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Trail Assumptions - was - [ft-l] Fwd: The latest on Dan Smith



In a message dated 12/30/1999, 9:05:12 AM, ft-l@backcountry.net writes:
<< From my conversations with hikers who have not hiked in
Florida they tend to view the FT as swamps strung together with road walks.>>

I know well this assumption. Until a year or so ago, I had barely heard of 
the FT, never mind hiked any of it. Being a New England native, I pictured 
the trail as being all alligator and snake infested swamps. While I have 
hiked barely 25 miles of the trail (in 3 different areas), I have been 
pleasantly surprised with the amazing diversity in plant life.  I think the 
observation that has made the most impact has been the open areas along the 
trail.  I had thought it would be all dark, damp, tropical foresty looking 
trails with huge snakes hanging from the trees (perhaps I have seen too many 
Tarzan movies?)  I am sure it comes as no surprise to any of you that my 
original expectations did not match the trail I hiked.

I don't think that my uneducated  assumptions were much different than many 
people who aren't directly involved with the FT - even people who live in 
Florida. I have family who lived in Florida who voiced comments such as my 
own when I said I was hiking the Florida Trail.  To spread the word, you need 
to break down the stereotypes. Pictures tell a thousand words so make a point 
of passing around those non-swampy pictures whenever hikers gather!

POG

(p.s. - I STILL haven't seen an alligator out on the trail - although I saw 
the HUGE splash of one last week - does that count?)

 

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