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Grab Your Knapsack - Time to Hit Hog Island

From: gordyhawkins
Sent on: Sunday, May 6, 2012 10:57 AM
Grab Your Knapsack - Time to Hit Hog Island - 8.8 mile - May 5, 2012
Hike report from my perspective
What started out with an unpleasant need to rush and test the speed limits to get to Hog Island in time turned out to be one easy-goin' Saturday morning hike. A really good group of folks who were there because they like hiking.  The good atmosphere and attitudes continued throughout the four hour hike.

The hike started with me forgetting where the hike started, i.e., where's the blaze? But once on track the day proceeded with conversation and observation.  The trail is quite thick with vegetation compared to the Croom and Citrus trails. There were magnolias, long leaf pine, loblolly, slash pine and sweet gum (thanks to Dean for the information he shared).  Palmetto thickets crowded together between the trees. Cypress trees and cypress knees galore were in the lower grounds.

The turn-around point was at the Iron Bridge Rest Area on the eastern bank of the Withlacoochee River. It was a relaxing shaded area with a grassy slope that met the river at a narrow strip of sand; we enjoyed lunch there (at least I enjoyed mine).  In the river to our left were several ibises (those white birds with long legs and down-curved bills that are dark pink).  After some time, something must have disturbed them as they took flight, their black tipped wings flapping with elegance.  After 20 minutes or so it was time to head back to the trail.

Someone commented on the return trip about the significant difference in temperature between the hotter open areas compared to the canopied forest.  But the reward of being in the hotter open areas was worth it - the yellow flowers of the prickly pear cacti, now opened in the late morning sunlight, were magnificent.

After the hike, we celebrated with sweet watermelon (thanks to Linda Dawson for the idea). It was a good time to gather and relax after the hike.  As I said, it was one easy-goin' Saturday morning hike. Note: There were more ticks at the Hog Island trail than lightning bugs at Citrus Forest - just kidding.

And we are: Patty, Thom, Mike, Charles, Fran, Dean, Quinn, Tracy, Jonathan, Patrick and Gordy


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