Hiking on a Cool Day

Monday December 10th 2018

The weather roller coaster is back at the bottom of the temperature hill. It didn’t get out of the fifties today and may get down to the high thirties tonight. Clouds kept the sun’s warmth from reaching the ground most of the day. It wasn’t until almost sunset that some blue sky was visible. Adding to the discomfort was a strong wind out of the northwest all day, but it was still a lot better than the snowy wet conditions up north.

Windblown reeds on the side of Dixie Lake.

It was a good day for a hike on some of the park trails. There are many intersecting trails in the mark with numbered trail markers at the intersections. The trail map shows 55 marked intersections and a number of spur trails leading off the main paths without numbers. I set out this afternoon without my trail map, but the huge area is pretty well bounded by lakes, park roads and the main highway. While I knew where I was relative to those boundaries, I didn’t know where any single trail came out.

I spent about two and a half hours wandering around on the trails without seeing any people or other mammals. There are supposed to be feral hogs, deer and an occasional Florida bobcat in the park. I wouldn’t mind seeing the deer from as close as they’d let me. The other two species I’d like a little distance between my observation position and the animals. All I saw today were a few birds and a turtle near the campground.

Turtle hiding from the wind in the reeds.

My wandering on the trails ended when I intersected the park road about half a mile from the campground. I arrived at the road on a part of the trail system that I didn’t know existed. The trail head was hidden behind a volley ball court and a horseshoe pit. This park is full of little surprises. I returned to my RV home along the park road.

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