My feet were feeling so much better after the pain I had experienced during the latter half of the trek yesterday, so I was able to enjoy a nice walk this morning after visiting the best port-a-potty on the entire length of the Florida Trail. From what "Hammer" told me, the F.T. benefits from a lot of Eagle Scout projects and Mills Creek Camp was one. New benches, picnic table, fire ring and the lovely red commode.
Anyway, my early rise was rewarded with four wild turkey and three deer sightings. I almost felt miles away from suburbia even though I'm on the very outskirts of a major U.S. city. On a footpath through scrub, palm, fern and all manner of trees, I could hear vehicle noise as the day lengthened. Then, on Flagler Trail, a lovely dirt road shaded by overarching palm fronds and branches, joggers, cyclists and walkers suddenly appeared.
The trail led to the Econ River, its water the color of black tea with bars of bleached-white sand. Some stagnant branches were like split pea soup, covered with duck weed and other water plants. Lovely views were had from the banks above. Again "deep" in the primitive woodland, there were many crossings on wooden planks and small bridges.
Near a trailhead, I dropped my pack and hid it in the brush under some palm fronds. Without my load, I continued to Lockwood Boulevard, where a half mile south all the conveniences of the modern world await. My first task was to contact my family since it has been nearly three weeks without word from me. I bought a phone card at the 7/11 on the corner and went to the pay phone. After a few rings, my nephew Caleb answered. It was nice to hear a voice from home and know that now they won't have to worry. Next, a run for the border at Taco Bell, where I sat and ate, sucking on soda until I felt my belly would pop. Then, over to the grocery store to get enough food to last me to the other side of Orlando. Finally, the return trip to retrieve my pack and set up a nice camp under the trees on a flat place near the river down from the trail.
I'm glad the weather held all day. It was sketchy at noon, but there was a sunny finish to a fairly easy day. My feet are still in recovery and the skin sloughing from my left pinky toe requires attention because it's going to be a long day tomorrow as I try to make it through Orlando.
Outskirts of Orlando
Bridge over the Econ