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[ft-l] Maintenance on Etonia



I had a delightful time this weekend on a little maintenance hike up on
Etonia Creek.  Since it's so hot I made reservations for 2 nights in the
Holiday Inn in Palatka and it was beautiful.  Our room overlooked the pool
and the St. Johns River just north of the high bridge.  The motel has a dock
at which several power and sail boats were pulled up.   Pam Glass met me
there Friday night and bought me dinner at a seafood restaurant, since it
was my birthday.  It was all-you-can-eat, so we stuffed ourselves on boiled
shrimp, fried shrimp, fried clams and boiled crab legs.

Sat. morning Roy Ensminger and Mary Lou Deeley met us at 6 am the Golden
Corral for an all-you-can-eat breakfast, then we drove out to the section I
wanted to maintain off Carraway road.  It was VERY hot and humid but we
managed to get about 3 miles of trail cleared of saw palmetto, grape vines
and briars using two weed whackers and loppers.

The only down side was driving out we passed a truck in there with a trailer
loaded with bags of corn, obviously a hunter feeding the deer during the
summer months so they frequent the area during hunting season.  This is land
owned by Georgia Pacific, and made available by contract to hunters and
members of the Florida Trail Assn.  When we got to the last locked gate the
hunter (apparently, as he was the only other person in there) had stolen our
lock and replaced it with one of his own.  We could get out, but without our
own lock on there we will not be able to get back in.  We left a polite but
strong message on the gate where he could see it.

We returned to the motel about 2 pm and had watermelon and a long dip in the
pool, before Roy and Mary Lou left.  Then Pam and I watched the World Cup
match on TV in the room.  What a cliffhanger!  It's too bad that it had to
end on PK's, but I was glued to the edge of the bed the entire time.  Even
Pam enjoyed it and she's not a sports fan.

Sunday morning we returned to "the scene of the crime" to see if the hunter
had replaced our lock, but it was not there.  Guess I'll have to buy a new
one again and hacksaw the chain again in August when I go up next.   Those
good old boys sure like their games.

Except for the lock it was a great weekend.

Deb/Cricket



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