A Day for Hiking

Friday February 18th 2022

The latest cold front arrived this afternoon with a bit of a fizzle. The day began sunny and ended cloudy with a spritz of rain now and then. The temperature still made it to the upper seventies and the rain never lasted more than a minute or two. It satisfies my criteria for a nice day.

Woodpecker adding a little noise to the quiet walk.

I was back on the unmarked trails behind my campsite today. The main trails seem to form a figure eight or two squarish circles stacked on top of each other. There are also several spur trails off to the west that go to the river. The spur trails are not easy to walk. The ground along those trails is torn up from the foraging of feral hogs. I’ve seen similar disturbed ground on most of my hikes in Florida State Parks. They can be a big problem. The hogs are active at night, so I shouldn’t have any undesired encounters.

Wildflower blossom of the day.

There were a few other hikers on the trails today, but the river was still the most popular form of recreation. An organized paddling excursion has been staying at the state park last night and tonight. They arrived from down river yesterday afternoon in about thirty five high end kayaks. No short sit-on-top boats for these people. Most of the kayaks are fifteen or sixteen feet long with skirtable cockpits. Some of the tents they are spending the night in are at the opposite end of the deluxe spectrum. They’ve seen better days. Today was a day of rest that most of the kayakers took as an opportunity to explore the river and the springs at the headwaters. Tomorrow morning they continue on toward the Gulf of Mexico. The excursion ends on Sunday.

A little view of the river from one of the spur trails.

It is hard to believe this is a holiday weekend. The mix of Florida license plates to other states changed a little bit today. There are more Florida tags for the weekend. Most of the weekend arrivals came with two or more kayaks on the roof of the tow vehicles. Along with the kayaks came some pretty interesting contraptions to transport the boats to the river. Today I say one made with bicycle wheels that carried two stacked kayaks. They towed the kayak trailer contraption behind a bicycle.

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