A monotonous day of hiking in palmetto, scrub and pine, from time to time cutting through thickets which usually meant plodding through mud or standing water. In one thicket it was impossible to stay dry, the cold water starting out ankle deep, but slowly creeping higher. As it reached its deepest part at about mid-thigh, Jon was pleading, "Not the nads! Oh please, not the nads!", which I thought was really funny.
The greatest distraction of the day were the horseflies flying around trying to land on our legs and ankles. Given a chance they will inflict a pretty painful bite. If I saw one circling, I'd stop walking and invite it to land on me. If it did, then I'd give it a good whack, stunning it so it fell to the ground, finishing it off by grinding it into the dirt with my heel. I dubbed myself the horsefly hitman having killed ten of the bothersome insects by lunchtime. While we were eating, I had to laugh as one drove Jon half crazy. It was a hilarious back and forth as he tried to swat it away.
Thunderstorms were brewing in the afternoon. There was lots of angry noise emanating from the dark gray clouds as they were churning overhead. We walked quietly down the white sandy forest path so as not to awake the storms wrath. Eventually though, the heavens opened and a steady rain began to fall. Fortunately, only a half hour later, the storm moved beyond us and the sun broke through.
We arrived at Hostage Creek minutes before five and I was happy to see a little flow, most likely due to the recent rain. This was the camp's water source. We set up camp in haste because a second line of storms was building to the north. A short time later, lightning flashed and thunder rolled as the storm passed overhead, dumping even more rain. It was more violent than the first, but was over just as quickly. Now as I prepare for bed, the soft pitter-patter of light rain from overcast skies can be heard on the tarptent roof. If it keeps this up, I'm sure I'll have no problem falling asleep to the sound of nature's percussion section.
Florida Trail Map
Ankle Deep and Creeping Higher