that we are about to
enter.  These dire warning did nothing to prepare me for the wonderful
enchanted forest that awaited.  The large gnarled Oaks with outstretched
arms seemed to point the way.  These sections were carpeted with acorns
that crunched underfoot as we walked.  Other sections boasted Pine
forests carpeted of needles.  As we hiked, I talked with Doreen (
Triathalon Grandma ) and her hiking companion Joannie, both AT 2000
milers!  What a pleasant surprise to meet these two ladies.  I'm sure
that we just bored the rest of the group with our incessant AT talk.  I
was ready to stop when we arrived at Fort Kissimmee, our final
destination for Day One.  I wasted little time before hitting the sack
and sleeping many, many hours...

I was up like a slow turtle in the morning after a too cold night,
re-learning the art of walking, searching the horizon for the sun.  As it
broke forth I swung my arms wide in a loving embrace and soaked as much
of the energy in as I could.  To soon it was time to limp out for our
second wonderful day of hiking.  I don't have much memory of this day,
except to say that there was a lot of cow shit.  I do remember an
apparition of a picnic table that I sat down at and refused to go any
further until I ate my lunch.  Others relented and joined me.  We stopped
again at Kicco, and listened as Pam Hale gave a history lesson.  Pam has
a wonderful historical knowledge of this section 5, and I enjoyed
listening to it all.  I was very happy when we reached Rattlesnake
Hammock, our destination for night number 2.  After kicking aside some
cow shit, i was able to clear a place large enough to pitch my tent.  I
again wasted no time on pleasantries, and hit the sack early...

Day Three started much as Day Two had started, with physical therapy and
sun worshipping.  The hike out is a long dangerous road walk ( no cow
shit ).  The danger comes when the cows are on one side of the road, and
the bulls are on the other.  We tended to hike in one big menacing lump
as a deterrent to attack.  When we finally left the road walking, we were
smack in the middle of a cattle drive.  In fact, our presence made the
cows scatter, and the cowboys, and their dogs, were none too happy (
expect a relo off of their property soon ).  I did have the pleasure of
saying something that I never thought that I would have the opportunity
to say, "You roundin' up some strays?"  The cowboy smiled and said
nothing, but his eyes indicated that he was saying, "Freakin' greenhorn
tourist!"  The hike ended after hiking through another enchanted

Hope to do it again next year...

P.S.  Did I mention that there was a lot of cow shit?

* From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *

To:            ft-l@backcountry.net