|Sent on:||Thursday, February 14, 2013 2:20 PM|
2/13/12 Obstacles, Options, Decision, Hike
How great a feeling to not be rushing and arrive at the hike with just a comfortable 'looking-forward-to-it " attitude That lasted all of about 15 seconds.
OBSTACLES: The property is managed by SWFWMD; Florida Fish and Wildlife regulations govern hunting. Today a "Special Opportunity General Gun Season" hunt day was scheduled. We could hike the Florida National Scenic Trail but could not walk on the road to get back to the cars. Following only the trail would add close to 4 miles to the hike. And then I heard "BAM! BAM! BAM!" Okay, it is a big gun hunt. It is not recommended to hike during big/general gun season; hike at your own risk is the standard policy at those times.
OPTIONS: Skip hiking (not really a choice), do another hike in another area, or do a hybrid hike and ad lib the options as the hike continues. Choice three was taken. Mitch Almon, section leader for the Richloam Tract which borders the Green Swamp on the north, was called. He said there was no hunting there at this time, just trapping.
DECISION: start the hike at the original starting point which is in Richloam, hike the two miles to the connection with the Green Swamp Trail, all the time paying attention for gunshots off in the distance. If no gunshots were heard, we would continue for about 3 miles along the Green Swamp Trail and then return on an out and back hike for a total of approx 10.5 miles. And we lucked out, no gunshots were heard.
HIKE: Our route was a beautiful area with changing environments: swamp with cypress trees and cypress knees, giant cypress trees and giant cypress knees, prairie, scrub, pine trees, oaks, river path, fence crossing and creek crossing (twice). About that creek crossing: two options, the shorter crossing on mildly wobbly logs and rocks over shallower water, or the longer crossing over a fallen tree in deeper water using walk, crawl, or sit down and scoot. Most chose the shorter crossing.
I want to thank the group for their flexibility and good nature. Two qualities that made the hike very enjoyable.
And we are: Martin, Arlene, Carol, Donna, Diane, Josef, Mike N., Jim T., Elizabeth, Bob, Jim E., Tracy, Del, Andy, Mike M., Sue, Susan, Bud, Marilyn, Ralph, Gordy
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