This update is from the Pearl Campsite a few miles South of Crestview and just inside the Eglin Reservation. We (T-bone and Sunny D) drove through a blinding rainstorm on Highway 98 and arrived at Fort Pickens on Pensacola Beach. This point is the end of the Florida Trail (FT) when you hike South to North. For us, however, it’s the start as we’re going from North to South. The rain stopped by the time we started hiking. It was cool and cloudy, but we had a 30 mile an hour headwind, and we had to walk on the road because of the high surf on one side and flooded dunes on the other. Most of the road was under water. Even with that, we hiked 11 miles in almost 4 hours and had a great day. The next two days were about the same… 11 miles a day, and by August 30th we were done with the beach. We headed north a few miles up Highway 87 and finally got into the woods. It took another four days of hiking to hit Crestview; unfortunately about 2 1/2 days was all road walk. This will happen from time to time on the Florida Trail. We’ve been averaging 13 to 14 miles a day with great hiking weather, cool and cloudy with no rain. I’ll update again in about a week when we get Bruce. It’s only about 30 minutes from my house, so we’ll head there for a pasta dinner and maybe stay a day.
No troubles at all on the hike; in fact we met many very nice people who were interested in what we were doing.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time
~ T.S. Eliot