browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Florida Trail (Extended): Days 15-20

It’s been almost a full month since I started hiking northbound from Key West, and I have started to become desensitized by the climate and terrain of Southern Florida in the dry season. Walking with wet feet, being chewed up by mosquitoes, having sunburn on sunburn, rationing my food for long stretches of strenuous and hard to navigate swamp walking, and staying vigilantly aware of my surroundings for the presence of alligators, snakes, wild hogs, and rapidly changing weather; all part of the day to day life of a Florida thru-hiker. Even though I have come to tolerate and even welcome these everyday challenges, I find that the difficulties of inconsistent and variable hiking conditions lead to some of the greatest problems on the Florida Trail.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Days 15-20”

Categories: Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Trail (Extended): Days 10-14

The most physically exhausting experience I’ve ever had in my life was undoubtedly reaching the summit of Mount Whitney last summer. It was the middle of the night, I had been breaking trail through fresh snow for miles at high altitude, and I probably should have had more to eat and drink beforehand. Though in many ways the mental challenge of consciously willing my shivering and energy-depleted muscles to continue to push on, was even harder. I could have turned back or set up camp below the summit at any time, but I fought to achieve my goal and refused to let my body quit on me.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Days 10-14”

Categories: Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Trail (Extended): Day 9

The Miccosukee tribe, once part of the Seminole nation, now have a reservation in southern Florida that is encompassed by Everglades National Park. Their roots can be traced back to a tribe in what is now Georgia, but their history, as with the history of nearly every Native American tribe, is one that is complicated and wrought with great struggle and tragedy. Having been displaced from their native and adopted lands time after time between the 18th and 20th centuries, they were greatly dispersed for generations, and only through becoming federally recognized in the 1960’s, did they begin to reform in Florida.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Day 9”

Categories: Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Trail (Extended): Days 6-8

Never get between a hungry hiker and their food, especially after a long day on tough trail and a massive calorie deficiency. Give a hungry hiker some food in the same conditions, and like a naturally obedient dog, they will be your best friend and go through hell or high water for you.

Until we met at the Shell gas station on the far Northern end of Key Largo, Ryan and I were total strangers. We were thousands of miles away from each other and lived entirely separate lives. The odds of our crossing paths were practically non-existent. But through the thoughtfulness of a friend named Jake whom I sat next to in one of my classes in high school, we were able to exchange phone numbers and discuss how, with my hiking pace and his work schedule, we could arrange a time to grab a bite to eat.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Days 6-8”

Categories: Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Florida Trail (Extended): Day 5

This morning I woke up in the woods, greeted by the first few orange and pink rays of sunlight that had broken through the trees. With a groan, I sat up and slowly reached my arms above my head, then leaned slightly from one side to the other, simultaneously stretching my back, obliques, and triceps. I noticed that my feet were dirty with toe jam and sand, so I stuck them straight out and reeeeaaached to pick and brush all the gunk away while giving my hamstrings a good stretch. It took a few tries to loosen them enough that I could reach my toes, but damn did it feel nice once I could.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Day 5”

Categories: Florida Overseas Heritage Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Florida Trail (Extended): Days 2-4

THE WALL. Ask any endurance athlete about it, and they will likely say the same things. The wall is not a physical brick and mortar barrier, but refers to the point at which, after an extended period of grueling exertion, your body just starts to give up, as if trying to say “I’ve got nothing left to give dude, so can we please just stop!?” You might lose your form, feel exhausted, experience pains all over, become nauseous… Everyone’s responses are different, and while most practical remedies for symptoms of hitting the wall are preventative rather than palliative, when you do inevitably reach that breaking point, there is one crucial trait you must have if you want to make it through the discomfort: mental toughness.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Days 2-4”

Categories: Florida Overseas Heritage Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Trail (Extended): Day 1

On an old closed road, thin but dense borders of twisted and tangled Mangrove roots keep the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico from splashing over onto the road’s surface. As I lie there on top of my sleeping bag, sweating from the heat and humidity, I let out an exalted sigh. Only 2 days ago, I stood for 4 hours in 30 degree sleety weather trying (and failing) to hitchhike from Maryland to Key West- but now that I am here, only a stone’s throw from the beach, I feel extremely relieved and content. Just as I drift off, I feel the first light drops of rain hit my bare face.… Read more “Florida Trail (Extended): Day 1”

Categories: Florida Overseas Heritage Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments